Texas: A Life For A Life

As America watches, a Texas town searches for racial healing after a grisly murder trial

If the barbaric dragging death of James Byrd Jr. were a movie--and at times it seemed like pure John Grisham--this was the scene that would have been certain to make it into the trailers. As a scowling John William King, 24, was led out of the Jasper County courthouse in shackles by Texas Rangers last week, reporters asked him if he had any message for the grieving Byrd family. It was a moment when, just briefly, repentance appeared possible. "Yeah," King sneered. He then invited the Byrds to perform a lewd sexual act.

There's a reason King's story feels like a...

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