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Tag Archives: james byrd

Two Killings… And a Suicide

Busy night on death row…

Georgia Executes Inmate Troy Davis After Supreme Court Denies Appeal

White Supremacist Executed for Texas Dragging

Oh yeah… And that suicide?

Hewlett-Packard investors like possibility of Meg Whitman as CEO

It just doesn’t get any dumber than that.

 
 

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James Byrd Murderer to be Executed in Texas

Busy few weeks for the “hangman” here in the USA. Lots to cheer about for Rick Perry’s Tea Party crowd, as the executions stack up as they did at the Tea Party “debate”. From Supreme Court intervention stopping an execution  Texas, to the planned execution of Troy Davis in Georgia – it seems killing for vengeance has become big business in a few southern states.

One has to wonder though – just how loudly the same crowd would have cheered to the execution of this miscreant – one of their own fellow “Republicans”…

Man to be executed for dragging death of James Byrd

Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, is scheduled to die Wednesday by lethal injection in the killing of James Byrd.

Lawrence Russell Brewer - Next on Rick Perry's List?

One of three men convicted for his involvement in the infamous dragging death of a black man 13 years ago is scheduled to be executed Wednesday.

Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, is scheduled to die by lethal injection in the killing of James Byrd.

Brewer and two other white men chained the 49-year-old black man to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him to death on a country road near Jasper, Texas.

Accomplice John William King also was sentenced to death and is awaiting an appeal. A third man, Shawn Berry, received life in prison.

A prosecutor called Brewer a racist psychopath during his 1999 trial.

During the trial, Brewer took the witness stand and contended that he was a bystander, not a killer.

He tearfully admitted being present when Byrd was dragged to his death but, he said, “I didn’t mean to cause his death. I had no intentions of killing anybody.”

Brewer, a former jailhouse Ku Klux Klan leader, said King initiated the killing by fighting with Byrd. He also said the third defendant, Berry, slashed Byrd’s throat and then chained him to Berry’s pickup. Brewer admitted kicking Byrd and spraying Byrd’s face with black paint.

But he said it was a reflex action taken to try to break up the fight between Byrd and King.

The execution would be the 11th this year in Texas, the most active death-penalty state.

Indeed, I’ll be surprised if we don’t get another of those “5-4”  conservative block Supreme Court decisions to save Brewer at the last minute, with the “usual suspects” suddenly finding the penalty as too extreme. Of course the $500k “donation” to Ginny Thomas’ PAC required to flip conservative votes…

Is probably beyond Brewer’s means.

And then there is this…

Victim’s son objects as Texas sets execution in hate crime death

“You can’t fight murder with murder,” Ross Byrd, 32, told Reuters late Tuesday, the night before Wednesday’s scheduled execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer for one of the most notorious hate crimes in modern times.

“Life in prison would have been fine. I know he can’t hurt my daddy anymore. I wish the state would take in mind that this isn’t what we want.”

 

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First Prosecution Under New Hate Crimes Law

A New Mexico town is the honorary home of 3 men who will be the first prosecuted under the new Hate Crimes Legislation. The town is trying to get past a bloody history of Hate Crimes. Perhaps this prosecution, like the first successful prosecution of KKK criminals during the Civil Rights era will serve notice to the scumbags …

Swastika Brand

Swastika case another race issue for NM town

Three friends had just finished their shifts at a McDonald’s when prosecutors say they carried out a gruesome attack on a customer: They allegedly shaped a coat hanger into a swastika, placed it on a heated stove and branded the symbol on the arm of the mentally disabled Navajo man.

Authorities say they then shaved a swastika on the back of the 22-year-old victim’s head and used markers to scrawl messages and images on his body, including “KKK,” ”White Power,” a pentagram and a graphic image of a penis.

The men have become the first in the nation to be charged under a new law that makes it easier for the federal government to prosecute people for hate crimes.

The case also marked the latest troubling race-related attack in this New Mexico community, prompting a renewed focus among local leaders on improving relations between Navajos and whites.

The defendants are accused of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and could face 10 years in prison if convicted. The sentences could be extended to life if the government proves kidnapping occurred.

Federal prosecutors say they were able to bring the case because the 2009 law eliminated a requirement that a victim must be engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting or attending school, for hate crime charges to be leveled.

The law also expanded civil rights protections to include violence that is based on gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The swastika branding has also put the spotlight back on Farmington, a predominantly white community of about 45,000 residents near the Navajo Nation.

Farmington leaders signed a historic agreement earlier this month with the Navajo Nation in which both sides pledged to work toward improving race relations.

The signing ceremony was held at City Hall and included a blessing by a Navajo medicine man who prayed for a strong, stable and long-running agreement. City officials sat cross-legged on the floor alongside Navajos during the service.

“Mistreatment of fellow humans is a learned behavior. The only thing that will address that directly is education,” said Duane “Chili” Yazzie, chairman of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and a participant in the signing ceremony.

The signing was significant because it put into writing what both sides have long expressed. Negotiations took almost a year as the parties discussed wording and language.

Navajo and city leaders agree race relations have improved dramatically since May 1974, when the beaten and burned bodies of three Navajo men were found north of town. Three white high school students were linked to the crime and sent to reform school, outraging the Navajo community.

More recently there were other events.

There was the 2006 kidnapping and beating of a Navajo man by three young white men. Six days later, a Navajo man was shot to death in a Walmart parking lot by a Farmington police officer responding to a domestic violence call.

The shooting was ruled justified by sheriff’s investigators and the Justice Department determined there was no basis for a civil rights investigation. Still, the incident touched off a round of protests by angry Navajos.

When a New Mexico advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights visited Farmington in 2004 to assess the city’s progress 30 years after the canyon murders, several speakers at a forum complained that harassment of Indians by white youth continues.

In the current case, defendants William Hatch of Fruitland and Paul Beebe and Jesse Sanford, both of Farmington, have pleaded not guilty. Their court-appointed lawyers have declined comment. They have also been charged with state crimes.

Yazzie and Mayor Tommy Roberts said despite the history of problems, there is evidence of substantial progress in Farmington, including the recent agreement between city and tribal leaders.

 

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2010 in The New Jim Crow

 

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President Obama Signs Matthew Sheppard/James Byrd Hate Crimes Law

Bad day for conservatives!

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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