[Senate Report 110-88]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

                                                       Calendar No. 211
110th Congress                                                   Report
 1st Session                                                     110-88




                 June 22, 2007.--Ordered to be printed


Mr. Leahy, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 535]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 535), to establish an Unsolved Crimes Section in the 
Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and an 
Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Investigative Office in the Civil 
Rights Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and for 
other purposes, reports favorably thereon, with an amendment in 
the nature of a substitute and recommends that the bill, as 
amended do pass.


  I. Purpose of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.......1
 II. History of the Bill and Committee Consideration.................12
III. Section-by-Section Summary of the Bill..........................14
 IV. Cost Estimate...................................................18
  V. Regulatory Impact Evaluation....................................19
 VI. Conclusion......................................................19
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported...........20

     I. Purpose of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act

                               A. SUMMARY

    As recent cases confirm, unsolved murders pose some of the 
most important and vexing law enforcement challenges facing our 
nation. For far too long, racially motivated violence divided 
communities and intimidated American citizens.
    These violent and discriminatory crimes tear at the fabric 
of our democracy. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal 
protection of the laws. The Federal Government, in particular, 
has traditionally been the guardian of last resort for our 
nation's most vulnerable inhabitants. Yet, African-American 
citizens were not protected for much of our history. Countless 
African Americans and civil rights workers involved in the 
struggle for equality were murdered or randomly killed in 
deliberate acts of racial intimidation.
    The brutal murder of Emmett Till was one of the most 
infamous acts of racial violence in American history, yet his 
killers were never punished. Like Emmett Till, hundreds of 
other Americans of this era suffered a similar fate. According 
to the Southern Poverty Law Center, ``The killers in most of 
the cases have not been prosecuted or convicted, and today, 
there are many cases that still cry out for justice.''\1\
    \1\The Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act: Joint Hearing 
on H.R. 923 Before the H. Subcomm. on the Constitution, Civil Rights, 
and Civil Liberties and the Subcomm. on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland 
Security of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 110th Cong. (2007) 
(statement of J. Richard Cohen, President of the S. Poverty Law Ctr.).
    The Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act (Till bill) 
seeks to address racial injustices before they become permanent 
scars on our democracy. Passage of this legislation will 
provide for a sustained, well-coordinated, and well-funded 
effort to investigate and prosecute racially motivated murders 
that occurred on or before December 31, 1969. This bill 
designates an official within the U.S. Department of Justice 
(DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 
respectively, with the responsibility to coordinate the 
investigation and prosecution of civil rights violations that 
occurred prior to 1970 and that resulted in a death. Congress 
recognizes the urgent need for this measure. Given the advanced 
age of defendants and potential witnesses, only a small window 
of opportunity exists to investigate and prosecute these 
crimes. It will soon be too late to right these wrongs and to 
ensure equal justice in our criminal justice system.
    The bill also includes the Missing Child Cold Case Review 
Act, which was sponsored by Chairman Leahy in the 109th 
Congress. This measure allows inspectors general of federal law 
enforcement agencies to authorize staff to assist the National 
Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) by conducting 
reviews of inactive case files and developing recommendations 
for further investigation. Inspectors general are eager to 
provide this assistance, and NCMEC needs this help. We believe 
this cooperation will bolster efforts to solve these heart-
wrenching cases.

