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The U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) may be reopening an investigation to the murder of Emmett Till in 1955.
Fourteen-year-old Till was abducted and murdered for allegedly whistling to now-82-year-old Carolyn Bryant Donham. An all-white jury acquitted Till’s murderers from criminal charges. A half century later, Donham admitted her accusations were a lie in a book The Blood of Emmett Till, written by Timothy Tyson.
In a letter to U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Acting Assistant Attorney General T.E. Wheeler II wrote that “The Department is currently assessing whether the newly revealed statement could warrant additional investigation.”
Wheeler did warn against heightened expectations, however: “[W]e caution, however, that even with our best efforts, investigations into historic cases are exceptionally difficult, and there may be insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers to bringing federal charges against any remaining living persons,” he added.
This announcement comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions showed his support for prosecuting Till’s killers.
This would not be the first time the case is reinvestigated. In 2004, Donham yet again repeated her statement to the FBI after the case was reopened. She declared Till had touched her.
H/T the Root
Nidia Cavazos is a multimedia journalist with an emphasis on political reporting. She's contributed to Univision, KXAN, and USA Today College, and she was named one of six NBC Fellows by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2017.