Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

'New information' prompts US to reopen Emmett Till case

Till a 14-year-old black Chicago boy who was kidnapped tortured and murdered in 1955 after he allegedly whistled at a white woman in Mississippi Justice Dept reopens investigation into Emmett Till’s lynching murder
Charles Bowen | 13 July, 2018, 01:23

Though the Justice Department has reopened its investigation-possibly due to Donham's comments to Tyson-it is not yet known if prosecutors will bring a new case against anyone connected to the murder.

An explosive new book by Timothy B. Tyson called "The Blood of Emmett Till" came out previous year and alleges that Carolyn Donham, the white woman at the center of the case, admitted to lying about the events leading up to the murder. His murderers then strapped a cotton gin fan to his neck with barbed wire so it would weigh him down when they tossed him in the Tallahatchie River.

Thursday, the Associated Press announced that, back in March of this current year, the Justice Department uncovered the reviving to Congress in a report and referred to "new information". The book, by Timothy B. Tyson, quotes a white woman, Carolyn Donham, as acknowledging during a 2008 interview that she wasn't truthful when she testified that Till grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances at a store in 1955. Deliberations took barely an hour, with one juror claiming the acquittal could've come sooner had they not stopped to have a soda. The men later confessed to the crime in a magazine interview but weren't retried.

The U.S. Department of Justice is reopening the 63-year-old Emmett Till case after acquiring "new information" about the case.

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Till's cousin, Deborah Watts, said she was not told the case was reopened until AP contacted her but said it was "wonderful". "Can't you take it?" she recalled his saying. She wanted "all the world" to see what she saw, how her boy had been maimed beyond recognition. Against advice, she demanded that his funeral be open casket. "Just what did he say when he grabbed your hand?" defense attorney Sidney Carlton asked, according to a trial transcript released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation a decade ago.

Not a month after the boy's body was pulled from the river, an all-white jury acquitted Bryant and Milam of Emmett's murder, despite eyewitnesses identifying the defendants and the men confessing to kidnapping the teen.

Moments after pulling away, she said the teenager "caught me at the cash register", grasped her around the waist with both hands and pulled her towards him. But if something's out there, we want to know it, you know? Then, Bryant said, he used obscenities that she would not repeat in the courtroom.

Though a judge ruled Carolyn's testimony inadmissible in court, her husband and Milam were quickly acquitted. "Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him". Doug Jones, D-Alabama, introduced legislation this week that would make the government release information about unsolved civil rights killings.

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