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Lawmakers back federal program to investigate Jim Crow-era lynchings

Source: Chicago Tribune / Getty

More than 63 years after his brutal killing and mutilation at the hands of two white men, Emmett Till may finally get justice. The Department of Justice announced that they will be re-opening Till’s murder case after “new evidence” surfaced. That evidence? Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman who accused Till of whistling at her in 1955 says that the incident never happened.

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In a book released last January, Donham, now 82, spoke to Duke University professor Timothy B. Tyson and told him that Emmett Till never grabbed her nor was he menacing and sexually crude to her.

RELATED: President Obama Signs ‘Emmett Till Bill’ To Reopen Civil Rights Cold Cases

The killing, and subsequent acquittal of Bryant’s husband Roy and his half brother J.W. Milam who admitted to the slaying in Look Magazine is believed to have been one of the sparks of the civil rights movement. Till’s mother famously held an open casket funeral so that people could see what was done to her son and the photos were published in JET Magazine.

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According to the New York Times, The Justice Department began an investigation into the Emmett Till lynching in 2004, Emmett’s body was exhumed for an autopsy, and the FBI rediscovered the long-missing trial transcript. In 2007, a grand jury decided not to indict Ms. Donham, or anyone else, as an accomplice in the murder.

RELATED: Emmett Till Accuser Lied About Claims That Led To Lynching: Report

DOJ To Re-Open Emmett Till Murder Case 63 Years After His Death  was originally published on