                      B. PURPOSE AND NEED FOR BILL

i. Background

    In the summer of 1955, a fourteen-year-old African-American 
teenager from Chicago named Emmett Till traveled to the 
Mississippi Delta to visit relatives. On the evening of 
Wednesday, August 24, 1955, Emmett Till walked into Bryant's 
Grocery and Meat Market in Money, Mississippi to purchase some 
candy, and allegedly flirted with the white female shopkeeper.
    Four days later, two white men came to the house of Emmett 
Till's relatives in the middle of the night, abducted Emmett 
Till, and informed his grandfather: ``if you cause any trouble 
you'll never live to be sixty-five.''\2\ His corpse was found 
in the Tallahatchie River, with a seventy-pound gin-mill fan 
tied to his neck with barbed wire. Emmett's mother, Mamie 
Bradley, insisted that his body be shipped back to Chicago, 
where it was displayed in an open coffin for four days.
    \2\Steven Kasher, The Civil Rights Movement, A Photographic 
History, 1954-68 22 (1996).
    No one was ever punished. J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant were 
tried for Emmett Till's murder and acquitted by an all-white 
jury after only 67 minutes of deliberation.\3\ They later gave 
a full confession to writer William Bradford Huie for $4,000. 
In a January 1956 Look magazine article, entitled ``The 
Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi,'' the two 
men confessed to killing Emmett Till, and reported that they 
committed the murder because they ``decided it was time a few 
people got put on notice.''\4\
    \3\Natasha Korecki, Family Sees Till Case Closed, The Chicago Sun-
Times, March 30, 2007, at 2. Milam and Bryant admitted to kidnapping 
and beating Emmett Till but claimed they left him alive. Id. In May 
2004, the DOJ announced it was renewing the investigation into the 
murder, but the prosecutor failed to obtain an indictment from a grand 
jury in 2007. Allen G. Breed, Controversy Visits Till Case--Again, The 
Washington Post, March 11, 2007, at A03.
    \4\David Rubel, The Coming Free: The Struggle for African American 
Equality 69 (2005).
    Emmett Till's death left an indelible mark on America. The 
public images of his mutilated body in an open casket, and the 
fact that no convictions occurred, stirred our nation's 
conscience. The racial violence commonplace in the American 
South became known to the world, and generated a widespread 
public outcry across America.
    Emmett Till's murder also inspired the modern civil rights 
movement. Just three months after the Till murder trial, Rosa 
Parks was arrested for protesting segregation laws. In the next 
twenty years, Americans of all races, genders, and ages would 
risk their lives fighting for civil rights.

ii. A legacy of widespread racially motivated violence

    Emmett Till's murder did not stand in isolation. 
Historically, anti-civil rights violence was widespread 
throughout the nation. According to legal historians more than 
100 violent incidents in the South connected to civil rights 
activity occurred between January 1, 1955 and May 1, 1958.\5\ 
The majority of this violence occurred in the form of bombing 
of homes, schools, and churches. In the city of Birmingham, 
Alabama, between 1955 and 1963 local African Americans were 
targets of twenty-one bombings, all of which went unsolved.\6\
    \5\Michael J. Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: the Supreme 
Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality 425 (2004).
    Racial violence led many civil rights activists to pay the 
ultimate price for freedom. For example, on June 12, 1963, 
Medgar Evers, the first NAACP Field Secretary for Mississippi, 
was killed by a white supremacist's bullet outside his home for 
advocating nonviolent means to dismantle racial segregation.\7\ 
On June 21, 1964, three civil rights workers--James Chaney, 
Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman--were murdered by 
Klansmen while they were returning from investigating a church 
bombing in Neshoba County, Mississippi during ``Freedom 
Summer.''\8\ In February 1965, Jimmie Lee Jackson, a young 
black civil rights activist, was shot and killed by a state 
trooper at a voting rights march in Marion, Alabama.\9\ A month 
later in that same year, Viola Gregg Liuzzo, a thirty-nine-
year-old white homemaker and activist from Detroit, was shot to 
death on the Alabama highway during the Selma-to-Montgomery 
march for voting rights.\10\ On January 10, 1966, Vernon 
Dahmer, an African American who offered to collect poll taxes 
for his neighbors so they would not have to go to the 
courthouse in town, died from scorched lungs when Klansmen 
firebombed his house.\11\
    \7\S. Poverty Law Ctr., Free At Last: A History of the Civil Rights 
Movement & Those Who Died in the Struggle 54-55 (2005).
    \8\Id. at 64-65.
    \9\Id. at 70-71.
    \10\Id. at 74-75.
    \11\Id. at 84-85.
    Non-activists were also targets of racial violence aimed at 
intimidating citizens from exercising basics rights of 
citizenship or resisting the social mores of Jim Crow 
segregation. African Americans lost their lives while 
exercising basic rights such as riding a bus across state 
lines. In April 1962, Army Cpl. Roman Ducksworth, Jr., 
exhausted from a 950-mile bus ride from Fort Ritchie, Maryland 
to his hometown of Taylorsville, Mississippi was shot by a 
police officer who mistakenly assumed he was a Freedom 
Rider.\12\ On June 10, 1966, Ben Chester White, a 67-year-old 
caretaker who had never participated in the civil rights 
movement, nor even ever cast a vote, was killed by Klansmen 
seeking to lure Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Natchez, 
Mississippi to assassinate him.\13\ And, as mentioned above, 
Emmett Till was killed for violating the Jim Crow customs which 
prohibited African Americans from touching or flirting with 
white women.
    \12\Id. at 48-49.

