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Monday, 24 August 2009

James Broadnax Gets Death Penalty - Laughs at Victim's Mother


Continuing on the theme of serious black crime almost completely ignored by the American media, on Friday James Broadnax received the death penalty for the murder of Stephen Swan, 26 and Matthew Butler, 28.

Broadnax gunned the two men down in cold blood after he saw them leaving their Christian music studio in Dallas and went up to ask for a cigarette.

He apparently chatted amiably with the two men before killing them for absolutely no reason at all.

In court, when Butler's mother bravely faced him to tell him how he had robbed her of her son, he simply laughed at her.

Despite this, his defence unsuccessfully tried to spare him from death:

During closing arguments at the sentencing, the defense attorney Keri Mallon said, “”That child does not deserve to die. Give that child a second chance at life. Give that child mercy.”

Here is an interview with 'that child'. Needless to say, he has shown no remorse:


Some further details of the court case and the anguish of the families:

Minutes after he learned a jury had sentenced him to death, killer James Broadnax laughed at the mother of one of his murder victims as she told him how he had devastated her life.

"You stole our son," Teresa Butler said Friday from the witness stand during the period after the trial when relatives can confront the defendant. "I couldn't say it better than you said it yourself – it would have been better if you'd never been born."

With his back to the room, most people in the court could not see as Broadnax laughed. But assistant district attorney David Alex later said he saw it happen.

As she left the stand, Butler admonished Broadnax to stop laughing.

Alex said Broadnax's reaction was telling. "Even at this point, after seeing how many people he's affected, he's still over there laughing," he said.

He appeared to have no reaction earlier when he was sentenced to die by injection for the murder of Stephen Swan. He also has confessed to killing Matthew Butler as the two left a Garland recording studio in June 2008.

When the sentence was announced, friends and relatives of the victims smiled grimly, embraced and wiped away tears.

Broadnax's mother, Audry Kelly, dabbed at her face, and held tightly to a member of the defense team.

The jury deliberated for about eight hours over two days.

"We just took our time going through all the evidence," said Jay Williams, one of nine men and three women on the panel. "We came to the decision without any reservations, with a very clear conscience."

Jury foreman Robert Patterson said the jury "went through a very thoughtful process" and no one person was at odds with the others.

Patterson, the lone black jury member, was placed on the panel at the insistence of Judge Michael Snipes, who was concerned that the group sitting in judgment on the biracial defendant be racially diverse.

"I was not aware of that fact," Patterson said, adding that "race was not an issue with respect to the decision we made."

The Broadnax case was the third capital murder jury Patterson has served on, but the first one in which prosecutors have sought the death penalty.

Patterson said television interviews Broadnax gave after the crime, in which he boasted about killing the two men and expressed no remorse or sympathy for their families, influenced jurors more than the defendant's impassive demeanor in the courtroom.

Defense attorney Brad Lollar insisted his client does regret his actions. "James has repeatedly expressed to me that he was remorseful for the pain he's caused," he said.

He also said his client "wanted me to tell anybody out there they should stay away from PCP." The defense maintained during the trial that one reason Broadnax committed the cold-blooded killings was because he was under the influence of drugs.

Broadnax apparently wrote letters to both victims' families last year expressing his regret. Jamie Butler Cole, widow of Matthew Butler, referred to the letter she received when she told Broadnax during her statement that she forgave him.

She did so, she stressed, for her sake, not his. "It gives me freedom to live my life," the mother of two said.

But Deborah Swan, sister of Stephen Swan, said she didn't know if her family had received such a note.

She has not been able to forgive Broadnax, she said. "I would like to say that I have, but I can't."

Can any American readers tell me if this case has been widely covered in the national media?

74 comments:

eh said...

Personally I think the practice of allowing family members to address the court and defendant in this way is stupid and often leads to tragi-comedic scenes like this. What purpose is served? Judges should be discouraged from sermonizing as well.

eh said...

Of course the media censors and withholds facts in order to disguise the true extent of black criminality, e.g. that black males are less than 10% of the population but commit over 50% of all homicides.

eh said...

Can any American readers tell me if this case has been widely covered in the national media?

I remember the incident, yes; so it was reported. Widely? Depends on how you want to define it. I doubt it. I probably read a report about it on cnn.com -- someplace like that. Then it disappeared of course. Had not seen or heard anything more about it until your post here.

Anonymous said...

Never heard of this case. Not even once. Signed, An American Reader

Anonymous said...

