No indictment of woman who set off Emmett Till lynching

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ASPartOfMe
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09 Aug 2022, 6:49 pm

Grand jury declines to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham, the White woman whose accusation set off Emmett Till's lynching

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A grand jury in Mississippi has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago, despite revelations about an unserved arrest warrant and an unpublished memoir by the woman, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

After hearing more than seven hours of testimony from investigators and witnesses, a Leflore County grand jury last week determined there was insufficient evidence to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham on charges of kidnapping and manslaughter.

It is now increasingly unlikely that Donham, who is now in her 80s, will ever be prosecuted for her role in the events that led to Till's lynching

A group searching the basement of the Leflore County Courthouse in June discovered the unserved arrest warrant charging Donham, then-husband Roy Bryant and brother-in-law J.W. Milam in Till's abduction in 1955. While the men were arrested and acquitted on murder charges in Till's subsequent slaying, Donham, 21 at the time and 87 now, was never taken into custody.

In an unpublished memoir obtained last month by The Associated Press, Donham said she was unaware of what would happen to the 14-year-old Till, who lived in Chicago and was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he was abducted, killed and tossed in a river. She accused him of making lewd comments and grabbing her while she worked alone at a family store in Money, Mississippi.

Donham said in the manuscript that the men brought Till to her in the middle of the night for identification but that she tried to help the youth by denying it was him. Despite being abducted at gunpoint from a family home by Roy Bryant and Milam, the 14-year-old identified himself to the men, she claimed.

Till's battered, disfigured body was found days later in a river, where it was weighted down with a heavy metal fan. The decision by his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, to open Till's casket for his funeral in Chicago demonstrated the horror of what had happened and added fuel to the civil rights movement.

"No family should ever have to endure this pain for this long," Parker said in his statement to CBS News Tuesday. "Going forward, we must keep the details, and memory, of the brutal murder of Emmett Till, and the courage of Mamie Mobley, alive, so that we can reduce racial violence, improve our system of justice, and treat each other with the dignity and respect with which Mrs. Mobley graced us all."

The U.S. Justice Department last year said it was ending its investigation into Till's killing.


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DW_a_mom
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09 Aug 2022, 8:48 pm

Its nearly impossible to get enough evidence for beyond a reasonable doubt with 70 years gone by.


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funeralxempire
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10 Aug 2022, 12:21 pm

Who needs a conviction? It's a shame that every home she's lived in since hasn't been targeted for arson. It's a shame she hasn't spent her entire life in terror knowing her actions will catch up to her in a very real and physical manner.


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Dox47
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10 Aug 2022, 4:26 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Who needs a conviction? It's a shame that every home she's lived in since hasn't been targeted for arson. It's a shame she hasn't spent her entire life in terror knowing her actions will catch up to her in a very real and physical manner.


"No need for a trial boys, we know who's guilty, somebody fetch the rope, we'll handle this ourselves". If only there were a term for such a mob...


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funeralxempire
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10 Aug 2022, 6:18 pm

Dox47 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
Who needs a conviction? It's a shame that every home she's lived in since hasn't been targeted for arson. It's a shame she hasn't spent her entire life in terror knowing her actions will catch up to her in a very real and physical manner.


"No need for a trial boys, we know who's guilty, somebody fetch the rope, we'll handle this ourselves". If only there were a term for such a mob...


Oh, I'm sorry, are we pretending like she isn't responsible? There's been plenty of the time to investigate if they were so inclined. There's been plenty of time for things to be dealt with in a more legitimate manner.

I'm pretty sure I've been very consistent on this issue throughout my entire time on here so if you're attempting to portray me as a hypocrite you haven't been paying attention. My position is that the state should be bound by the concepts like rule of law but that private citizens won't always be, regardless of whether or not they should be.

Those private citizens are still responsible for whatever consequences result from those actions though. Cops oughta investigate any acts of terror against her, at least as seriously as they investigated her involvement in the boy's murder. :wink:

You must have me mistaken for a pacifist or someone who believes the state's monopoly on use of force is inherently legitimate instead of legitimized on the basis of how it's used. If the associates of a certainly type of terrorist network frequently escape justice it's hard to make the case that the state still has legitimacy when judging those individuals.

If the state lacks legitimacy vendetta is what naturally fills that void. In order to avoid that outcome the state is obliged to maintain legitimacy.


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cyberdad
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10 Aug 2022, 6:38 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
Its nearly impossible to get enough evidence for beyond a reasonable doubt with 70 years gone by.


Or a lack of will....



funeralxempire
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10 Aug 2022, 6:47 pm

cyberdad wrote:
DW_a_mom wrote:
Its nearly impossible to get enough evidence for beyond a reasonable doubt with 70 years gone by.


Or a lack of will....


At this point I'd assume both, although enough lack of will early on can ruin things forever regardless of how attitudes change.


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10 Aug 2022, 7:12 pm

Hateful old bat needs to go down like those old nazis did.


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DW_a_mom
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10 Aug 2022, 7:21 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
DW_a_mom wrote:
Its nearly impossible to get enough evidence for beyond a reasonable doubt with 70 years gone by.


Or a lack of will....


At this point I'd assume both, although enough lack of will early on can ruin things forever regardless of how attitudes change.


I agree with your distinction.

Early on: lack of will.

Decades later: realities of time.

I've been on the jury for a trial that was pushing the statute of limitations. Issues with complete data that must once have existed are real. I stand by my statement that 70 years down the road it would be nearly impossible to successfully prosecute, no matter how much will there was.

We will never know how much knowledge and intent she had. I can see that a lot of people think they know, but innocent until proven guilty is still the law of land.

My prayer is that we are truly beyond the climate in which this horrendous case occurred. My fear is that we are not as far beyond as we'd like to believe we are.


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10 Aug 2022, 7:26 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
DW_a_mom wrote:
Its nearly impossible to get enough evidence for beyond a reasonable doubt with 70 years gone by.


Or a lack of will....


At this point I'd assume both, although enough lack of will early on can ruin things forever regardless of how attitudes change.


Let's not kid ourselves. The US federal and state governments have been glacially slow in responding to hundreds of cases where African Americans were chased out by the Klan from their legal land holdings, many of which amounted to hundreds of acres stolen by greedy opportunistic and jealous whites.

After being chased out at gun point legal titles were illegally passed to new white owners by various local jurisdictions who then destroyed previous land holding records. This actually amounted to thousands chased away from their homes but I am only aware of several hundred who clung onto their legal titles as they escaped.

Statute of limitations is a convenient excuse to not re-open mass criminal activity that happened all over the country



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10 Aug 2022, 7:35 pm

It would have been nice if this woman wasn't a snowflake, and just laughed off the whistle by 14-year-old Emmitt Till.

That's what I've read---that the kid whistled at her.

Doesn't mean the kid should have been brutally murdered.

Emmitt Till is a martyr for the Civil Rights Movement.



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10 Aug 2022, 7:41 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
OMy position is that the state should be bound by the concepts like rule of law but that private citizens won't always be, regardless of whether or not they should be.


You seem to be going well beyond "private citizens won't always be restrained" into advocating extrajudicial violence. That's fine if that's your opinion, but you need to own the whole thing, which includes the very sort of extralegal acts at the heart of the Till case in the first place.


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