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Texas executes man for racist killing

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 4/25/19, 11:36 am

The state of Texas executed John William King, 44, on Wednesday for orchestrating one of the most gruesome racially motivated crimes in U.S. history. King, who was white and a self-avowed racist, was convicted of the 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr., an African American man, in Jasper, Texas. The killing attracted national attention to the East Texas town, which was branded with a racist stigma it has struggled to shake off ever since.

One of King’s co-conspirators, Lawrence Russell Brewer, was executed in 2011. A third participant in the crime, Shawn Allen Berry, was sentenced to life in prison. King was the fourth death row inmate executed this year in the United States and the third in Texas.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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