Reported by Greta; my daughter in law was interviewed and allowed to speak for more than 5 minutes about Matthew and her faith in God. We've received tons of email and letters at the studio from all over the nation. Cummings, the other one involved, will be dealt with this Spring. By the way, the victim's impact statements are very powerful. Nobody else laughed so I don't know what comedic scene you refer to. He simply demonstrated to us all how evil he truly is.

Cosmos said...

The death penalty is not news outside the state in which the crime was committed in general. Having said that I will add that this man's response to the media made it easy to find on google. If he'd kept his mouth shut he'd just be another statistic. Rarely are such items covered in the national news if the names are not famous. SAd. But true.

Anonymous said...

IT IS IGNORANCE THAT WAS SHOWN BY JAMES BROADNAX,LAUGHTER??? JUST MAKES HIM LOOK LIKE THE DUMB ASS HE IS....LOOK WHO WILL BE LAUGHING LAST WHEN YOUR LIGHT GOES OUT ?? YOU DESERVED THE SENTENCE YOU RECIEVED!!!

Nick Hentoff said...

There is no doubt he didn't show any remorse but I don't think he was laughing at the victim's mother. I think he was laughing at her statement that it would have been better had he never been born; as in, "you got that right." I've been in court many times when defendants want to show disrespect to a victims family and they have no difficulty making their contempt obvious to everyone, which wasn't the case here.

A previous poster is correct that criminal cases in the U.S. are publicized most widely in the state in which they are committed; the exception being a crime that involves a video that goes viral. Because of how shocking his jailhouse interview was, the video got wide coverage on the internet at the time.

The Broadnax case is getting some renewed attention due to the circulation of the jail interview on a popular conservative video site. Here's my take on the case:

http://nickhentoff.blogspot.com/2011/03/i-dont-know-why-i-was-born-texas-death.html

Anonymous said...

from watching the video, his body language, and the ending, I think it's pretty clear he is just trying to put on a tough guy act to hide how he really feels... I think he does regret what he did, and I think he's bothered by it... I think he was never taught to express his feelings in other ways besides anger, or to suppress his feelings. It's a shame because more than 2 young lives were wasted over this...

Army dude said...

Lets clear the air and get some facts straight first, before you spread more misinformation okay....There are your opinions and there are the facts....http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=6384

Anonymous said...

Well my opinion is.... No matter what anyone has done, it's not our rite as humans to take someone life. Hanged was wrong and so are the jury and judge never agreed with the death penalty. We're not God so who are we to play him. James committed a sin in a harsh way. But give in time in prison life if possible but allow God to control his life. And this happen outside of a Christan studio and the family is hurting I know this. But if God can forgive what and who makes us better then God, to the point that we can actually say kill him. When James get to the gate and he's standing beside me his sin will be no greater then mines. And if you think he's going to hell after he dies. Read your Bible. Witha sincere heart if you ask for to be forgave trust you will be. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

We as a country are taught that the Christian way is right way but yet we still continue to take lives...God is the only judge of life

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%, let God handle death, and he'll handle those who want to take over his job. Like you said, he (will) forgive.

Anonymous said...

I agree..

Anonymous said...

I also agree. He knows he f'd up but he's CLEARLY puttin on.

wendy turner said...

I said said nearly the same thing you said. He is putting on a tough guy act and something definately was lacking in his childhood

Anonymous said...

Ive never, not once heard of this case and its gotta be over 6yrs old.
Its completely devastating what those poor families must have gone through. and just to see this man speak on how he has no remorse, F-Bombs for the victims and their families?... what a savage!!!

Anonymous said...

Satan rules this country and always did.That young man read into his own future and saw nothin g.... What he saw was going out with a bang and thats what he did... Even with a black president there is not a chance for most black youth... Sad but true!!!

Anonymous said...

U is absolutely correct

Anonymous said...

What right do we as a society have to take a life, if we say he shouldnt commit murder we shouldnt let him spend the rest of his life in prison he's a young black man who probably like most of our young men had no positive male role model in his life to look up to have some compassion and understanding for him also stop throwing lives away help these young men before it gets to this yes he is wrong and my heart goes out to the victims families but my heart also goes out to this young man and his family you never know what really led him down this road to destruction and he is still young he can change

Sheila said...

I agree because I did it just this past Friday in the same court house on the same floor as this case to the mother of one of the people that killed my son and she looked at me like she didn't give a damn. I could have saved my breath I may need it on my death bed.

