The U.S. Justice Department may again reopen its investigation into the 1955 killing of Emmett Till.
The revelation came a week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed his support for pursuing and prosecuting killers who went unpunished in the civil rights era. “He said no one gets a pass,” said Till’s cousin, Deborah Watts, who along with activist Alvin Sykes met with Sessions.
Till’s killers were never convicted. The African-American teenager from Chicago, who was visiting family in Mississippi, was killed three days after he reportedly wolf-whistled at a white woman.
Justice officials are exploring the possibility of reopening the Till case because Carolyn Bryant Donham has admitted she lied when she testified that he touched her — a lie she repeated to the FBI a decade ago.
Donham admitted her lie to Timothy B. Tyson, author of the new book, The Blood of Emmett Till.
“Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Donham was quoted as saying.
“The Department is currently assessing whether the newly revealed statement could warrant additional investigation,” acting Assistant Attorney General T.E. Wheeler II wrote U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., in a letter.
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SOURCE: USA Today; The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, Jerry Mitchell