Something We Cannot Accept

After the sentencing, a black bystander outside the courthouse in Jasper, Texas, told a reporter, "I am not in favor of the death penalty. But in this case, I will make an exception."

There are any number of Americans who would make an exception for John William King, the feral white man who chained a black man, James Byrd Jr., to a pickup truck last year and dragged him along a rough country road that skinned him alive and dismembered him. To object to putting King to death for the deed requires a saintliness I do not possess. In one sense,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!