Murder, Montgomery, Justice Department discussed on

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Welcome back to Jim Bohannon show with our guest David Beethoven research fellow at. The, dependent institute and a professor of history at the university of Alabama. Tuscaloosa Abby co author of TRM Howard doctor entrepreneur and civil rights pioneer we're talking about a reopening of, the Emmett. Till murder case. Yes, of, the, sixty three, years, ago Now Clearly as you note witnesses potential defendants in the like in many, cases dead this is A test of the Justice department charge of investigating long ago murders that are thought to have been, racially, motivated and The Justice department, in the last ten years it's efforts led to five successful prosecutions glued that. Of Edgar Ray, Killen involved in me murders of the three civil, rights workers in the Mississippi, who died in prison this past year that of course, was the subject of the movie Mississippi burning starring Gene Hackman, which some of you may have seen over the years So the last. Successful prosecution came eight years ago when a former Alabama, state trooper was convicted of manslaughter for the killing of one Jimmy Lee Jackson a protesters, death led to the Selma to Montgomery March again to the extent that that. That the law, still applies that's fine and good in the case, of murder I don't suppose, that there is ever a statute of limitations is there Now I'm not a lawyer but no I don't I don't believe there then again there's also the the other. Notion that there are federal civil rights laws involved here that in. Fact it would be quite possible to be tried twice in one of these cases once for the state law of committing murder and once for, the, federal law involving the violation of someone's civil rights and. I, believe the courts have held that such trials are for. Two different crimes and. Therefore do not constitute double. Jeopardy that's as I recall my my memory of the reading. Of this So in other words it's, not an academic exercise our actor things that presumably can be done in the in these cases there would potentially be a lot of cases out there of course we're talking like you said about. A sixty three year old case and in that particular case I only know one person that potentially could be all the. Law enforcement people are gone and again there was a cover up You know there were. There were employees black, employees of milem and Brian. Who were involved in the crime they were pretty much compelled to participate, my wife and I interviewed one before he died but. They're all, gone now, and you know the people are covered up are pretty. Much all gone but there, are many sort of read more recent cases you know in the sixties for example where. A lot, of people still are around So the evidence continuing and again the the picking, as you might expect are somewhat slim but nonetheless have, been some, cases Mitch in, fact there, have been a successful reopening the Justice department Had this new inquiry first reported by the Associated Press last. Began a significant rule of the review of the till case forty years ago prosecutors ultimately, determined that the statute of limitations, let. Them with, any charges they could pursue in a federal court Be FBI conducted an inquiry which included an, exclamation of the immortals body from an Illinois cemetery for about two years to settle whether there were any state crimes that could still. Be prosecuted I I'm. Not sure other than than murder I'm not sure what crimes we could be talking about here and it was interesting. That prosecutors determined that the statute of limitations had left without any charges they could pursue in a federal court If I'm not mistaken anybody involved, in this had already been tried for murder in a state court and acquitted and of course in the retrial would be double jeopardy If there's no federal Charge that that is, still around since obviously the statute of limitations apply to the the civil rights laws that that we discussed second ago while I find, this of academic interest I'm not quite sure why the FBI is looking. Into this at all Well you do have Caroline like I said Brian Dunham and she was never, tried that would be case you could bring I I unless we get a confession, from her or something like that I think that that extremely unlikely but I suppose it's a possibility and it's probably the main reason, they reopened this investigation I would I would guess in that particular case Again this. Is a case of Justice delayed beyond the point of of of reasonably getting anything done and, while I suppose, it makes us all feel. Better that something is being investigated. I must say frankly given the circumstances we've discussed tonight I'm not. Sure that I find this to, be a, particularly efficient use of limited federal resources your thoughts I tend to agree with you I, think, there, are a lot of cases. That are. You know where you do have some you know. You you do have some potential I just don't see. It here I think it may. Be, was a spur of, the moment decision, maybe somebody, read Timothy Tyson sports which. Again now questions have been called about. What he, but he found in that book and said oh okay we. Have a confession here let's go, after this case Lau turns out they really did I think somebody maybe didn't think to think this, through I understand why they're doing it I just think. That that's the target is not, the best, target at this late day are there any state investigations that go back this far in, any, any, part of the country that. That tried. To look at at circumstances that were improperly handled. At the time or is this strictly as far as. You know a a federal effort I don't know of? Any state investigations going on certainly there are cases, going back even further You know but you you have to look at examples like you know holocaust. Guy now that's, being ninety five, year old that's being sent back to Germany. To be tried so you know. It does happen but I can't think of any. State investigations go to go back that far The the circumstances of course of the? Till. Case I suppose we're we're instrumental given that it was nineteen fifty five and of, course I I don't recall if this was before or after the Montgomery Alabama bus boycott which really vaulted Dr Martin Luther King junior to national prominence. Do you recall the two are linked, together Dr TRM Howard we talked about last. Time was a prominent civil rights figuring Mississippi, anyway he went, on a, national speaking tour only three days after the jury's acquittal he predicted that it was going to be. An acquittal in ROY Wilkins. The n. w. c. p. who said I want, you, to go, around the, country he was getting crowds and cities, like Baltimore, Madison Square Garden you know ten twenty thousand people bigger crowds than anyone really had gotten in recent. Memory for a civil rights 'cause, it was building up a lot of pressure. Was attacking the FBI well anyway A lesser known part of it tour was. In November twenty, seventh nineteen fifty five in Montgomery. Alabama and his, host was Martin Luther King then unknown nationally Rosa. Parks was in, the, audience and three days later Rosa Parks refused to per seat, she made quite, clear that the reason she refused to give up her seat. Was she was thinking of Emmett till well? Howard. Speech only three days before that had been the focus dad had been the first, event Montgomerie to really focus on that issue so they the issues you know. The till case I think you can find a pretty clear link to. The Montgomery bus boycott and of course, then the decision was to organize a move. Around Rosa Parks action and king was chosen, to head that, we're going, to come back and talk more about that with our guest David beta again he's the author of. TRM Howard will reintroduce you. To him as well and be back in a, moment Laura Ingram idea of, apologizing apologize say something incorrect on the other side is trying to racial is something they should issue the apology I. Would demand. That, Andrew gillum and all these people should apologize Laura Ingram until two on news and information five.

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