A white supremacist convicted of killing James Byrd Jr. in 1998 by dragging the 49-year-old black man behind a truck in some of the infamous U.S. hate crimes of recent instances was executed in Texas on Wednesday.
John William “Invoice” King, 44, was put to demise by deadly injection and pronounced lifeless at 7:08 p.m. (0008 GMT Thursday) on the state’s demise chamber in Huntsville, the Texas Division of Prison Justice mentioned in a press release.
The division mentioned King wrote a final assertion that learn: “Capital Punishment: Them with out the capital get the punishment.”
King, together with Shawn Berry and Lawrence Brewer, was accused of kidnapping Byrd whereas he hitchhiked in Jasper, Texas, on June 7, 1998.
Prosecutors mentioned the boys dragged him behind their 1982 Ford pickup truck for three miles (5 km) earlier than dumping his physique in entrance of an African-American church. A “KKK” engraved lighter was among the many proof police discovered on the scene, courtroom paperwork confirmed.
Brewer, additionally a white supremacist, was executed in 2011. Berry was sentenced to life in jail for the crime.
King all the time maintained his innocence, saying that he left the 2 different males earlier than Byrd was killed.
The grotesque killing spurred the passing of the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, strengthening punishments for hate crimes in Texas. The homicide, together with that of Matthew Shepard, a homosexual College of Wyoming scholar who was overwhelmed and left to die tied to a fence, was additionally the genesis of the federal hate crimes prevention act handed in 2009.
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Byrd’s sister Carla Taylor learn from a household assertion after she, one other of his sisters and his niece witnessed the execution.
King’s “execution tonight was simply punishment for his actions,” she mentioned, noting that Byrd had three kids and 4 grandchildren. “James’ legacy continues to be of peace and nonviolence.”
King was discovered responsible of capital homicide and sentenced to demise in 1999. He was a member of a white supremacist gang and spoke of beginning a race struggle whereas in jail for a earlier crime. He additionally talked about initiating new members by having them kidnap and homicide black folks, courtroom paperwork confirmed.
King was the third inmate in Texas and the fourth in the USA to be executed in 2019, based on the Dying Penalty Data Middle.
BREAKING: The state of Texas has executed white supremacist John William King. https://t.co/oCZp4YNJ2N
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) April 25, 2019
Texas executed John William King. About time.https://t.co/Bw8OMnzdAK
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) April 25, 2019
The Supreme Court docket rejected an enchantment from a white man set to be executed for killing James Byrd Jr. in 1998.
John William King and two others tied Byrd, a Black man, to the again of a truck and dragged him for three miles, killing him.
He’s set to be executed by deadly injection. pic.twitter.com/Ul1uFeby23
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 25, 2019
WORDS FROM DEATH ROW: In hours, John William King will likely be executed for the grotesque demise of James Bryd Jr. The self-proclaimed racist has solely given one TV interview. What he advised @abcnews concerning the dragging demise on @abc13houston at 4:00 p.m. https://t.co/o35xnaL4PB pic.twitter.com/OXe8DzB66E
— Nick Natario (@NickABC13) April 24, 2019
John William King is within the Partitions Unit in Huntsville awaiting execution shortly after 6 pm. Jail officers describe as stoic. He has not requested a non secular adviser nor did he need any witnesses on his behalf. 2 of James Byrd Jr’s sisters and a niece will witness. pic.twitter.com/b5MyhTjF9V
— Angel San Juan (@AngelSanJuan313) April 24, 2019
Reuters contributed to this report.
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