Jasper, Texas is a 2003 American made-for-television drama film directed by Jeffrey W. Byrd. The teleplay by Jonathan Estrin is based on a true story and focuses on the aftermath of a crime in which three white men from the small town of Jasper, Texas, killed African American James Byrd Jr. by dragging him behind their pickup truck.
In Jasper, Texas, in June 1998, three self-proclaimed white supremacists chain James Byrd Jr., to the back of their pickup truck and drag him to his death over three miles of country road. When the town is forced to deal with an onslaught of media coverage that thrusts it into the collective conscience of the entire country and the arrival of contentious members of the Ku Klux Klan, and the Black Panthers, the once peaceful relationship between its white and black citizens is subjected to tension. Trying to maintain peace in the community as the trial of the three perpetrators commences are black mayor R.C. Horn and white sheriff Billy Rowles, neither of whom is prepared to handle all the negative publicity. Justice is served when two of the men are condemned to death and the third is sentenced to life in prison.