Murder, Montgomery Alabama, FBI discussed on Jim Bohannon
Welcome back to Jim, Bohannon show with our guest David veto a research fellow at the independent 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 burgers that are thought to have been racially motivated and the Justice. Department in the last ten, years it's efforts that led to five successful prosecutions glue that of Edgar Ray killing involved in the murders of the three civil rights workers in 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 protesters debt 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 is 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 are, accurate things that presumably can be done in the Emmys case and 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. Could be prosecuted 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 wanted them before he died but they're all gone now and you. Know the people that covered up are pretty much all gone but there are many read more recent cases you know in. The sixties for example where a lot of people still are around So this evidence continuing and again the the pickings as, you might expect so much slim but nonetheless have been some cases which, in fact, there've 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 audibly determined that the statute of limitations let them, with Emily 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 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. Any retrial would be double jeopardy If there's no federal Charge that that is, still around since obviously then statutes of limitations apply to the the civil rights laws that we discussed a second ago while I five. This of academic interest I'm not quite sure where 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 a case you could, bring, high I unless we get a confession from her or something like that I think that that extremely unlikely, but I suppose there'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 of Justice delayed beyond the point of of reasonably, getting anything done and well 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 that you, know where you do have some you know 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 well turns out they really did so 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 that go back this far in, any any part of the country that that. Try to look at at circumstances that were improperly handled at the time or is this strictly as, far as, you know a federal effort I don't know of any? State investigations going on certainly there are cases going, back even further But you have to look at examples like 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 go back that far The the circumstances of. Course of the the? Till case I suppose we're. We're instrumental given that it was nineteen fifty five and of course 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 there two are. Linked together Dr TRM, Howard we talked about last time was a. Prominent civil rights bigger in 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 NWC. Basically said I want you to go around the, country, he was getting crowds in 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. Seven 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 grow up her 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 bad 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. Movement around Rosa Parks action and king was, chosen to head, that we're, gonna 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 Your place to talk you have freedom of speech My concern is Sacremento Chechen talk, six, fifty higher, like say open. Ideas Sacramento's talk station Looking for a, Bank that.