On June 7, 1998, Byrd, age 49, accepted a ride from Shawn Berry (age 24), Lawrence Brewer (age 31), and John King (age 23). Berry, who was driving, was acquainted with Byrd from around town. Instead of taking Byrd home, the three men took Byrd to a remote county road out of town, beat him with anything they could find, urinated on his unconscious body, chained him by his ankles to their pickup truck dragging him for three miles. Brewer later claimed that Byrd's throat had been slashed by Berry before he was dragged. However, forensic evidence suggests that Byrd had been attempting to keep his head up while being dragged, and an autopsy suggested that Byrd was alive during much of the dragging. Byrd died after his right arm and head were severed after his body hit a culvert. His body had caught the culvert on the side of the road, resulting in Byrd's decapitation.Death penalty opponents often call execution "barbaric." In my opinion it is barbaric to allow those who would commit such a crime to go on living. It took a ridiculously long 13 years to execute just one of the murderers, but better late than never.
Berry, Brewer, and King dumped their victim's mutilated remains in front of an African-American cemetery on Huff Creek Road; the three men then went to a barbecue.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
There has been a lot of recent whining about the death penalty, based on a couple cases. But today we saw the death penalty serve its primary purpose: justice. The state of Texas executed Lawrence Russell Brewer for the incredibly vicious torture and murder of James Byrd back in 1998. In case you've forgotten, here's an account of the crime.