The man convicted in one of the country's most brutal hate crimes is dead after being executed today in Texas. John King was the second person put to death for the killing of James Byrd Jr. in 1998. Prosecutors say King was the ringleader of a group that chained Byrd to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him for miles. The murder of the 49-year-old African American shocked the nation and sparked protests. The Supreme Court denied a last-minute request for a stay of execution for the 44-year-old avowed racist. King was pronounced dead by lethal injection at the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville shortly after 7 p.m.
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