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Email The widow of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The jury of six blacks and six whites deliberated only about three hours before returning the verdict in a civil lawsuit brought by the King family, reports CBS News Correspondent Jennifer Jones.
They had sued Lloyd Jowers, a year-old retired Memphis businessman who claimed six years ago that he paid someone other than James Earl Ray to kill King.
What they wanted was a verdict that would lend support to their call for a new investigation of the killing.
Now we can move on with our lives, have a sense of closure and healing. He said King was targeted because of his opposition to the Vietnam War and plans for a huge march on Washington. He told the jurors they could rewrite history with a conspiracy verdict.
Ray confessed to the murder in but recanted and spent the rest of his life trying to get a trial. He died from liver disease last year. Ray's guilty plea was upheld eight times by state and federal courts.
House committee concluded in that Ray was the killer but he may have had help before or after the assassination. The comittee did not find any government involvement in the murder.
That's not what the jury found or heard. They heard strong evidence that James was an unknowing patsy. On the day of the murder, Ray, a prison escapee from Missouri, rented a room under an assumed name in a rooming house above Jim's Grill.
He did not identify the purported killer, but said it wasn't Ray. Jowers, who has never repeated the claim, was sick for much of the trial and did not testify. Lewis Garrison, Jowers' lawyer, told jurors they could reasonably conclude King was the victim of a conspiracy but said his client's role was minor at best.
He said it was hard to believe that "the owner of a greasy spoon and an escaped convict" could have pulled off King's assassination. Pepper said King was killed because of his opposition to the war and his planned "poor people's march" on Washington.
Those activities angered big-money defense contractors and threatened a redistribution of wealth in America, he said. King planned to assemble thousands of protesters at a tent city in Washington and those in power "were afraid that mob would overrun the capital," Pepper said.
The order to kill King, Pepper said, came from the head of organized crime in New Orleans to a Memphis produce dealer who got Jowers to handle the payoff and murder weapon. An Army sniper squad was in place to shoot King if the Mafia hit failed, Pepper said. John Campbell, a prosecutor with the Shelby County district attorney general's office who has investigated the assassination but was not involved in the Jowers trial, said the conspiracy claims have no merit.
Attorney General Janet Reno ordered a limited investigation by the Justice Department into two allegations of a conspiracy in the King murder.Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, – April 4, ) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from until his death in Palast at King’s Atlanta Church on assignment for Al Jazeera.
It was a Republican, Martin Luther King Sr., who made John Kennedy president of the United States — for JFK’s saving Daddy King’s son, Martin Jr., from lynching.
3 And that is something that I mus.t say to my pBople who ~tand o.n the worn threshold whieh leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place.
Homework assignments. SES # ASSIGNMENTS; 1: View the following videos of past Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Celebration speakers.
Johnnetta B. Cole, Keynote Speaker of the MLK Breakfast "Yes We Must: Achieve Diversity through Leadership." February 5, MIT Video.
Accessed June 3, The widow of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. says she feels vindicated by a jury's finding in December that her husband was the victim of a conspiracy, not a lone assassin, and says it is the.
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