James Byrd Jr. (May 2, 1949 – June 7, 1998) was an African American man who was murdered by three white supremacists in Jasper, Texas, on June 7, 1998. Shawn Berry, Lawrence Brewer and John King dragged Byrd for three miles behind a pickup truck along an asphalt road. Byrd, who remained conscious for much of his ordeal, was killed about halfway through the dragging when his body hit the edge of a culvert, severing his right arm and head. The murderers drove on for another 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) before dumping Byrd's torso in front of a black church and cemetery in Jasper.Brewer and King were the first white men to be sentenced to death for killing a black person in the history of modern Texas. Byrd's lynching-by-dragging gave impetus to passage of a Texan hate crimes law, which later led to passage by Congress of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, commonly known as the Matthew Shepard Act, in 2009. Brewer was executed by lethal injection for his involvement in this crime by the State of Texas on September 21, 2011. King was executed by lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas, on April 24, 2019. Berry was sentenced to life imprisonment and will be eligible for parole in 2038.