11 November 2023 :
November 09, 2023 - Brent Brewer, 53, White, was executed. Brewer died by chemical injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. He was pronounced dead at 6:39 p.m. local time, 15 minutes after a lethal dose of pentobarbital began flowing into his arms.
He had been sentenced to death in 1991 for the April 1990 death of Robert Laminack, 66, who was attacked as he was giving Brewer and his girlfriend (Krystie Lynn Nystrom) a ride to a Salvation Army location. Prosecutors said Laminack was stabbed in the neck as he was robbed of $140. Nystrom pleaded guilty to capital murder and received a life sentence.
In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the death sentences Brewer and two other Texas inmates had received after ruling the juries in their cases did not have proper instructions when they decided the men should be executed.
Brewer was again sentenced to death during a new punishment trial in 2009.
After a spiritual adviser standing next to Brewer in the death chamber said a brief prayer, and Brewer responded, “Amen,” the inmate told the warden also next to him that he wanted to make a final statement.
“I would like to tell the family of the victim that I could never figure out the words to fix what I have broken,” he said as members of the Laminack family quietly watched through a window just feet from him.
“I just want you to know that this 53-year-old is not the same reckless 19-year-old kid from 1990,” he continued, his voice cracking. “I hope you find peace, and I mean it.”
As the drugs took effect, he gasped twice, snored several times and then took a few quiet breaths. Within 30 seconds, all movement stopped.
The execution came hours after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to step in over the inmate's claims that prosecutors had relied on false and discredited expert testimony at his 2009 resentencing trial. Brewer’s lawyers had alleged that a prosecution expert, Richard Coons, falsely claimed Brewer would be a future danger — a legal finding needed to impose a death sentence.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Tuesday had dismissed an appeal on that issue without reviewing the merits of the argument, saying the claim should have been raised previously.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday voted 7-0 against commuting Brewer’s death sentence to a lesser penalty.
Brewer, who was 19 years old at the time of Laminack’s killing, said he has been a model prisoner with no history of violence and has tried to become a better person by participating in a faith-based program for death row inmates.
Brewer was the 7th man executed in Texas this year, the 584th overall since Texas resumed capital punishment in 1982, the 21st in the U.S. put to death this year, and the 1,579th overall since the country resumed executions in 1977.
On the brewer’s case see also HoC 02/08/2004, 26/04/2007, 17/08/2009