Seattle, Washington – In 1999, a Memphis Circuit Court jury determined that the U.S. federal government was involved in the conspiracy to assassinate Martin Luther King, Jr. In remembrance of the great Civil Rights movement leader whose legacy of social change transcends death, consider the facts of the case that proved to a citizen jury beyond a reasonable doubt that trusted public institutions were implicit in the plot to end King’s life and apparent influence over the American people. Following weeks of testimony and a parade of witnesses, the jury returned with a unanimous verdict after only about an hour, according to The King Center. King was killed in 1968; it only took the King family 32 years to have justice served. Following the court decision, the family held a press conference and commented on the need for the truth of this court case to be widely disseminated:
“We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience,” said Coretta Scott King, following the verdict.
The Department of Justice, in their own investigation, found no evidence of conspiracy or collusion; however, the King assassination case has many inconsistencies. In an apparent confession, a guilty plea was entered in 1969 by the official scapegoat, James Earl Ray. Ray was captured and pled guilty after King’s death. Having a suspect in hand may have hindered any deeper investigation into the events of that fateful night, April 4th, 1968. Three days after his alleged confession, Ray recanted his story. James Earl Ray died of hepatitis complications in 1998 after spending thirty years in prison, the whole while maintaining his innocence. Loyd Jowers, who owned a business near the crime scene, inserted himself into the plot in 1993, claiming to be heavily involved in the conspiracy. The family seemed to believe both Ray and Jowers, as they went on to file the 1999 civil case – The King Family vs. Loyd Jowers – naming Jowers as a co-conspirator and insinuating a high-level government conspiracy and media collusion in the death of the beloved leader, preacher, and father. Over seventy witnesses testified and the King family received the verdict they sought.
To make clear that money was not at the core of the civil suit, the family only asked for $100 as restitution. What the King family sought was vindication that the official narrative of Mr. King’s death was not the truth. Mrs. King said in the family press release, “The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the Mafia, local, state, and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband.” The jury decision seems to determine that Ray was set up to take the fall for a crime he did not commit; the family asserts this is proof of conspiracy and justice system failure. Mrs. King called the court decision “a great victory for justice and truth.” The King Center has made the full transcript of the court case available online to help researchers, truth seekers, and media to investigate the details.
“We don’t care what the justice department does. This is another misnomer. We did not do this to force their hand. I doubt seriously that they will indict themselves, for who polices the police? That is up to the American public,” says Dexter King, in a public statement following the decision.
Nearly fifty years after King’s death, it seems unlikely that those responsible will ever be held fully accountable or the truth told. In American tradition, one official account will be told of the tragic killing of a peaceful revolutionary who influenced all of society, while underneath lies an insidious and unclear alternative narrative of government deception. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., let us remember and retell the King family’s version of King’s assassination – the version in which his message of positive and peaceful social change threatened the power elite; so they had him murdered.
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