For Release: February 26, 1999
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106 or Project21@nationalcenter.org
Members of the African-American leadership network Project 21 applaud the quick and decisive action of the Texas jury that convicted and sentenced white supremacist John William King for the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, Texas. The successful prosecution of Mr. King and the definitive response from an almost all-white jury proves that the American criminal justice system can provide swift and certain retribution for hate-motivated crimes without the need for "hate crimes" laws.
Mr. King was one of three men who beat up the disabled Mr. Byrd on June 7, 1998 and then dragged him behind a pick-up truck until he died. Mr. King is the first one of the three to stand trial for the murder. Jury foreman Joe Collins, the sole black on the jury, told the press, "[King] did what he did to make his statement. And we did what we had to do to make our statement."
"It didn't take a lot of guts for Mr. King and his two accomplices to kidnap and murder a disabled man. Thankfully, it didn't take a lot for the jury to find Mr. King guilty of capital murder," said Project 21 member Council Nedd, the director of government affairs for Citizens Against Government Waste. "Although Mr. Byrd was clearly targeted because of the color of his skin, no special laws were needed in order for the jury to see this was a horrible crime and to administer justice appropriately."
Project 21 has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106 or Project firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org.
Project 21 has been a leading voice of the African-American community
since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398
x106 or Project21@nationalcenter.org,
or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.