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The jury sentenced Brewer to death a second time. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed that sentence in November 2011.
Brewer's appeals mostly centered around the testimony of Dr. Gene Coons, a psychiatrist who testified for the state that Brewer presented a future danger to society - a required element of a death sentence in Texas. Coons's methods have been criticized in several death penalty cases and are now considered by the courts to be unscientific. The appeals courts held in Brewer's case, however, that when compared with the rest of the evidence presented at his sentencing hearing, Coons's testimony was "not particularly powerful," and that its absence would likely not have changed the result of him receiving a death sentence.
Most newspapers and web sites covering Brewer's execution highlighted his rejected appeals claims about Coons. For example, the Texas Observer's headline asserted that Brewer's death sentence rested "largely" on Coons's testimony, in contradiction to what the courts found. "His testimony proved damning," the article read.
State and federal courts dismissed Brewer's claims about Coons again in a round of last-ditch appeals in the days before Brewer's execution. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up his case. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles also unanimously voted against extending him clemency.
Robert Laminack's wife, Miriam Laminack, and daughter, Debra Corbin, watched Brewer's execution from a viewing room adjacent to the death chamber.
"I would like to tell the family of the victim that I could never figure out the words to fix what I have broken," Brewer said in his last statement. "I just want you to know that this 53 year old is not the same reckless 19-year-old kid from 1990. I hope you find peace, and I mean it." The lethal injection was then started. He was pronounced dead at 6:39 p.m.
"Brent Ray Brewer was in prison more than 33 years," Corbin said after watching Brewer die. "Our mom says our family has been in prison 33 years. We have been released today."
By David Carson. Posted on 10 November 2023.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, court documents, Associated Press, Beaumont Enterprise, Huntsville Item, Texas Observer.