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 TUC Radio 
 updated archival program
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 Maria Gilardin  
In Part ONE: Bill Pepper became James Earl Ray’s lawyer when he found out that Ray was not the murderer. His friendship with King and his family goes back to 1967. Pepper had gone to Vietnam and taken photos of children burned by napalm. King asked to meet with him and they worked closely together during the anti-Vietnam war phase of King’s life.

After the failure of all his efforts to get James Earl Ray a new trial, William Pepper recommended one more option to the King family. In this Part TWO Pepper explains why he recommended a wrongful death suit against Loyd Jowers and other known and unknown conspirators. For the first time under oath in any assignation case there is the complete picture of how Martin Luther King was killed. It took the jury 59 minutes to come back with a verdict against Loyd Jowers and an award for the family.

There is a summary of the outcome - as well as 4,000 pages of transcripts posted on the King Center web site. Here is what Coretta Scott King said about the case: "After four weeks of testimony and over 70 witnesses in a civil trial in Memphis, Tennessee, twelve jurors reached a unanimous verdict on December 8, 1999 after about an hour of deliberations that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. In a press statement held the following day in Atlanta, Mrs. Coretta Scott King welcomed the verdict, saying , “There is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. And the civil court's unanimous verdict has validated our belief. I wholeheartedly applaud the verdict of the jury and I feel that justice has been well served in their deliberations. This verdict is not only a great victory for my family, but also a great victory for America. It is a great victory for truth itself. ... 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 also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame. I want to make it clear that my family has no interest in retribution. Instead, our sole concern has been that the full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law… My husband once said, "The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice." To-day, almost 32 years after my husband and the father of my four children was assassinated, I feel that the jury's verdict clearly affirms this principle. With this faith, we can begin the 21st century and the new millennium with a new spirit of hope and healing.”

http://www.thekingcenter.org/assassination-conspiracy-trial

William Pepper is an acclaimed lawyer who practices international law in London. His book by Verso is: AN ACT OF STATE, The Execution of Martin Luther King. For more information: http://www.williampepper.com/books.html

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00:29:30 English 2002-12-31
 San Francsico, CA
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