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Texas Executes Murderer of James Byrd – After NAACP Smeared Bush On Hate Crimes Law

Texas Executes Murderer of James Byrd – After NAACP Smeared Bush On Hate Crimes Law

While media eyes were focused on the disputed Troy Davis execution in Georgia, Texas was executing a brutal and completely unrepentant murderer.

Last night, Texas executed white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer for the murder of James Byrd Jr.  One accomplice, John William King, remains on death row, and another, Shawn Allen Berry, was sentenced to life in prison after the government failed to convince a jury to execute him as well.

In 2000, the NAACP National Voter Fund ran graphic and truly over-the-top advertisements on television and radio attacking then-Governor Bush for refusing to sign hate crime legislation.  Among their outrageous claims, Renee Mullins, Byrd’s daughter, declared:

So when Governor George W. Bush refused to support hate-crime legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again.

These men were prosecuted and sentenced under George W. Bush.  Brewer was executed under the auspices of Rick Perry.  Republicans, especially Texas Republicans, take heinous crimes very seriously.  Whatever problems Texas might have, being too soft on murderers is not among them, and the hate crime legislation the NAACP used to attack Bush would have had no impact on this case.  In fact, I’d imagine that many NAACP activists and most liberals who supported their actions are anti-death penalty, and as such believe that the hate crime committed against James Byrd Jr. was punished too harshly.

I won’t hold my breath for an apology from the NAACP to President Bush and the Republican Party.



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Funny how the anti-death penalty Left was so silent over Brewer’s execution, but were wailing like banshees over Davis in Georgia. In my opinion, both men were sentenced appropriately and both got what they deserved.

Regarding hate-crime laws, I’m very uncomfortable with them, because they seem to me to criminalize thought and sentiment. We criminalize certain acts, such as dragging a man to death, but to make it an additional crime to do so because the killer hated a particular ethnic group moves us toward “legal and illegal thoughts.” The motives may be laudable, but the implications are disturbing. I’m glad Bush vetoed it.

    You’re right. Intent matters in many crimes. Killing someone by accident is generally considered a lesser crime (though still very serious) than killing them because you really wanted them dead.

    Hate crimes laws make it an even more serious crime to kill someone because you wanted them dead and you’re a bad person – a bigot – besides.

    The law should not be judging your worth as a human being along with your actions and intent. Justice should be blind.

Yes. Hypocrisy.

I do think that the ceremonial way we execute murderers is gruesome, that we should execute by firing squad. But I am growing very tired of how anti-death-penalty wailing turns criminals into some kinds of hero. Davis said he didn’t “personally” shoot Officer MacPhail. What’s that mean. A circus for 22 years because maybe he was only participating in a crime that resulted in a police officer’s death. How about we think instead of 38 good boys who went down recently on a Chinook in Afghanistan.

Yeah, but in addition to murder, Brewer was guilty of a Thought Crime as well. The left strongly supports the death penalty for those.

I’m generally opposed to capital punishment, largely because of the prosecution costs. I’d prefer locking many of those on death row away in dark places for their lifetime. However, there are some people who just need killing. I believe these guys belong to the latter and we have allowed them to linger much too long.

So if Brewer was convicted of a hate crime, would the State have electrocuted him twice?

If we only had a hate crime law back then. We only gave two of the three the death penalty and the third, who was the first to roll over and help prove the case will die in prison. I do believe that one is in more or less solitary confinement for fear the other prisoners will either shank him or rape him to death. If only we’d had hate crime laws we could have really punished them.