Anonymous said...

Deep down inside this guy is really hurting he's using laughter to hide his pain, really and truly he's scared.

Anonymous said...

Get the fuck out of here.... he deserves to die.... and our society has the right to do it. And that is exactly what's going to happen

Anonymous said...

we are brought into life, into a country that as we grow into as early as young-men we are discriminated against no matter how we try and find work. The police gnaw at us abusing our constitutional rights. we are hungry, we are poor, we try but then we are beaten. The same may have happen to our fathers before us. Our future is bleek. Soothed by whatever drug of choice. i didnt want to be another brother. i knew my future... and that i could change direction. i joined the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS bcuz wat i had 2 live for?

Marcus Bogle said...

personally i don't understand what the controversy is over this case. this young men killed two people in cold blood, showed no remorse. by the united states constitution he is guilty and deserves to die is because of the fact he had a troubled past thats why this case is getting so much attention or something else let me know.

Anonymous said...

I feel like it was obvious he was putting on a tough Guy act, you could see it in his eyes. I feel sorry for all the families involved.

Anonymous said...

This young man is angry with his parent/s for whatever reason. I feel he can be broken! My condolences to the victims families..God bless all the families envolved!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree it a shame I've spent soo much time with troubled children alot of males, they already have the eagle as a man to be strong and not to look weak. On top of not be able to have the prpoer tools in life to show true emotions is always a down fall, because humans we all have stress and worries that need to be released and talked about to make a plan for something positive.

Ejaybee said...

And let's not forget that he WANTED the death penalty. Perhaps that's why he was laughing. We'll never know that's for sure. Sad on both sides.

Anonymous said...

If he deserves to die why isn't Trayvon Martins killer in jail and on death row

Anonymous said...

Its truly sad what he has done and I pray for healing for all families involved. So many are on here saying he got what he deserved calling him all sort of names but what about the people that have gotten off for the same senseless killings the only difference was the trigger men were white the victims were young black men....why aren't those murderers on death row

Anonymous said...

No one because he got what he wanted, the death penalty

Anonymous said...

This is really sad my heart goes out to the victims families and James family as well this was a tragedy...he is remorseful I can see pass the hard act but really hate disrespect to the victims and their families....this kid mind is mess up

Anonymous said...

In watching the interview with James on NBC news after he was arrested he said he had no remorse and he wanted the Death Penalty. He said if he didn't get it there would be more bodies. So this is what he wanted or so he thinks he wanted, maybe along the way he will discover what is important here. Important is not hiding your feelings with laughter. James and only James can know how he feels about this crime, I hope he does at some point ask for forgiveness to the families and to God.
Good luck, LH

Anonymous said...

Just saw the video. In a way, it was good seeing it, vs someone describing it to you word for word. I believe he was remorseful. He clearly stated he wish he did not have a gun. He also said it was not his intent to get up that morning to go kill anyone. A he's not a monster, because twice, he said tell my mother and siblings he loved them. Still wherever, how ever he was raised does not excuse what he did. At age19 he knew right from wrong, so he must face the consequences and laws of the land, bottom line. Still two innocent lives taken, just like that, so, so sad. Yes, he's remorseful, and if repentant, has been forgiven.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. Hurt people hurt people. It's not a typo, either. Hurt people will lash out and hurt others. I have heard of this case as a Texan who follows all capital cases where the death penalty is on the table. The interview he did at the county jail was despicable, I totally agree. But to associate it with his skin color is totally irrelevant. He's just a person, plain and simple. We're all just people. I bleed the same color red as anyone else on this planet. I just did some research on him, to find out if he's shown any remorse since the crime, trial and conviction. I happened upon this site. But I had to say something because it seems like his skin color was being brought into play here, and that's unnecessary. By the way, he's biracial. So which half of him is the criminal? ...

kenyata gibson said...

You just said our society has the right to do it. So the ops killin some1 who killed some1 makes up for killing some1??? Everybody is a murderer then. All yall muthafukas is trapped in a your own mind. Fuck a prison. Fuck a arrest. Its an Eye for an eye so if its like that make the progress carry on. Now the people that put him to death should be hunted right? An the cycle continues from there. System dont make sense. Ik if it was my family member on death penalty. B4 he/she would have got it Im finding out names so that wen they kill him/her. Im killin them. Simple it that. Buh...these are just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

He is crazy and deserves to be locked up! I am an African American Female and I would be afraid of him! He is a sociopath!

Anonymous said...

