Arrested for the murder, Roy Bryant (center) – the husband of Carolyn Bryant (right) – and J.W. Milam (left), her half-brother, had been acquitted by an all-white jury.
A US jury has decided not to indict a woman accused of complicity in the 1955 lynching of a black teenager who became a symbol of the civil rights struggle, a Mississippi prosecutor announced on Tuesday .
The grand jury has ruled that there is insufficient evidence to charge 88-year-old Carolyn Bryant in the case of the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till there. is nearly 67 years old, Dewayne Richardson, prosecutor for Leflore County, Mississippi, said in a statement.
Witnesses with direct knowledge of the case and investigators were heard for more than seven hours, he said.
Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black teenager from Chicago, was abducted, tortured and killed in 1955 in the segregated southern state of Mississippi while visiting family.
Carolyn Bryant, a then 21-year-old white woman, claimed that he had whistled at her and tried to grope her. As a result of his accusations, the teenager had been abducted. His body was found 72 hours later in a river.
Emmett Till's mother had demanded that his casket remain open at his funeral, so that the world would realize the abuse he had endured. The photos of the mutilated body had gone down in history.
Arrested for the murder, Roy Bryant – the husband of Carolyn Bryant – and J.W. Milam, her half-brother, had been acquitted by an all-white jury. Protected by this verdict, the two white men then told a magazine how they had killed the teenager. They are now deceased.
A team investigating the murder of Emmett Till found an arrest warrant in the basement of Leflore County Court in June for Carolyn Bryant. The warrant had never been executed and its discovery reignited the prosecution.
Before that, in 2004, the Department of Justice reopened the investigation , but had been unable to sue due to statute of limitations.
The author of a book devoted to the case assured in 2017 that Carolyn Bryant had confessed to him that he had never been attacked by the boy.
The Department of Justice had reopened the case, but its investigators had failed to determine whether she had invented her attack or not and the investigation was closed again in December 2021.
In March, US President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Act, making lynching a federal crime and providing for a penalty of up to x27;to 30 years imprisonment.