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Texas Executes White Supremacist Behind 1998 Lynching of James Byrd Jr.

HeadlineApr 25, 2019

Back in the United States, Texas has executed one of three white supremacists convicted of killing an African-American man more than two decades ago, in a modern-day lynching that shocked the conscience of the nation and led to state and federal hate crime laws. In June of 1998, 49-year-old Jasper resident James Byrd Jr. was chained to a pickup truck and dragged to his death. James Byrd Jr. was black. The three men who murdered him were white. One of the men, John William King, was killed Wednesday evening by a prison official in Huntsville who injected him with a single lethal dose of the sedative pentobarbital. King was an avowed racist, covered in tattoos depicting Nazi imagery, a lynching and the words “Aryan Pride.” He was the second man to be executed for James Byrd Jr.’s murder. A third man serving a life sentence for the murder is due for a parole hearing in 2034.

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