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James Byrd Jr: Killer executed for notorious 1998 hate crime

One of three men convicted in the 1998 murder of James Byrd Jr, one of modern America's worst hate crimes, has been executed in Texas.

Byrd, a black man, was beaten, chained to a truck and dragged for miles by an avowed white supremacist and two other white men.

His murder prompted Congress to pass hate crime legislation in 2009.

John William King, 44, is the second man to be executed over the slaying. He had filed multiple appeals in the case.

On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole voted unanimously to deny King a commutation or a 120-day reprieve.

Last October, the US Supreme Court declined to take up his appeal.

King was pronounced dead on Wednesday at 19:08 local time (23:08 GMT) at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville.

A self-professed racist with a criminal record, King was the first white man to receive a death sentence for killing a black man in modern Texas history, .

Prosecutors depicted him as the ringleader of the group of men who attacked Byrd.

Lawrence Russell Brewer, the other white supremacist who took part in Byrd's killing, , but King had been sentenced earlier.

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