UPDATE: John William King has been executed by injection at Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville. King had no final words before being executed, with Clara Byrd Taylor, James Byrd Jr.’s sister, saying King “showed no remorse, not Wednesday, not ever,” according to CNN.
Read the original story below.
The killer was one of three men involved in the attack.
John William King, one of the three men who orchestrated an attack against a black man in Texas back in 1998, is set to be executed this week.
In a report from ABC13, King is slated to be put to death on Wednesday for his involvement in the death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas. The incident occurred in 1998 when King and two other white men proceeded to beat up Byrd after offering him a ride.
“They then chained the 49-year-old to the back of a truck and dragged his body for nearly 3 miles along a secluded road in the piney woods outside Jasper. Byrd was alive for at least two miles before his body was ripped to pieces,” ABC13 reported, adding that prosecutors believed he was targeted because he was black.
The 44-year-old King is the second of thre three men involved in the attack to be put to death, with the first being Lawrence Russell Brewer, who was executed in 2011. Shawn Allen Berry, the third participant, was sentenced to life in prison.
As Fortune noted, Byrd’s death is remembered in the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that Barack Obama signed into law back in 2009.
“As of last summer, the U.S. Justice Department has used the Shepard/Byrd law to indict 88 defendants in 42 hate crimes cases, with 64 convictions to date,” Fortune reported.