iii. The continuing problem of unsolved civil rights crimes

    The exact number of unsolved racially motivated murder 
cases that occurred before the 1970s remains unknown. The 
Southern Poverty Law Center has estimated that 114 race-related 
killings occurred between 1952 and 1968.\14\ Many of these 
killings were never fully investigated, and in some cases, law 
enforcement officials were involved in the killings or 
subsequent cover-ups. In many cases, such as the murder of 
Emmett Till, suspects were brought to trial only to be set free 
by sympathetic white juries.
    \14\Hearing, supra note 1 (statement of J. Richard Cohen) 
(explaining that the Southern Poverty Law Center's research has 
discovered 40 people whose cases fit the criteria they were looking for 
and an additional 74 persons who died violently between 1952 and 1968 
under circumstances suggesting that they were victims of racial 
    The FBI is currently investigating or considering 
investigating 102 killings that occurred before the 1970s.\15\ 
Of these, 94% (96 incidents) are in the Southeast, 4% (4 
incidents) are in the West, and 2% (2 incidents) are in the 
Northeast.\16\ Mississippi comprises the most significant 
percentage of unsolved civil rights cases at 42% (43 
incidents). Of the remaining states with investigations or 
assessments for investigations 17% (17 incidents) are in 
Alabama, 13% (14 incidents) are in Georgia, 7% (7 incidents) 
are in Louisiana, 4% (4 incidents) are in Texas, 12% (3% for 
each state, with each state having 3 incidents each) are in 
North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee, 2% (2 
incidents) are in Arkansas, and 3% (1% for each state, with 
each state having 1 incident) are in Ohio, Kentucky and New 
    \15\E-mail from Nancy Scott Finan, Legis. Aide, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice, Office of Legis. Affairs, to the S. Comm. on the Judiciary 
(June 8, 2007) (compiling statistics) (on file with the S. Comm. on the 
    In recent years, law enforcement officials at the federal, 
state and local level have made sporadic efforts to solve some 
of the crimes that were ignored at the time by law enforcement 
officials. According to press reports, since 1989, 29 pre-1970s 
racially motivated cases have been reopened, leading to 29 
arrests and 23 convictions.\18\ In 1994, Byron De La Beckwith 
was convicted in Mississippi for the 1963 murder of civil 
rights leader Medgar Evers.\19\ In 1998, Sam Bowers was 
convicted for the murder of Vernon Dahmer, NAACP president in 
Hattiesburg, Mississippi.\20\ In 2001, Thomas Blanton was 
convicted for the murder of four black girls in the 1963 church 
bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.\21\ The following year, Bobby 
Frank Cherry was convicted over the same bombing.\22\ In 2003, 
Ernest Avants was sentenced to life in prison by a federal 
district court in Mississippi for the 1966 murder of Ben White, 
an elderly Black farm worker.\23\ In 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was 
convicted of manslaughter in Mississippi State Court and 
received three 20 year sentences for his role in 1964 death of 
three civil rights workers in Mississippi.\24\ On May 9, 2007, 
an Alabama grand jury indicted former state trooper James 
Bonard Fowler on a charge of murder in the shooting death of 
Jimmie Lee Jackson in 1965.\25\ Most recently, on June, 14, 
2007, 71-year-old James Ford Seale was convicted in federal 
court in Mississippi for the 1964 abductions and slayings of 
Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Dees.\26\
    \18\Jerry Mitchell, Trial Set to Begin in Mississippi Civil Rights-
Era Case, USA Today, May 24, 2007, at 9A. On June 14, 2007, James Ford 
Seale was convicted for the murders of Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles 
Eddie Moore, bringing the number of convictions to 23. Jerry Mitchell, 
Guilty on All Counts, The Clarion-Ledger, June 15, 2007, at 1A.
    \19\Beckwith's conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court of 
Mississippi on December 27, 1997. Beckwith v. State, 707 So. 2d 547 
(Miss. 1997), reh'g denied, March 26, 1998, cert. denied, Beckwith v. 
Mississippi, 525 U.S. 880 (1998). A federal district court denied 
Beckwith's petition for writ of habeas corpus in 2000. Beckwith v. 
Anderson, 89 F. Supp.2d. 788 (S.D. Miss. 2000).
    \20\Margaret Russell, Cleansing Moments and Retrospective Justice, 
101 Mich. L. Rev. 1141, 1161 (2003) (``In 1998, again following public 
disclosure of Mississippi Sovereignty Commission evidence, prosecutors 
re-indicted Bowers. A third Mississippi trial court convicted Bowers 
and sentenced him to life imprisonment.'').
    \21\Blanton v. State, 886 So. 2d 850 (Ala. Crim. App. 2003), cert. 
denied, 886 So. 2d 886 (Ala. 2004), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 878 (2004).
    \22\The Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals affirmed Cherry's 
conviction in 2004. Cherry v. State, 933 So. 2d 377 (Ala. Crim. App. 
2004), cert. denied, Cherry v. State, 933 So. 2d 393 (Ala. 2006).
    \23\Avant's 2000 acquittal was reversed and remanded by the Fifth 
Circuit Court of Appeals on January 7, 2002. United States v. Avants, 
278 F.3d 510, 522 (5th Cir. 2002) (holding that federal and state 
murder prosecutions, although identical in their respective elements, 
were separate offenses for purposes of the Sixth Amendment because they 
were violations of the laws of two separate sovereigns). On remand, the 
district court found Avants guilty and sentenced him to life in prison 
in 2003; the Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment in 2004. United States 
v. Avants, 367 F.3d 433, 449 (5th Cir. 2004) (holding that the 
conviction was not a manifest miscarriage of justice).
    \24\Killen's conviction was affirmed by the Mississippi Supreme 
court on April 12, 2007. Killen v. State, No. 2005-KA-01393-SCT., 2007 
WL 1080391, at *19 (Miss. Apr. 12, 2007) (holding that 41-year delay 
bringing indictment for murder did not violate defendant's due process 
    \25\Jenny Jarvie, Ex Cop Indicted in Civil Rights Era Case, The 
Chicago Tribune, May 10, 2007 at 3.
    \26\Mitchell, Guilty on All Counts, supra note 18.
    Despite these recent prosecutions and convictions, much 
work remains to be done. The Southern Poverty Law Center has 
provided this Committee with a list of 74 ``forgotten persons'' 
who were victims of racially motivated violence prior to the 
1970s, and 23 of the deaths commemorated on the Civil Rights 
Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama have not been brought to 
justice.\27\ We attached the list of 74 ``forgotten persons'' 
as an appendix to this report.
    \27\Hearing, supra note 1 (statement of J. Richard Cohen) (``In 13 
of the 40 deaths noted on the Civil Rights Memorial, no one has ever 
been brought to trial. In 10 of the 40 deaths, defendants were either 
acquitted by all-white juries or served only token prison 

