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Killer Executed for Notorious 1998 Hate Crime

One of three men convicted for the murder in 1998 of James Byrd Jr, one of modern America’s worst hate crimes, has been executed in Texas.

Byrd, a black man, was beaten, chained to a truck and dragged for miles by three white men.

His murder prompted Congress to pass hate crime legislation in 2009.

John William King, 44, an avowed white supremacist, is the second man to be executed over the killing. He had filed multiple appeals in the case.

On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole voted unanimously to deny King a commutation or a 120-day reprieve.

Last October, the US Supreme Court declined to take up his appeal.

King was pronounced dead on Wednesday at 19:08 local time (23:08 GMT) at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville.

Prosecutors depicted King, a self-professed racist with a criminal record, as the ringleader of the group of men who attacked Byrd.

Lawrence Russell Brewer, the other white supremacist who took part in Byrd’s killing, was executed in 2011, although King had been sentenced earlier.

The third man, Shawn Allen Berry, was spared the death sentence and is serving a life term as he did not share the white supremacist beliefs of Brewer and King.

He will be up for parole in 2038, US media report.

 

credit bbc

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