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i? ? i i
Photo by The Associated Press
Clara Taylor, left, and Mary Verrett, sisters of dragging death victim
James Byrd Jr., react after John William King received a guilty ver
dict in his capital murder trial Tuesday in Jasper, Texas. King and two
other men were accused of the 1998 killing.
om page A J - .
In his closing, defense attorney Brack Jones concentrated on the
He acknowledged a "terrible, terrible brutal horrendous death."
"No question. The question is: Was Mr. Byrd kidnapped?"
Jones said he believed the tying of Byrd's feet and the dragging
was the method of death and not intentional kidnapping.
"We say the tattoo evidence doesn't prove kidnapping," he said,
referring to King's numerous racist tattoos.
"Mr. King's writings do not prove kidnapping," he said, referring
to numerous letters King wrote about forming a new racist organiza
tion in Jasper.
Said King's other attorney, Haden "Sonny" Cribbs: "I don't deny
he made some racial slurs. Not that I agree with that. But that is his
right. You have a right to be a racist. Right or wrong, you still have
that right. You have a right to even be a satanist. but that is our right."
A pathologist Monday testified Byrd was dragged alive and in
excruciating pain along the bumpy county road. When the pickup
swerved into a left-hand curve. Byrd's chained body swung to the
right, where he was beheaded by a concrete culvert.
An ex-convict with dreams of starting his own racist group. King
had been waiting for an opportunity to make a name for himself and
his fledgling white supremacy group, the Texas Rebel Soldiers, prose
cutors said. . ,
While in prison, King told one inmate he wanted to "take a black
out" to prove himself as a white supremacist. He covered himself in
racist tattoos, his defense attorneys contended, to prevent attacks
from the mostly black population at Beto.
The unemployed laborer's fondness for writing severely jeopar
dized his case. Before his letters surfaced, investigators had only a cig
arette lighter and his DNA on cigarette butts to tie him to the crime
scene. V . .
But King revealed more information. In letters to co-defendant
Lawrence Russell Brewer, he revealed ,that blood-stained clothing,
missed by police, was still in his apartment. DNA tests showed the
blood was Byrd's.
In a November letter to The Dallas Morning News, King admit
ted he had been riding in the truck with Brewer and the other co
defendant. Shawn Berry, on June 7 when they offered a ride to Byrd.
Until that letter, there were no witnesses to place King in the truck
at the same time as Byrd. King insisted hd had been taken home
before Byrd was killed. But a letter to Brewer indicated otherwise.
n ? ?* ~i
Photo by The Associated Press
Dittritt Judge Joe Bob Golden, left, read* the verdict in the capital
murder trial of John William King Tuesday in Jasper, Texas. King was
found guilty for the dragging death of James Byrd Jr.
I Code sought to aid black broadcasters
FCC chair asks
advertisers not to
By JEANNINE AVERSA
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - The
advertising and broadcasting
industries should come up with
a voluntary code designed to
make sure that advertisers don't
discriminate against radio sta
tions owned by or geared to
minorities, government officials
Commission Chairman Bill
Kennard said the code would be
based on a set of principles that
include using accurate informa
tion about consumer purchas
ing practices, promoting fair
competition and expanding
opportunities for all Americans.
"These principles are few in
number but draw on the many
values which we cherish as a
nation," Kennard said in a
speech prepared for a confer
ence of the American Advertis
ing Federation in New York.
Kennard's proposal was
endorsed by Vice President A1
Gore, who said in remarks
being delivered by satellite:
"Diversity of voices and views
is a pillar of our democracy.
That is why we must ensure that
our airwaves provide opportu
nities for all Americans."
The challenge responds to a
report issued by the FCC last
month that advertisers often
bypass or pay less money to
minority-owned radio stations
or stations targeting black or
Hispanic listeners. Clinton
administration and commission
officials said it is intended to be
a "starting point" for advertis
ers and broadcasters to consid
The report, written by the
Civil Rights Forum on Commu
nications Policy, a Washington
based advocacy group, recom
mended that industry adopt a
code of conduct that requires
decisions about buying ads to
be based on market research.
Advertisers and broadcast
ers have been open to, but non
committal about, developing
such a code. The American
Advertising Federation, howev
er, is assembling a panel to
examine the feasibility of a
In his prepared remarks,
Gore called on advertisers and
advertising agencies "to make
demonstrating that they under
stand the value of diversity and
the economic logic of serving
Gore also planned to
announce the creation of an
interagency working group that
will examine advertising prac
tice and their impact on minor
ity broadcasters' and minority
advertising agencies' ability to
compete and thrive.
The FCC, the Federal Trade
Commission, the Justice and
Commerce departments and the
Small Business Administration
will be part of the working
The group is likely to con
duct additional research - as
Kennard has called for - on
why advertisers are bypassing
minority radio stations, offi
Anecdotal data in the FCC's
report suggested that, in some
ad-buying process was guid
ed by ethnic and racial stereo
typing. But the report didn't pin
down the reasons why some
minority stations were being
passed up by advertisers.
Many factors, however,
could be responsible, including
audience demographics, ratings
or whether the radio station is
owned by a company operating
many stations, the report
In his speech, Kennard took
note of the wider economic
effects of depriving minority
oriented stations of ad rev
"To succeed on the Main
Streets of tomorrow, Madison
Avenue must recognize the real
ity of minority consumers and
the power of minority-format
ted stations in reaching them,"
he said. But he said listeners
also suffer when they "fiijd
themselves bypassed by some; of
our biggest companies, on the
outside looking in to our
?I- \ ,
April Blair, of WSMX - ana of tha city'* fwo black-ownod station* - spin* gotpal hit*. Black radio station*
faca an uphill battio, say* station ownor Joa Watson. "Is it going to bo hard", ho said. Yos. But what
_ *? - ? .-,^. . UMIln I
Winston-Salem Charter Academy plans to open for the 1999 school
year, offering Kindergarten through fifth grades.
Winston-Salem Charter Academy makes good sense for anyone interested
in quality education.
? Children learn the fundamentals in a stimulating atmosphere.
? Parents know their youngsters are in a safe environment where academic
excellence and the development of moral values are emphasized.
? Teachers are dedicated and respected for their skills and have the support
of parents and administration.
? On standardized tests measuring academic growth, students of a
National Heritage Academy scored 40% above the national average.
Please plan to attend a parent information meeting on Wednesday,
March 3 at the Lawrence Joel Veteran Memorial Coliseum, Administrative
Building in the Assembly Room at 7p.m. We will explain our unique educa
tional program with its emphasis on both academic excellence and moral
character development. Call (800) 699-9235
to register for the meeting. UfLtiOIlflJ
Winston-Salem Charter Academy... H6Tit8^6 AMABEL \ 1
your tuition-free choice. Academies
4601 Si* Forks Road, Suite 500 V
Raleigh, NC 27609