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Lawrence Brewer (1999)
*On this date in 2011, a white-American supremacist gang member was executed for a Black man's infamous dragging death slaying in 1998.
James Byrd Jr., 49, was chained to the back of a pickup truck and pulled whip-like to his death along a bumpy asphalt road in one of the most grisly hate crime murders in recent Texas history.
Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, was asked if he had any final words, to which he replied: "No. I have no final statement." A single tear hung on the edge of his right eye. He was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m., 10 minutes after the lethal drugs began flowing into his arms, both covered with intricate black tattoos.
Brewer's parents and two of Byrd's sisters were in attendance. Appeals to the courts for Brewer were exhausted, and no last-day attempts to save his life were filed. Besides Brewer, John William King, now 36, also was convicted of capital murder and sent to death row for Byrd's death, which shocked the nation for its brutality. John William King was executed on April 25, 2019. A third man, Shawn Berry, 36, received a life prison term.
Byrd's sister, Clara Taylor, said someone from her brother's family needed to be present to watch Brewer die, so she was among the witnesses in the death chamber. Taylor said, "He had choices," referring to Brewer. "He made the wrong choices." While the lethal injection wouldn't compare to the horrible death her brother endured, She also said, "Knowing you're going to be executed, that has to be a sobering thought."