A son of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. says the state would be cruel to deny a medical furlough to James Earl Ray for his final days.

"Here's a man who's close to death," Dexter King said of his father's imprisoned assassin. "The humanitarian aspect is not being considered."Ray, 70, who suffers from a serious liver disease and was briefly in a coma last week, was in fair condition Friday at a hospital.

His lead lawyer, William Pepper, has been talking to prosecutors about a possible furlough after 30 years in prison.