Jasper Lynching Trial

February 19, 1999

Today is the third day of the murder trial of white supremacist John William King, accused of dragging an African-American man to death behind a pickup truck. Yesterday, a former fellow inmate of King’s testified that King had vowed in prison that he would kidnap and kill a black man when he got free in order to attract attention to a white supremacist group that he was trying to form.

Prosecutors introduced a logging chain yesterday as evidence against King, and said it was attached to the bumper of a pickup truck and wrapped around the ankles of James Byrd, who was dragged for over three miles to his death. The prosecution also introduced into evidence the numerous tattoos covering King’s body, which include racist slogans and the image of a crystal ball showing a black man hanging from a tree.


  • Jeremy Scahill, of the Pacifica Network News, speaking from the courtroom in Jasper, Texas.