‘Time to face your demons. Come on out’
Carolyn Bryant Donham is the subject of an arrest warrant from several decades ago that was recently found.
Emmett was abducted a week later. He was tortured and shot to death before his body was was dropped in the Tallahatchie River.
His swollen and disfigured remains were removed from the river after three days. The unnerving images of his body at his open-casket funeral revealed the cruelty of racial violence in the US to the country and the international community.
Ms Donham’s husband and her half-brother were arrested in connection with the lynching of Emmett at the time, but at trial, they were acquitted.
While they later admitted in public to have committed the crime, they were shielded from being prosecuted by double-jeopardy rules, which prohibits someone from being prosecuted twice for the same crime.
Verlede maand, 67 years after Emmett’s murder, an arrest warrant for Ms Donham was found in the basement of a courthouse in Mississippi. Emmett’s family wants the authorities to act on the warrant.
Emmett’s cousin Priscilla Sterling said, “you cannot ignore this," Volgens WRAL. “If this is what’s needed to do for us to change our mindset, our behaviours and attitudes in the society, then this will do it. This will do it. Execute the warrant.”
Dozens of activists came to Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday in search of Ms Donham, who now would be in her late eighties. They think she’s living in the area around the state capital.
Demonstrators are reported to have visited two locations in search of Ms Donham, hoping that the local authorities would be willing to extradite her to Mississippi where she would face arrest.
They initially went to an apartment where Ms Donham was believed to be living before heading to the senior living facility.
“Time to face your demons. Come on out,” an activist said, Volgens The Daily Beast.
Shocked at the presence of the activists, a resident said the facility was momentarily locked down and Raleigh police were at the scene only minutes after the demonstrators entered the building.
“I do understand that Ms Bryant is in her mid-to late-eighties, but understandably, this is a crime she committed when she was 22. Sixty years later, it’s time for her to be held accountable,” a protester identified only as Monte, told local outlets.
The Fourth Circuit District Court of Mississippi District Attorney, Dewayne Richardson, hasn’t made a statement on the recently found arrest warrant.
The Department of Justice closed Emmett’s case in December, saying that a prosecution wasn’t possible, but activists maintain that the search for Ms Donham will go on.
“The current investigation uncovered no new evidence to change the Department’s previous analysis from its 2004 investigation that there are no living suspects to hold accountable for Till’s abduction and murder. Even if additional suspects had been identified, there would be insurmountable barriers to a federal prosecution,” DOJ said on 6 Desember 2021. “In 1955, at the time Till was murdered, no federal hate crime laws existed. The only federal civil rights laws that existed in 1955 were Reconstruction-Era statutes that would have required proof that anyone charged for the offense was a law enforcement officer or otherwise acted under color of law.”
“Since the time of Till’s death, Congress has enacted several laws prohibiting bias-motivated violence. But even if any additional living subjects had been identified, they could not be prosecuted for violating these more modern statutes. This is because the Constitution … prohibits the government from prosecuting anyone for violating a law that was not in effect at the time of the alleged misdeed,” the agency said.