According to Ebony, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has met with Emmett Till’s cousin Deborah Watts to discuss encouraging the D.O.J. to reopen old civil rights cases. According to Watts, Sessions said “no one gets a pass.”
Officials are exploring the possibility of reopening the Till case because of Carolyn Bryant Donham telling author Timothy B. Tyson about her lie in his book, The Blood of Emmett Till. She testified in the trial of her then-husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam that Till grabbed her and made lewd comments in the brief time they were alone together in the store where she worked. In the book she said that was a fabrication. She also claimed at the time that Till had whistled at her, which may be because Till had a lisp when he spoke.
But in the book, she stated flatly: “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” according to the Clarion-Ledger.
Three days after Donham and Till had come across each other, the teen was found floating in the Tallahatchie River, beaten and tortured beyond recognition.
In its Sept. 15, 1955 issue, JET Magazine published the gruesome photos of Till’s body, which became a catalyst for the Civil Rights movement.
The two men were acquitted in their trial, which took place a month after Till’s killing. Bryant died in 1994. Milam died in 1981. Donham and Bryant had divorced in 1975. In a 1956 interview with Look magazine, they admitted abducting and torturing Till to death. Although they had died without being convicted, a 2004 investigation into the case was opened because of the possibility that others may have also participated in Till’s murder.
SOURCE: Ebony – Madison J. Gray