Wow reading these comments all no1 mention that this kid was high on a very "controlled substance" PCP he didn't care because he has no care for himself. Stop letting guns and drugs consume our youth to the point where things lik this happen. Drugs as been ruining lives since the early early 60 and its only preparing to gt worst unless we fight against drug abuse so sad lives has to b taken because of the devastation of our communities. Race is not the case because every diversity suffers from his. But I agree hurt people hurt people an themselves.

Anonymous said...

I think this site is racist, and evil.

Anonymous said...

U do realize he is mixed right? He is White & Black so speak of Both criminality Luv!

Anonymous said...

Exactly! Every1 keeps forgetting he is White and Black!

vachynadoll said...

I'm glad that God posted all of these comments. Oh wait God didn't post these comments man did. Only God can judge that man. What is clear & evident is he was high as a kite. The jail shouldn't have allowed the interview & his attorney should have saw to it that this video not made it's way into the courtroom. PCP is a hallucinogen for number 1 & he wasn't in his right mind. Sober I can say he is responsible & knew right from wrong. He also show signs of mental health issues (bipolar). That alone is reason enough that his trial wasn't handled correctly. None of this excuses what he did, and he should be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

But most keep forgetting that the man in charge is too or does that only apply for the people with criminal cases?

Anonymous said...

What about now 5 yrs later? He has a Facebook fan page ( that I'm certain will sky rocket now from 154 likes to ???) He writes, publishes and sales books of poetry & Rap songs. He draws, paints and sells original paintings for $300 or more! He has anyone send money to his direct jail account. He is now saying he was wrongly convicted and race was the reason it wasn't life. He has a gorgeous girlfriend and is allowed congical visits. He has access to the Internet, cable TV, free medical, vision & dental, free prescriptions, free gym, the $$ he gets from his $$ making ventures all tax free!!! While people like me are struggling and I can't even buy decent groceries, fruit and vegetables, or but gas in my 15yr old car or give my babies new shoes or toys. He gets it all, furnished by us the tax payer for the rest of his life! 94% of all death row inmates die of old age than get lethal injections. He is saying he wants off death row because of the chemicals they us

Anonymous said...

Y'all Need To Go Away You Dumb Fucks! You Forget Everyone Has Bad In Them && Your Not Any Damn Better! Bitch Get The Fuck Outta Here!

Anonymous said...

Had he not commited these serious crimes, you wouldnt say hes "white and black"... if he was a star athlete, you would be proud and sayHES BLACK!... but you naw want to recognize his white side...he aint white. Blacks are far more inclined to violent crime than white people...how many white bloods,crips,or other gangsters you hear of ? Drive bys? Never...armed robberies? Hardley ever...gang violence over a street or hood?...nope. he aint white.

Anonymous said...

And how many black people do you hear of running into a movie theater or a fucking school and slaughtering innocent children! Your argument is just ridiculous dumbass!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

How many white gangsters do you hear of ? KKK, Aryan Nation, American Nazis, Hells Angels, Mongols, ...

Anonymous said...

So glad to see this piece of shit get the death penalty! It's just a shame they couldnt do it with a hammer!

Anonymous said...

No internet, no cable, no regular tv, no gym & definately no free medical or dental for death row inmates.. Come on, dont make up stuff that you can easily disprove with a quick google search.

angie lopez said...

Seriously ... White ppl are the biggest gangsters going . Taking land of the indigenous population and taking shaves across to build their country get a grip

Mark Manning said...

If it was my people this maggot killed.And I couldn't get to him.I'd go eliminate his relatives he was addressing from behind bars.Then I'd send him a letter or visit the worm and let him know how they suffered.All the while laughing and reliving their screams for mercy.And never let up.Send him pictures with their heads chopped off.

Ed Glover said...

Well said. Because he sends love to his family. So he does have remorse. Just young and dumb

Georgia Franke said...

He's not a savage. Talk to him. Write him, I did. How would you like to be defined by your wprst mistake? I'm white for those of you who see in color. For the record, I don't.
Georgia from Ga.

Georgia Franke said...

He's not a savage. Talk to him. Write him, I did. How would you like to be defined by your wprst mistake? I'm white for those of you who see in color. For the record, I don't.
Georgia from Ga.

Anonymous said...

I bet you are sending him money on his books too huh!? He is evil and coneiving and cares about nobody but himself. He's playing you sweetie....do you really de-value yourself that much that you have to seek "pen pals" or whatever you call it who have comitted savage MURDERS!? WAKE UP YOU DUMB BITCH!!!

