James Byrd Jr crime scene photos - Brewer is one in all 2 men sentenced to die once being convicted of the June seven, 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in my hometown of Jasper, Texas. John William King conjointly faces the death penalty, however he continues to charm his sentence. a 3rd man, Shawn Berry, was convicted and sentenced to life in jail.
Most of you, I am sure, have heard of James Byrd Jr., and the way King, Brewer and Berry offered him a ride one night, then beat him up, chained him by his ankles to the bumper of a pickup truck and dragged him down a back road till his body hit a culvert and was torn apart. A pathologist testified that Byrd was alive when he hit the culvert.
King, Brewer and Berry were arrested inside a handful of days. The story that came out within the weeks and months afterward was that Brewer and King met in jail where they each joined a white supremacist cluster, a splinter of the KKK referred to as the Confederate Knights of America. King had lived in Jasper, and when the 2 men got out of jail, they went back to Jasper, where King and Berry became friends.
It was the murder of James Byrd Jr. that finally got the Texas Legislature to pass a state hate crimes law. And it had been the steadfast insistence of Byrd's family that helped certify that the Texas hate crimes law, named in recognition of James Byrd Jr., included lesbian and gay individuals. The family, particularly matriarch Stella Byrd, was conjointly instrumental in obtaining a federal hate crimes law passed in 2009. The federal law is termed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Law, in recognition of the Jasper victim and Matthew Shepard, the young gay man murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming simply months once James Byrd was killed.
The Byrd family has, throughout their ordeal over the past thirteen years, remained a model of courage and even forgiveness. When others needed to reply with anger and violence, they refused. When it'd are easier to understand the spotlight, the family selected to not. When it might are easier to implement distancing themselves and their personal tragedy from being linked with hate crimes against LGBTs, the Byrd family instead became quiet advocates for the community.
Even now, because the initial of James Byrd Jr.'s killers faces execution, Byrd's son Ross is speaking out against the death penalty. Ross Byrd, now 32, told Reuters on that he would are glad with Brewer being sentenced to life in jail. 'You can't fight murder with murder,' Ross Byrd said. 'Life in jail would are fine. i do know he can't hurt my daddy anymore. I would like the state would absorb mind that this isn't what we wish.'
James Byrd Jr.'s sister, Clara Taylor, told NPR she plans to be there tonight within the death chamber when Brewer is executed, as a result of she believes somebody from the family ought to be there. 'He had decisions,' Taylor said of Brewer. 'He created the incorrect decisions.' Still, that's a way calmer response that you simply would expect from somebody whose brother was therefore brutally murdered.
I would like I may well be a lot of just like the Byrd family, however I actually have to admit, i would like to visualize some revenge. I grew up in Jasper; my mother's family has lived there for generations, and lots of of my relations live there currently. I still think about Jasper as 'home,' albeit I haven't lived there myself for quite twenty years. And albeit I never knew James Byrd Jr., I did apprehend a number of the members of his nuclear family. and that i do shrewdness his murder affected my hometown.