Prosecutors were outraged Friday that prison crowding has made James Earl Ray eligible for early parole, but Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassin promised to go "10,000 miles from the United States" if he is freed.

When Ray was convicted in 1969 and sentenced to a 99-year term, prosecutors believed he would not become eligible for parole until the year 2016. But federal court orders and laws to ease prison crowding in Tennessee shaved years off Ray's parole eligibility date, said Debbie Miller, executive director of the Parole Board."With the prison overcrowding situation, we are in a circumstance where people are being considered for early release," she said. "That is happening across the board, which includes James Earl Ray."