iv. Purpose and imperative for the bill

    The purpose of the Till bill is to provide the families of 
victims murdered prior to the 1970s for racially motivated 
reasons with long awaited justice.
    The perpetrators of these crimes have remained at liberty 
into old age, ``sometimes gloating publicly about the 
murders.''\28\ Meanwhile, hundreds of families that reported 
their child missing more than a year ago are still waiting for 
their cases to be solved.\29\ Although some civil rights-era 
murderers have been prosecuted and convicted since 1989,\30\ no 
prior legislation has provided the federal and state 
governments with the necessary resources to find most of the 
perpetrators of these crimes and bring them to justice.\31\ 
Doing so becomes increasingly difficult with the passage of 
time as sources of new evidence dry up, witnesses age, and 
memories fade. The window of time to render justice in these 
cases is quickly closing. It is imperative to bring murderers 
to justice, even if several years or decades have passed since 
these heinous crimes were committed. Doing so brings truth, 
closure, healing, and reconciliation to the affected families, 
friends, communities, and our nation as a whole.\32\ Although 
it is painful for families to revisit the nightmares of the 
past, many families of victims have been instrumental in 
generating momentum to re-open investigations.
    \28\Russell, supra note 20, at 1226.
    \29\Letter from Ernie Allen, President and CEO of NCMEC, to Senator 
Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary (June 5, 2007) 
(stating that NCMEC had only 3 full-time employees currently working 
846 long-term cases) (letter on file with the S. Comm. on the 
    \30\See Mitchell, supra note 18, at 9A.
    \31\See id.; see also Allen, supra note 29 (suggesting that three 
full-time staff is inadequate to successfully investigate 846 cases).
    \32\Hearing, supra note 1 (statement of Myrlie B. Evers) (urging 
Congress not ``[to] forget that family members of the persons murdered 
are also victims. They are human beings who must survive the loss of 
their loved ones--and all that that [entails] * * * the emotional Hell 
that never completely disappears; the nightmare of the bloody crime 
scene; the sounds of terror; the firebombs; the sound of gunfire; 
missing that person's love, care and guidance; the loss of financial 
support and so much more.'').
    Investigating and prosecuting old civil rights cases also 
serves a broader societal purpose. Many of these horrendous 
crimes were not just the results of criminal acts of private 
individuals but were a consequence of government actors who 
were complicit in the misconduct.\33\ The states and federal 
government also bear responsibility for the racial climate that 
allowed individual racially motivated hate crimes to flourish. 
Investigating and prosecuting these cases vindicates the state 
interest in the equal protection of criminal and civil rights 
law and restores the legitimacy of the criminal justice system 
upon which our democracy depends.
    \33\ See e.g., Beckwith v. Anderson, 89 F. Supp. 2d 788, 798 
(citing Beckwith v. State, 707 So. 2d at 567) (acknowledging that the 
state-sponsored State Sovereignty Commission--a state organized spy 
agency designed to thwart integration--had a hand in delaying 
Beckwith's trial for the murder of Medgar Evans by tampering with the 
jury selection and aiding his defense during his two trials in 1964); 
see also Russell, supra note 20, at 1239 (documenting state 
    Although the FBI has recently played an important role in 
investigating and successfully prosecuting civil rights-era 
murders, in the past it withheld files from the press and state 
authorities.\34\ FBI Director Robert Mueller has acknowledged 
that, ``[m]any murders during the civil rights era were not 
fully investigated, were covered up or were misidentified as 
accidental death or disappearance.''\35\ For example, the FBI 
had investigated the church bombing at the Sixteenth Street 
Baptist Church extensively at the time it occurred in 1963 and 
had focused its attention on four local Klansmen with long 
histories of violence. Despite possessing secret tape 
recordings that implicated the suspects, FBI Director J. Edgar 
Hoover closed the case in 1968 without bringing charges.\36\
    \34\In an opinion piece, John Fleming argues that the release of 
FBI files to state and local authorities as well as the press is 
crucial to resolving racially motivated crimes. See John Fleming, 42 
Years Later, The Release of Civil Rights-Era FBI Files Might Hold Key 
to Unsolved Cases, June 2, 2007, available at http://
7f02s0207.htm. He states that in 2004 the FBI denied his FOIA request 
for a file on James Fowler regarding the 1965 murder of Jimmie Lee 
Jackson on the grounds that the file did not exist, when there in fact 
was a file which had been released to a film-maker in 1979. Id. The 
filmmaker made the file available to the journalist, who subsequently 
made it available to the prosecution and the defense after Fowler was 
indicted for the murder in May, 2007. Id.
    \35\Robert S. Mueller III, Director of the FBI, Remarks at the News 
Conference on the Civil Rights Cold Case Initiative, U.S. Department of 
Justice, Washington, DC, (Feb. 27, 2007) available at http://
    \36\Hearing, supra note 1 (statement of J. Richard Cohen); see also 
id. (statement of G. Douglas Jones).
    The case remained closed until U.S. Attorney Doug Jones 
reopened it in the mid-1990s. Mr. Jones discovered that there 
was significant evidence that the FBI had not shared with Mr. 
Baxley during the Chambliss prosecution, including recordings 
made by a listening device placed near Blanton's kitchen sink 
as well as tapes secretly recorded by Klan informant Mitchell 
Burns during drinking binges with Cherry and Blanton.\37\ Armed 
with this evidence, Mr. Jones secured convictions for Blanton 
in 2001 and Cherry in 2002.
    \37\ Id. (statement of J. Douglas Jones).
    The Committee also intends for this bill to demonstrate our 
national commitment to restorative justice. During the era of 
massive resistance, racial extremists used racial violence to 
deny African Americans the basic rights of citizenship, 
including the right to vote, to obtain an education, to obtain 
a job, and to enjoy access to public accommodations. Rita 
Bender, the widow of Michael Schwerner, acutely explained in 
her statement before Congress the effect that a culture of 
impunity had on society:

