William Pepper’s 2003 book, An Act of State, The Execution of Martin Luther King, published by Verso, gave a detailed report of the trial. The book was systematically ignored. Pepper said in February 2003 that he had been personally turned down by reviewers for major media. They did not want to put their jobs and reputation on the line.
Jowers, 73, attended only the first three days of the trial. He was excused by the judge because of illness. He said through his attorney, Lewis Garrison, that he would plead the Fifth Amendment if subpoenaed. However, in 1993 Jowers against Garrison’s advice and prompted by Pepper’s investigation appeared on Prime Time Live with Sam Donaldson and said he had been asked to help in the murder of King and had been told there would be a decoy in the plot. He was also told that the police “wouldn’t be there that night.”
In that interview, the transcript of which was read to the jury in the Memphis courtroom, Jowers said the man who asked him to help in the murder was a Mafia-connected produce dealer named Frank Liberto. Liberto, now deceased, had a courier deliver $100,000 for Jowers to hold at his restaurant, Jim’s Grill, the back door of which opened onto the dense bushes across from the Lorraine Motel. Jowers said he was visited the day before the murder by a man named Raul, who brought a rifle in a box.