After reading Ross Byrd's poignant message about his father and how he felt that taking one man's life would not change the fact that his father is never coming back, I realized just how blood thirsty our criminal justice system and government can be. James Byrd, Jr. was brutally tortured and killed by white supremacists Lawrence Russell Brewer, along with two others, in June of 1998.
Brewer's actions, while reprehensible, should have garnered him the pleasure of spending all his days and nights on a life sentence in solitary confinement with only his thoughts and conscious to keep him company. However, our state has an accelerated death sentence that requires the swift "murder" of anyone deemed worthy of being removed from breathing the same air as the rest of us fine Texans. Yet, Mr. Byrd's opinions, as a victim, were not a factor in the sentencing of Brewer and thus the state has enforced this with lethal injection.
As Mr. Byrd has stated, in regards to his father's memory, "you can't fight murder with murder". So is the young Byrd correct in believing that lethal injection murder sentences are not a deterrent or even an appropriate act of revenge for criminals in the state of Texas?