The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Breaking News
  • Issue 12 Out Now! Good Luck with Exams and Safe Travels!

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

MLK assassination anniversary lecture

MLK+assassination+anniversary+lecture

By: Emily Washburn, senior writer

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot in the neck outside of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. Martin Luther King Jr. was and still is today one of the most renowned and celebrated Civil Rights activists. He was well known for his passionate speeches, as well as his tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience, which achieved significant advancements for African American civil rights. Unsurprisingly, MLK’s assassination surprised and angered many people, leading to a period of national mourning.

However, MLK’s assassination and the resulting conviction of James Earl Ray is still controversial today. On June 8, 1968, police detained James Earl Ray, who was suspected to be the assassin. In March of 1969, Ray waived his right to a trial by jury, since it could subject him to the death penalty. He instead plead guilty. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison, which was later extended to 100 after he tried to escape prison in 1977.

Conspiracy theories still surround the assassination and resulting conviction of James Earl Ray. Though the U.S. government conducted several investigations concerning the trial, there are still many questions left to be answered. Ray himself stated that he was not the only one responsible for the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., insisting another man from Canada organized the assassination and actually committed the crime. Another conspiracy theory was that the government was responsible for the assassination. Even toward the end of his life, Ray found support from King’s wife and son.

Story continues below advertisement

On March 22, 2018, retired professor of sociology, Dr. Gerald Ginocchio, is presenting a talk that will discuss an event that almost no one in the media or even those writing books on the subject are aware of or ignore—an evidentiary hearing of James Earl Ray in 1974 in a federal court in Memphis.

In this case, Ray’s lawyers effectively proved that the state had no case against him. Dr. Ginocchio’s talk will be based off of his communications with one of Ray’s lawyers for the case, the researcher who served as an investigator for the case and the 1400+ page transcript of the actual hearing. To hear more about this controversial subject, come to the lecture, which will be held at 11 a.m., in the MacMillan Theatre in the Campus Life Building.

Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal