Awaiting Some Measure of Justice
The Justice Department said today that it was reopening the investigation into the death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy whose abduction and killing in Mississippi in 1955 for supposedly whistling at a white woman helped spark the the civil rights movement.Another sad reminder that cruel and heinous acts are, unfortunately, not 'un-American'.
Two men were acquitted by an all-white jury at the time, an action denounced by critics as racist and contradictory to the evidence but all too common at the time. Moreover, for years the Till family and journalists have said that more than two people were likely involved in the killing.
'If indeed others are implicated and they can be identified, they can still be prosecuted,' R. Alexander Acosta, assistant attorney general for civil rights, said at a news conference in Washington today. 'While the five-year federal statute of limitations in effect in 1955 has since expired, prosecution can still be brought in state court.'