Racist Killer Faces Execution Tonight, Decades After Dragging James Byrd Jr. to His Death in Jasper

Two decades have passed since James Byrd Jr. was killed near the East Texas city of Jasper in one of the state's most horrific hate crimes. Three white men beat Byrd, who was black, after offering him a ride in June 1998. They chained him to the back of a truck and dragged him for nearly 3 miles before dumping his body. Officials have said Byrd was likely alive for two of the miles. On Wednesday evening, one of the men convicted in Byrd's slaying — 44-year-old John William King — is slated to be executed. Another man, Lawrence Russell Brewer, was put to death in 2011. The third, Shawn Allen Berry, was sentenced to life in prison.Following are details about the crime and the impact Byrd's murder has had on Texas law and the city stereotyped by it.   Continue reading...

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