Lakarrame Lister said...

No he is all black

Lakarrame Lister said...

You should just kill yourself

Lakarrame Lister said...

You should just kill yourself

kenny said...

GOD God God. Southerners toss that word around as if GOD sits in their back pocket. GOD simply does not exist. If he/she/hermaphrodite did exist it surly wouldn't give to fucks about anything going on on planet earth.

Unknown said...

It's not even about race though in America it's just about the poverty line if whites were born remotely close to poor as blacks are and Blacks were rich then the crime would come from majority of the white race

Anonymous said...

"Had he not commited these serious crimes, you wouldnt say hes "white and black"... if he was a star athlete, you would be proud and sayHES BLACK!... but you naw want to recognize his white side...he aint white. Blacks are far more inclined to violent crime than white people...how many white bloods,crips,or other gangsters you hear of ? Drive bys? Never...armed robberies? Hardley ever...gang violence over a street or hood?...nope. he aint white."
You are naive and a fool. As a mixed woman black and white... Let me tell you I know more white 'gangsters' than black. If he's mixed he's not fully described as black. Wtf does race have to do with this ANYWAY?!??! I hate stupid uneducated people. All of you black, white, Mexican, Indian, native American, Russian, Belgian, Swedish, African, Chinese, Japanese... Etc... Idiotic dumb asses equally. Idgaf what race you are... This kid yeah fucked up and he knew it. But you're fools if you think he never showed remorse. Imbeciles.

Unknown said...

Very well said .. Its not about what color he is. Its about a kid doing the unthinkable.. Wake up people. Everyone lost this fight.. Noone is the victor.. Satan is laughing. And laughing at some of you as well. Speak from wisdom and intellectual stand point. Not from personal views that rebudles own self indifferences steming from past misfortunate run ins with opposite race.. Common sense is free.. But stupidity has a price. Save up and buy redundance or live free and save knowledge.. God gives us all the power... Amen

shaun wigfall said...

Respectfully swigg30@gmail.com


Wigfall, shaun. Arizona

I'm Lost said...

It doesn't matter what race he is every race has killers in it. So your comments and points are useless.

Anonymous said...

Stop making the shit about race you DUMB FUCK. Who gives a FUCK if it was broadcasted widely across America. Stop being a bitch because you aren't discriminated against and haven't started a movement. Ignorant asshole. Making this article just to express your jealousy that white people, who have privileges unimaginable and are on the media 24 fucking 7 may I add, aren't broadcasted widely for this one fucking incident. You don't feed the killer. Why make him famous he dint give a fuck. Obviously. You're an asshole.

Anonymous said...

This funny All SERIAL KILLERS ARE WHITE if y'all are Talking race not one serial killer is black ... When people are put in positions too have too survive it does matter what color you are your human instict is too do whatever too survive. When you listen too the story he basically & Some many words saying he was down bad next thing too do was rob rich white people ( Not Saying it Was Right & That's What He Post Too Do ) But that's Jus How The Cookie Crumble..

Rip Too The Victims Family Cause No body Deserve That ...

Rip James Cause No body Knows What Anybody Goes Thru .. Yea He Say He Ain't Care At first But The World We Living In TODAY Showing Love & Feeling Make You Weak ( He 23 & 19 When He Committed The Crime ) I Feel He Should've Said There & Thought About His Crime In A One Man Cell Cause Truth Be Told That Was The Easy Way Out

Anonymous said...

To all the people defending this monster, you are delusional uneducated people. This man killed two innocent people and you're comments are woven to defend this piece of dog shit? You saw the interview. You saw the cold hearted thug attitude. You don't believe that is the real him? It doesn't matter at all because it will not change the fact that he MURDERED two innocent people for no fucking reason. Now try and wrap your small brains around that fact. Fucking racists and losers.

Unknown said...

He's black because that's the living when he killed them.... not the white side..... how many whites was he hanging out with everyday? He's black.. just as if a white guy was hanging out with blacks everyday, he'd have black culture and a black guy with a white guy would have a white culture style.. and probably not have killed them

Anonymous said...

Its some racist Fucks on here.."white culture" get the fuck outa here..killers are from every race..

Anonymous said...

Negroes should either play sports or work in fields. SIMPLE

Anonymous said...

You're right but it's difficult to play sports with chains on your hands and feet.

Anonymous said...

As a white person you have to love that ROLL TIDE !!!!