â€œIn Texas, they lynch Negroes.â€ James Farmer, Jr.â€”played by Denzel Whitaker in the Harpo Films movie, The Great Debaters, 2007â€”said those five words on stage as he debated the topic of civil disobedience being a moral weapon in the fight for justice. â€œMy teammates and I saw a man strung up by his neck and set on fireâ€¦what was this Negroâ€™s crime that he should be hung in a dark forest filled with fog? Was he a thief, a killer or just a Negro...My opponent says, â€˜nothing that erodes the rule of law can be moral,â€™ but there is no rule of law in the Jim Crow South.â€
While Berry, Brewer and King were immediately arrested, and all men charged with capital murder, the small town of Jasper, Texasâ€”with a current approximate population of 8,000â€”unhappily found itself in the public eye. Itâ€™s reported that King and Brewer met in prison when joining a White supremacy group years before the murder. Shawn Berry was spared the death penalty as evidence proved he was â€œnotâ€ a racist. He currently sits in a Texas prison serving out his life sentence. Brewer and King were both given the death penaltyâ€”Brewer was killed by lethal injection in September of 2011. To no public surprise, the night before Brewerâ€™s execution he said, â€œhe felt no remorse and would do it all over again.â€ King continues to wait for his execution.