“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.”
Brewer is scheduled to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. today in Huntsville, Texas.
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An avowed white supremacist, Brewer, 44, was one of three white men convicted of capital murder in the kidnapping and killing of Byrd Jr., in June 1998.
John King, another white supremacist, is on death row awaiting an execution date. Shawn Berry is serving a life sentence.
Brewer would be the 11th man executed in Texas this year. In Georgia, the execution of Troy Davis, convicted of killing a police officer, is scheduled for the same night.
If both executions go forward, Brewer and Davis would be the 34th and 35th executions in the United States in 2011.
In Texas, a vigil in Huntsville began at midnight with civil rights activist Dick Gregory.
Gregory has joined Ross Byrd and Martin Luther King III in the past to publicly protest Brewer’s execution.
Ross Byrd, a recording artist studying for his MBA at nearby Stephen F. Austin University, said Tuesday that he wouldn’t attend the execution but will “be there in spirit.”
He says he doesn’t want to “waste my time” watching anybody die, even a man who killed his dad.
“Life goes on,” said Byrd, who has a son. “I’ve got responsibilities that I have every day. It’s not on the front page of my mind. I’m looking for happy times.”