Lawrence Russell, Texas


September 21, 2011

Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed by the state of Texas on September 21, 2011. Lawrence was pronounced at 6:21 CDT, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Lawrence was 44 years of age. He was executed for the murder of 49-year-old James Byrd Jr., on June 7, 1998, in Jasper, Texas. Also participating in the racially motivated crime was John King and Shawn Berry. John is also on death row, while Shawn is serving a life sentence. Lawrence spent the last 12 years of his life on Texas’ death row.

Lawrence did not graduate high school, dropping out in the 11th grade. He worked as a laborer prior to the murder. Lawrence had previously served time for burglary, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), and violating his parole. Lawrence had been involved in a white supremacist group prior to the murder of James. Lawrence alleges that he participated in attacking James, but did not participate in the murder, instead trying to stop it.

Lawrence was the last Texas inmate to received a special final meal. His extravagant request included two chicken friend stead, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover’s pizza, a pint of ice cream, and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Lawrence refused to eat any of the meal, leading to the abolishment of final meal practice in Texas. Inmates are now served the same food as the rest of the prisoners.

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of James Byrd. Please pray for the family of Lawrence Brewer.


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