Possible Bases of Jurisdiction for the Department of Justice to Investigate Matters Relating to the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.


The Department of Justice may conduct an investigation relating to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., to investigate the commission of federal crimes for which the applicable statute of limitations has run, in order to establish the facts of the crime, independent of whether such facts may lead to a prosecution.

The Department also has authority, under 28 U.S.C. § 533(3), to investigate the role of the Department or the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the original investigation of the King assassination. Such an investigation under § 533(3) could include a re-investigation of the facts surrounding the assassination itself in order to assess the conduct of the Bureau’s original investigation and determine the accuracy and completeness of its findings.

Updated July 9, 2014