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Lawrence Brewer
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    (March 13, 1967-September 21, 2011)
    Born in Lamar County, Texas
    White supremacist
    One of three men who lynched James Byrd, Jr. (June 7, 1998)
    Convicted of murder and sentenced to death
    Executed by lethal injection
    Prior to Byrd’s murder, he served time in prison for drug possession, burglary, and violating parole.
    He and his accomplices beat Byrd with a baseball bat, then tied him behind a pickup truck and dragged him for three miles.
    Byrd was killed halfway through the dragging when he was decapitated by a culvert.
    The three killers then dropped Byrd’s remains in front of an African-American church and went off to a barbecue.
    Then-governor George W. Bush used the fact that he was sentenced to death to argue that the state did not need a hate-crime law.
    A day before his execution, he told a reporter, ‘As far as any regrets, no I have no regrets. I’d do it all over again, to tell you the truth.’
    He ordered an insanely massive last meal*, then, when it arrived, announced he was not hungry and did not eat any of it. (*Two chicken-fried steaks smothered in gravy with sliced onions; a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger; a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeños; a bowl of fried okra with ketchup; one pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread; three fully loaded fajitas; a meat-lover's pizza; one pint of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream; a slab of peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts; and three root beers.)
    As a result, Texas stopped providing special last meals to condemned prisoners (who instead now choose from the options provided to death row inmates).
    He claimed to have joined a white supremacist gang in prison for protection from other inmates.
    Byrd’s son Ross opposed his execution.

Credit: C. Fishel

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