MovieChat Forums > Jasper, Texas (2003) Discussion > How accurate is this movie? Current sta...

How accurate is this movie? Current status of the convicted?


Compared to what really happened, was the movie fairly accurate?

The movie doesn't spend any time on the other two perpetrators. What is happening with them and the one convicted? Has he been executed yet?
Anyone know of some sites that have the answers to these questions?

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[deleted]

The two who were known to be White Supremacists were both executed, the one who drove the car but was not a white supremacist is in jail for life. THere is a very good documentary about the incident and it focuses on the family of the guy who drove the car. I forget what the name of the movie was, but it won some awards. If I remember it I will come back and post it.

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Thank you very much!!! I just got threw watching the movie and wondered what happened to the other 2 and am glad justice was done!! As his daughter said, Not even an animal should have been done that way. Such a waste of life!!!!!

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I lived in Jasper County in 1998 when this happened and it is very true to the accounts. I know Billy Rowles personally and John Voight nailed him....pretty much everything that happened happened as portrayed in the movie...lot of "outsiders: came in, both black and white to exploit the situation and the town of Jasper came together and rose above it.

Shawn Berry recieved a life without parole sentence and the other two recieved the death penalty. As the trial wasnt until late 99 or early 2000 there is no way they have been executed yet...that just doesnt happen that fast in Texas...even if they deserve it...to my knowledge both await execution on Texas death row...

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[deleted]

Interesting background insight! I thought Voight was excellent in his portrayal of the sheriff.

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Neither Lawrence Brewer or John King have been executed at this time. Both are still on death row. http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/offendersondrow.htm

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[deleted]

The three killers weren't white supremacists (though two of them had been in an all-white gang when they were in prison) and the killing had nothing to do with race. James Byrd was a known drug dealer in Jasper and had sold two of them some bad stuff. When he refused to refund their money, they jumped him one night when he was returning home drunk from a party. This horrible crime was nothing but a retaliation for a drug deal that had gone bad. Both the authorities and the media just decided to play it up as a hate crime. The authorities because they saw it as an easier way to gain a conviction on the defendants and the media because they wanted the sensationalism which would sell newspapers and increase television ratings.

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Drug deal gone bad? Is that the Jasper way of getting a refund? If so, the town deserved the negative publicity. The sick prejudice bastards make drug cartels look like angels.

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If anyone sold dope to my kid I would want 'em dead.

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Hopefully, your kid would not be out there looking to buy drugs.

Vic Mackey: "God creates all men equal. Out of the womb, he starts playing favorites."

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"Is that the Jasper way of getting a refund? If so, the town deserved the negative publicity."

Even if the drug dealer/angry druggies aspect is true (and I have no clue if it is or not) the TOWN doesn't deserve negative publicity. That is like saying 'All white men are racists" or "All Black men are lazy." SOME white men are racists. SOME black men are lazy. (and actually SOME black men are racists and SOME white men are lazy) SOME people in Jasper acted in the most disgusting, heinous manner possible. Most people in Jasper were probably horrified beyond description at what the DRUGGIES did. I imagine the angry druggies were people who probably had been making heinous, illegal, disgusting choices for several years. Clearly the murder they committed is something which 95+% of the town did not support--even remotely. The idea that the TOWN needs negative publicity for something three of its 8,000+ members did is completely ridiculous.

Just some food for thought,
Peace, Y'all!
Loralee :)

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So you get sold bad dope and you take the guy out to a drag race!

Its that man again!!

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Brewer was executed today. King is still on death row and Berry is serving a life senetence in a 6 x 8 cell and is only let out once per day for exercise. I'd prefer death to a 23 hour a day 6 x 8 cell. They got what they deserved

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Also when Brewer was asked if he regretted what he did he showed no remorse at all and said no and that he would do it all over again the day before he was executed. I usually don't agree with the death penalty but he got what he deserved. May God have mercy on his soul cause it is surely doomed.

The actor who played him played him well I wanted to jump through the screen and wring his neck. I remember watching this with my family and I think it was the first time I ever cried during a movie and I could not watch the scene where they showed James'autopsy photos. the shear horror to think how could anyone harbor that much hate in their hearts to do that to a man

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http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/21/texas-death-row-inmate-executed

Texas death row inmate Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, was executed by lethal execution at 7:21 p.m. ET Wednesday, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

Brewer was one of three men found guilty for his involvement in the dragging death of James Byrd 13 years ago.

Brewer and two other white men kidnapped the 49-year-old black man on the night of June 7, 1998. They chained him by the ankles to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him for 3 ½ miles down a country road near Jasper, Texas. Byrd died when he was decapitated after he hit a culvert.

Prosecutors said the crime, which they described it as one of the most vicious hate crimes in U.S. history, was intended to promote Brewer's fledgling white supremacist organization.


http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/21/justice/texas-dragging-death-execution/i ndex.html

Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed in Texas Wednesday evening for his involvement in the infamous dragging death of a black man 13 years ago.

Brewer, 44, was one of three men convicted for involvement in the murder of James Byrd.

He was executed by lethal injection at 6:21 p.m. local time (7:21 p.m. ET) Wednesday , according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Brewer ate a huge final meal, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark. It consisted of chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet, a bowl of fried okra, barbeque, fajitas, pizza, and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts.

After the meal, Brewer was given time to make phone calls to family and friends.

Brewer and two other white men kidnapped the 49-year-old black man on the night of June 7, 1998. They chained him by the ankles to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him for 3 ½ miles down a country road near Jasper, Texas. Byrd died when he was decapitated after he hit a culvert.

Prosecutors said the crime, which they described it as one of the most vicious hate crimes in U.S. history, was intended to promote Brewer's fledgling white supremacist organization. During his 1999 trial, they called Brewer a racist psychopath.

Brewer was a former "Exalted Cyclops" of a racist prison gang affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. He spent most of his adult life in prison for burglary, cocaine possession and parole violations.

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 said accomplice John William King initiated the killing by fighting with Byrd. He also said the third defendant, Shawn 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.

When Brewer was sentenced to death in 1999, Jasper County District Attorney Guy James Gray said that, while he did not personally favor the death penalty, it was necessary in Brewer's case.

"This is a situation where if you don't give the death penalty to this man, he will kill again," said Gray.

To impose the death penalty, the jurors in Brewer's trial had to answer three questions under Texas law:

-- Would Brewer be a threat to society in the future;

-- Did Brewer mean to kill Byrd;

-- And, were there mitigating circumstances that would warrant sparing Brewer's life?

To sentence Brewer to death, the jurors voted unanimously on each question -- answering the first two yes and the last no.

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

King also was sentenced to death and is awaiting the outcome of an appeal. The third man, Berry, was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law expanded hate crime legislation that was named after Byrd and Mathew Shepard, a gay Wyoming man who died after being kidnapped and severely beaten in October 1998.

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