Martin Luther King III Wiki – Bio
Martin Luther King III, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott is King’s eldest son.
In 1957, my father, Father Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was asked if God approves of the death penalty for certain crimes. He said, “I don’t think God approves of the death penalty for any crime.” He explained that “the death penalty is against the better judgment of modern criminology and above all to the highest expression of love in God’s nature.”
My father acknowledged the “seriousness and inequality” of the death penalty. He spoke out against the disproportionate execution of young Black men, who were usually slightly older than children at the time of their crime and whose punishment was certainly affected by their skin color.
Years later, President Trump and the Justice Department ignored all the principles of humanity, morality and justice that my father preached in an unprecedented rain of executions. After a 17-year hiatus, the Trump administration has carried out 11 shocking executions in the past seven months and has planned two more for the last days of Trump’s tenure. It is worth noting that this bloodbath exceeded the executions of all states united in 2020.
In order for no one to confuse these executions with the pursuit of justice, we must remember that among those executed was a Black convicted by an all-White jury, two black teenagers who were barely adult at the time of their crimes, and an alleged Black with mental disability. And this is not to mention the prisoners whose allegations of government abuse, incapability of execution, and other serious problems were thrown aside in the government’s rush to kill them. The administration carried out executions following the violent opposition of the victims’ family members and jurors and, in one case, the appeal of the Navajo Nation based on tribal sovereignty. He also executed severely mentally ill Lisa Montgomery, who was convicted of the drowning of a pregnant woman, despite Montgomery’s life-long history of inexplicable torture and trauma.
To limit the killing spree, the Trump administration had planned two more executions: On Thursday, he would execute Cory Johnson, another black convicted of multiple gang-related murders that should have prevented the execution of the intellectual disability. And on Friday, he was going to execute another black teenager, Dustin Higgs, who was convicted of being involved in the murder of three women, but he did not kill anyone personally. This week, a US district judge suspended the execution for both men as they contracted the coronavirus. On Thursday, a federal appeals court annulled the suspension of execution for both cases, so only the Supreme Court can intervene to stop executions from taking place.
Friday would be my father’s 92nd birthday. Nothing could tarnish his legacy more deeply than the progress of these executions.
In the past year, we lost a lot of Black lives due to police violence and an epidemic mismanaged by this administration. The federal government shouldn’t have taken more Black lives unnecessarily, and it would be a shame to do this on my father’s birthday.
The racial inequalities that permeate the federal death penalty system today would discourage my father, but he would not be surprised. The government may have tried to hide this inequality by selecting White men for the first few executions, but the facts are inevitable. More than 50 percent of the 51 people sentenced to the federal death row today are black men, 22 of whom are black. Some of these Black men were convicted entirely by White juries. In fact, in some instances, the federal government’s decision to prosecute a case rather than leave it to state officials had the effect of “bleaching” the jury pool – recruiting jurors from a major federal jurisdiction rather than more racially different cities, which crime occurred.
Last week we saw how far Trump would go by downplaying the rule of law. Here and now, the Ministry of Justice should stop using the power of the state to execute people. Perhaps now our leaders, my father, “returning hate increases the hate, adds deeper darkness to an already starless night.” Darkness cannot throw the darkness out; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that Hate amplifies hatred, violence increases violence, and hardness increases hardness in a descending spiral of destruction.