Thirty years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, his family wants President Clinton to establish a national commission to investigate the assassination. And James Earl Ray says he doesn't care what people think of him.
King's widow, Coretta Scott King, on Thursday called for a panel similar to South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission that would provide immunity for anyone with information about the crime."I believe that such a commission could make a major contribution to interracial healing and reconciliation in America," she said.
King's family has been pushing for a trial for Ray, who is serving a 99-year prison term in Tennessee for the slaying 30 years ago Saturday. They say they are not convinced he acted alone, as several investigations have concluded, or committed the crime at all.
This morning, King told NBC's "Today" show she believes the president will act quickly on her request.
"There has been no closure on this matter. We want to know the truth," she said.
Prosecutors have fought their efforts, saying no evidence exists to suggest that anyone other than Ray was involved.
"I can live with the verdict of 12 people who have heard all the evidence," King's younger son, Dexter, said at a news conference. "The state of Tennessee is trying not to get the truth."
Ray, 70 and seriously ill from liver disease, confessed shortly after the April 4, 1968, assassination, but immediately recanted and has said he is not guilty ever since. He has sought a trial.
In a recently taped interview broadcast on "Today," Ray reiterated that he did not kill King and said he was happy about the King family's efforts to get to the truth.
He also said he did not care what people thought of him.
"I don't care. I have no interest in how I'm remembered," he said.
Former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, who was with King the night of the murder, said a restaurant owner's claim that he has firsthand knowledge of a plot merits serious investigation.
The man, Loyd Jowers, has said meetings to discuss the assassination were held at his restaurant, Jim's Grill, in the days before King was killed.