On July 8, 1998, the daughter of James Byrd Jr., Frances Renee Mullins asked everyone to pray for the men accused of murdering her father. She went to Capitol Hill to appear before a senate hearing that conviened to examine strengthening laws against hate crimes.
This would be the first step in creating such a law. That law would later take on the name of her father in the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act.