And in Georgia, despite becoming a cause celeb, cop killer Troy Davis also got the needle. Lawyers for Lawrence Russell Brewer had tried at the last minute to delay his death by lethal injection. But in the end he was executed at 6:21am yesterday morning for the vicious hate crime. Along with two pals offered James Byrd Jr a ride when they spotted him along a remote country road near Beaumont, TX. Then they set upon the 49-year-old, beating him severely and urinating on him, before they bound him to the back of the truck by his ankles with heavy logging chain and dragged him for three miles.
After dumping his remains in an African American cemetery his killers drove off to a barbeque.
Brewer's pals friend Shawn Berry, 36, received a life prison term for his role in the killing while John William King, 36, was also convicted of capital murder and sent to death row, although his case remains under appeal.
Time ran out for Brewer, 44, yesterday however, when according to Beaumont Enterprise he was executed by lethal injection at 6:21am yesterday morning.
Several of Byrd's family members, including two sisters and a niece, witnessed Brewer's execution.
Clara Taylor, sister of the late James Byrd Jr., said she promised her mother, Stella, who passed away last year, that she would attend the execution of the men who killed her brother.
MEANWHILE, in Georgia Davis was executed at 11:08 p.m. Davis' champions included everyone from former President Jimmy Carter to reality show bimbette Kim Kardashian. Even on the gurney, he protested his innocence. He denied until the end he had murdered off duty Savannah cop Mark MacPhail on Aug. 19, 1989.
Lifting his head from the gurney, he told the cop's family: "I did not have a gun. I'm not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother." Fifteen minutes later he was dead.