- Troy Davis: After the Supreme Court rejected Davis' plea for clemency, the African-American man was put to death by lethal injection in the state of Georgia last night. Davis died at 11:08pm even though numerous celebrities and world leaders had begged the state to commute the sentence to life in prison. There was a lot of doubt on whether or not Davis was innocent and several people who testified against him during his trial later recanted their testimony.
- Lawrence Russell Brewer: A white supremacist gang member, Brewer and two other men kidnapped James Byrd, chained him by his ankles to the back of a pick up truck, and drug him 3.5 miles down a country road. Byrd was decapitated. The men attacked Byrd because he is African-American and the recently passed hate crimes law was named for Byrd as well as (the better known in the LGBT community) hate crime victim Matthew Sheppard. Brewer was executed at 6:21pm by lethal injection last night in the state of Texas. There were no last minute appeals and no one political leaders advocated for commutation of his sentence.
- Cleve Foster: Foster, a white former Army recruiter, was given a reprieve last Thursday by the US Supreme Court. The court has stopped his execution twice before within hours of his scheduled death. Unlike the previous two times, he wasn't served his last meal before learning he wouldn't be executed. Foster is one of two men convicted for shooting a woman and hiding her body in a drainage ditch, but questions linger about the competency of his state-appointed appeals lawyer.
Compare and contrast these three scheduled executions and reflect on how you feel about all three. Was Brewer's execution justified while Davis' wasn't? Did Foster get more leniency than Davis because of his race? And what do you think of the death penalty in general: justified or barbaric?