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Interview with Rev. Bernice King

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Rev. Bernice King serves as assistant pastor of Greater Rising Star Baptist Church in Atlanta and has authored Hard Questions, Heart Answers. Discusses MLK’s influenced her thoughts on social issues. Ms King discusses her reasons for opposition to death penalty: The death penalty doesn’t create closure for families of murder victims. American society embraces violence and refuses to deal with such issues inherent in criminal activity as mental illness, poverty, and violent social influences. Inequities of justice system: innocent executed. Suggests focus on positive influences to change outlook and mitigate anger, and redirect minds of criminals. On debate over James Earl Ray’s role in MLK assassination, says she doesn’t focus on father’s murder, but on larger issues justice, which may entitle Ray to retrial. On New Hampshire’s failure to recognize MLK Day, says she convinced members of New Hampshire political scene by focusing them on MLK’s representation of American ideals of liberty, justice and freedom. On President Clinton inaugural, Ms King wants to hear a message of hope similar to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

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