John William King Executed For Notorious Hate Crime

Clay Curtis
April 25, 2019

Byrd has influenced several laws to strengthen penalties for hate crimes that were passed in Texas and signed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2001 (George W. Bush, when he was governor, had declined to support the measure, saying all crimes are hate crimes, according to the AP) and at the federal level, in a bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009.

John William King was executed in Texas for his role in a brutal hate-crime murder.

The scheduled execution of an avowed racist who orchestrated one of the most gruesome hate crimes in US history was executed on April 24, in Texas for the dragging death of a black man.

If executed, King would be the fourth inmate put to death this year in the USA and the third in Texas, the nation's busiest capital punishment state. He was pronounced dead at 7:08 p.m. CDT, 12 minutes after the drug began. Asked by Warden Bill Lewis if he had a final statement, King replied: "No".

Jeremy Desel of the Texas Department of Corrections tells Fox 26 that King "did not open his eyes at any point during the process, took one deep breath, one exhale, and that was the extent of it".

Instead, he provided a weird written one that said: "Capital Punishment: Them without the capital get the punishment".

He was the second person sent to the death chamber over the killing.

One of his three cohorts, Lawrence Brewer, was put to death for his involvement in 2011.

A third man, Shawn Berry, was sentenced to life in prison.

John William King, who was white, received a lethal injection for the slaying almost 21 years ago of James Byrd Jr., who was chained to the back of a truck and dragged for almost 3 miles (5 kilometers) along a secluded road in the piney woods outside Jasper, Texas.

King was one of three white men convicted of carrying out the 1998 murder of James Byrd Jr., one of the most gruesome racist killings in recent U.S. history.

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The three men assaulted Byrd, then chained him by his ankles to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him for several miles until he was dismembered.

James Byrd Jr (left) was dragged 3 miles to his death before his body was dumped in front of an African-American church.

The rest of Byrd's body was found about a mile and a half away, court records showed. Brewer said nothing to Byrd's family before he was put to death. Prosecutors from the Jasper County District Attorney's Office showed evidence of King's "violent hatred" of black people, according to court documents.

The blood matched Byrd's, and the tyres on Berry's truck matched tracks at the scene.

The cigarette butts contained King's DNA, and police learned King's nickname was Possum.

King and Brewer got "an easy way out" compared to "all the suffering" that Byrd faced, Harris said.

Berry will be up for parole in 2038 according to United States media report.

Prosecutors depicted him as the ringleader of the group of men who attacked Byrd.

"I think, quite frankly, people in Jasper are exhausted of talking about it".

Mr Byrd's other sister, Mylinda Washington said: "I think, quite frankly, people in Jasper are exhausted of talking about it".

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