A racist ringleader who orchestrated one of the worst hate crimes in US history has been executed in Texas.

According to the Sun, white supremacist John William King received a lethal injection 21 years after he chained hitch-hiker James Byrd Jr. to the back of a truck and dragged him for three miles in 1998.

The motive for the murder – the colour of James Byrd Jr.’s skin

King, 44, was found guilty of the brutal killing and sentenced to the death penalty after he masterminded the attack with two accomplices who drove with him along secluded roads just outside of Jasper, Texas.

The Sun reported that King refused to look at the victim’s family as the lethal injection was administered but instead opted to close his eyes.

When he was asked whether he had a final statement to make, King responded by simply saying: “No.”

He did however submit a nine-word statement before his death which read: “Capital Punishment: Them without the capital get the punishment.”

The murderer was pronounced dead at 7.08pm – 12 minutes after the dose was injected into his body.

Byrd Jr.’s sister, Clara Taylor, who watched King die, said he ‘showed no remorse then and showed no remorse tonight’.

She added: “The execution for his crime was just punishment. I felt nothing, no sense of relief, no sense of happy this is over with.”

Speaking to the MailOnline, she explained that King’s death was ‘peaceful and dignified unlike the savage, brutal, inhumane murder of James’.

Earlier this month, another of Mr Byrd Jr.’s sisters, Louvon Byrd Harris, told Sky News that the execution would send a ‘message to the world that when you do something horrible like that, that you have to pay the high penalty’.

Criminal Justice Department spokesman Jeremy Desel said: “Apart from him saying the word ‘No,’ it was like he was asleep.”

According to Mr Desel, King was with visitors until as late as 11:28am on 24 April but no members of his family were present to witness the execution.

King, who had racist tattoos on his body including one of a black man being hanged from a tree, is the second person to be executed for the murder. The first was Lawrence Russell Brewer, who was executed in 2011.

The remaining convict, Shawn Allen Berry, is currently serving a life sentence and is not due for parole until 2034.