A white suprematist who orchestrated one of America's most notorious hate crimes did not speak the least words and shut down on Wednesday before his execution in Texas  44-year-old John William King was killed by a lethal injection from outside because of his role in the murder of 49-year-old James Byrd Jr., who was chained to a truck and killed along a secluded road Jasper, about 130 km northeast of Houston, in the early morning of June 7, 1998. Investigators said Byrd was alive for at least two miles before his body was torn to pieces.
The crime centered on Jasper, who was struck by a racist stigma he wanted to shake off, and local authorities said it was undeserved. The case also became a problem in the 2000 presidential election, with groups like the NAACP criticizing then-Texas Governor George W. Bush for his opposition to hate crime laws.
King was the fourth detainee to be executed in the US this year and the third in Texas.
He was the second man to be executed for Byrd's assassination. Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed in 2011. The third participant, Shawn Allen Berry, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The prosecution said that Byrd was targeted because he was black. King was openly racist and had insulting tattoos on his body, including one from a black man with a noose around his neck, hanging from a tree, according to investigators.
The King's appeal lawyers had tried to stop his execution, arguing that the king's constitutional rights were being violated because his trial lawyers failed to set out his innocent claims and confessed his guilt.
The US Supreme Court rejected this from King's appeal at the last minute.
"Ever since the indictment, Mr. King upheld his absolute innocence, claiming that he had left his defendants and Mr. Byrd sometime before his death and was not present The scene of his murder." Mr. King repeatedly expressed to the defense lawyer, he wants to bring his request for innocence to justice. "A. Richard Ellis, one of King's lawyers, wrote to the Supreme Court in his petition.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles also rejected the King's request for either a conversion of the sentence or a 120-day deferment.
Over the years, King, who grew up in Jasper and was known as "Bill," made the brutal suggestion that killing was not a hate crime, b A drug deal involving his co-defendants was bad.
A branded stockman of the man who said the bunker under his house
in an interview with The Associated Press, he was of the opinion of a "self-confessed racist", but no "hate killer".
Louvon Byrd Harris, one of Byrd's sisters, said Kings' execution had sent a "message to the world that if you do such a terrible thing, you." have to pay the high penalty.
Compared to "all the suffering" that her brother suffered before his death, Harris said that King and Brewer had "an easy way out."
Billy Rowles, who led the investigation into Byrd When he was sheriff in Jasper County, died when King was put on death row in 1999. He offered to describe the crime as soon as his co-defendants were convicted. When Rowles returned, King just said, "I was not there."
"He played us like a violin, made us go there and think we would get the rest of the story." said Rowles, the sheriff of Newton County.
A week before Brewer's execution in 2011, Rowles said he was visiting Brewer, who affirmed, "The whole thing was Bill King's idea."
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Mylinda Byrd Washington, another of Byrd's sisters, said she and her family would work through the Byrd Foundation for Racial Healing to hate fight everywhere.
"I hope people do not remember hate crime statistics, it was a real person, a family man, a father, a brother and a son," she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.