What Evidence Is There To Suggest That The Conspiracy Theorists Might Be Right About The Death Of Martin Luther King

3634 words - 15 pages

What evidence is there to suggest that the conspiracy theorists might be right about the death of Martin Luther King, Jr?James Earl Ray died in a Nashville Hospital in 1998. He was the principal suspect in the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis Tennessee, on 4 Apr, 1968. Ray had been an out-of-work drifter and was an escaped felon at the time of the shooting; he was captured in London two months after the assassination, and extradited back to the United States. Pleading guilty to the charge of murder, he avoided the death penalty, but he was sentenced to 99 years in prison. It was and still is hard for society to accept that the sociopathic losers in life - a four time loser like Ray or a 24 year old sociopath like Lee Harvey Oswald could bring down the great charismatic figures of our time such as Dr King and John F. Kennedy. Instead it is easier to believe in a conspiracy, believing that men like King and Kennedy were killed because for some reason they jeopardized the very pillars of democracy and as such some dark, nefarious cabal in government had to get together to stop them in the middle of their careers, this at least gave meaning to their untimely deaths. There is a natural tendency in society to want to buy into any conspiracy theory even when there is little or no evidence to support it. This essay will concentrate on the main conspiracy theories surrounding King's death and will endeavor to establish whether or not the evidence suggested by such theorists could possibly be right, regarding the 'most unresolved murder in modern American history'.If Ray was innocent then why did he plead guilty and effectively waiver any rights he had to a trial? Ray had numerous lawyers throughout the thirty years of his sentence, but it is with his initial council that the answer to this question may lie. Ray's first lawyer Arthur Hanes Snr seemed a good choice, a former FBI Agent, and a 'right wing segregationist' who viewed the Civil Rights Movement as a Communist conspiracy. However, Hanes made a deal with the Author, William Bradford Huie, and only agreed to defend Ray if he agreed to tell his complete story for publication after the trial. Hanes told Huie that he 'was not going to chase around the world and defend that boy unless there was money to pay the bill'. His second lawyer Percy Foreman was of a similar mindset because he also accepted the rights to any books published about Ray in exchange for his legal fees, telling Huie to 'write us a good book and make us a good movie to make us some money'. On 13 Feb Foreman visited Ray and raised the possibility that he plead guilty, because in '[his] opinion there [was] little more than 99 per cent chance of [Ray] receiving a death penalty verdict if [his] case went to trial, and there was a 100 per cent chance of a guilty verdict' Foreman alarmed Ray because he convinced him that he was already deemed guilty in the eyes of public opinion and he would be convicted and sent to...

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