         For decades * * * Americans lived out their lives in 
        the towns and cities where the crimes occurred, often 
        engaging in the small exchanges of life with the 
        perpetrators. For some, that continual interaction with 
        persons who they knew had committed heinous acts must 
        have been a constant source of intimidation, even if 
        nothing was said directly. For others, knowledge of the 
        crime and the failure of communal action to impose 
        consequences on the actors was the denial of the 
        seriousness of the event, a diminishment of civil 
    \38\Hearing, supra note 1 (statement of Rita Bender).

    In other words, these crimes were committed not just 
against the victims, but against our society. This bill will 
serve as a tool for communities to confront past wrongs, 
determine guilt, seek to acknowledge responsibility, and impose 
a penalty commensurate with the wrongdoing. With such acts 
comes the possibility of healing and restorative justice.\39\
    \39\See id.
    In furtherance of the legislation's goal of bringing the 
perpetrators of racially motivated murders to justice, the 
Committee finds that the DOJ and state and local law 
enforcement should consider--but not be limited to--victims who 
fit at least one of four criteria: (1) persons murdered because 
they were active in the civil rights movement; (2) persons 
killed by organized hate groups as acts of terror aimed at 
intimidating blacks and civil rights activists; (3) persons 
whose deaths, like the death of Emmett Till, helped to 
galvanize the movement by demonstrating the brutality faced by 
African Americans in the South;\40\ or, as a catchall, (4) 
persons who died violently before 1970 under circumstances 
suggesting that they were victims of racial violence.\41\
    \40\The Southern Poverty Law Center used these criteria in 
researching unsolved civil rights murders and submitted these criteria 
to Congress. See Hearing, supra note 1 (statement of J. Richard Cohen). 
These criteria were considered when determining the Till bill's 
standard: a violation of a civil rights statute that occurred prior to 
January 1, 1970 and resulted in death.
    \41\The Southern Poverty Law Center used this criterion in 
compiling its list of ``The Forgotten'' which has been attached as an 
appendix at the end of this report. Appendix; see also Hearing, supra 
note 1 (statement of J. Richard Cohen).

