CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush says the Justice Department should re-open the case of the Emmett Till lynching now that a key witness has been quoted as saying she lied about what the black teen said and did before he was murdered in Mississippi.
A new book by author and historian Timothy B. Tyson says Carolyn Donham told him a decade ago she wasn’t telling the truth with her claims of sexual advances by the 14-year-old Chicago boy.
In August 1955, Till was kidnapped, tortured, shot, mutilated. Donham’s first husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, were acquitted of the murder, but both later claimed responsibility.
The Justice Department in 2007 determined the Till case did not warrant federal prosecution due to the statute of limitations on any potential federal crimes.
Rush said Tuesday the department’s decision should be reevaluated.