v. Constitutional, jurisdictional, and evidentiary limitations

    Due to the vast lapse of time in many of these cases 
certain prosecutions may raise constitutional, jurisdictional, 
and evidentiary concerns. The DOJ raised concerns that the Ex 
Post Facto Clause and statute of limitation concerns limit the 
available tools the government can use to prosecute historic 
cold cases.\42\ Some legal scholars have also noted that 
criminal defendants are likely to raise potential defenses to 
prosecution, including the Fifth Amendment's Double Jeopardy 
Clause, the Sixth Amendment's Speedy Trial Clause, and the 
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments' Due Process Clauses.\43\ 
However, on appeal in several recent cases, some of those 
concerns have been addressed by the state supreme courts or the 
Circuit Courts of Appeals. The drafters of the bill have 
therefore taken every precaution to ensure that the bill is 
consistent with the Constitution, and to provide methods of 
achieving effective enforcement without infringing on the 
aforementioned concerns.
    \42\Letter from William E. Moschella, Assistant Attorney General, 
to then-Senator James Talent (June 27, 2006) (noting that ``the 
Constitution bars [the bill] from retroactively conferring Federal 
jurisdiction to prosecute such civil rights crimes,'' that 18 U.S.C. 
Sec. 245 and 42 U.S.C. Sec. 3631 were not enacted until 1968, and that 
all Federal criminal civil rights statutes carried a five year statute 
of limitations) (on file with the S. Comm. on the Judiciary).
    \43\See, e.g., Russell, supra note 20, at 1255-62.
    Retroactive application of the current criminal civil 
rights statutes to prosecute historical cases covered by this 
legislation may invoke the Ex Post Facto Clause. S. 535 charges 
the Department to investigate ``violations of criminal civil 
rights statutes * * * result[ing] in death'' that ``occurred no 
later than December 31, 1969.'' The two principal federal hate 
crime statutes for prosecuting racially motivated homicides, 18 
U.S.C. Sec. 245 (interference with federally protected 
activities) and 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1A3631 (interference with 
housing rights), were not enacted until 1968. Therefore, the Ex 
Post Facto Clause bars use of Sec. 1A245 and 3631 for crimes 
that occurred prior to 1968.\44\
    \44\But see Avants, 278 F.3d at 514 (finding federal jurisdiction 
under 18 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 1111 and 1112 and holding that federal and 
state murder prosecutions, although identical in their respective 
elements, were separate offenses for purposes of the Sixth Amendment 
because they were violations of the laws of two separate sovereigns).
    The statutes of limitation bar federal prosecution of many 
of these offenses. Prior to 1994, federal criminal civil rights 
violations were not capital offenses, thereby subjecting them 
to a five-year statute of limitations. In 1994, some of these 
civil rights statutes were amended to provide the death penalty 
for violations resulting in death, thereby eliminating the 
statute of limitations. However, the Ex Post Facto Clause 
prevents the retroactive application of the 1994 increase in 
penalties, and the resultant change in the statute of 
    As a result, this Committee finds that state and local law 
enforcement agencies will continue to play a primary role in 
the investigation and prosecution of all types of hate crimes. 
We expect the federal government to partner with state and 
local law enforcement, with state and local prosecutors taking 
the lead in most cases. Concurrent federal jurisdiction is 
necessary only to permit joint state-federal investigations and 
to authorize federal prosecution in those instances in which 
state and local officials are either unable or unwilling to 
pursue cases that adequately address the federal interest in 
fighting bias crime.
    This Committee nevertheless expects the federal government 
to still play a vital role in these prosecutions. First, in 
terms of investigations, in 2006 the FBI began a comprehensive 
effort to identify and investigate racially-motivated murders 
committed during the 1950s and 1960s. The FBI has already 
started to accumulate information from outside organizations 
and to follow those leads. We expect this initiative to 
continue and to expand.
    Second, in terms of prosecution, not all of the federal 
statutes at the Department's disposal have statute of 
limitations or ex post facto concerns. For example, the 
Department has brought a prosecution involving first degree 
murder committed in the special maritime and territorial 
jurisdiction of the United States, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1111, as well 
as a prosecution involving kidnapping resulting in death, 18 
U.S.C. Sec. 1201. Neither of these non-civil rights statutes 
have statutes of limitations that could bar successful 
    Third, in terms of resources, the federal government has 
the resources and expertise to provide valuable assistance to 
state and local entities pursuing state prosecutions. In the 
Emmett Till case, although no federal jurisdiction was present, 
the Department conducted an investigation into a local matter 
because Till had traveled from out-of-state into the state in 
which he was murdered. The FBI reported the results of its 
extensive investigation to the District Attorney for 
Greenville, Mississippi. We expect such cooperation and 
assistance to continue and to expand into other scenarios. 
While maintaining the primary role of state and local 
governments in the investigation and prosecution of violent 
hate crimes, the bill would authorize the federal government to 
work in partnership with state and local law enforcement 
officials and to serve an important backstop function with 
regard to a wider range of hate-motivated violence than federal 
law currently permits. The Till bill would provide the 
resources to federal and state governments, but it does not 
dictate which so called ``cold cases'' should be re-opened.
    Fourth, defendants' constitutional challenges to their 
convictions on appeal have been dismissed by both state and 
federal courts.\45\ For example, Beckwith challenged his 
conviction on the Double Jeopardy Clause, the Speedy Trial 
Clause and the Due Process Clause in the Supreme Court of 
Mississippi.\46\ The court held that the 26-year delay between 
the second mistrial and return of the second indictment did not 
violate defendant's right to a speedy trial\47\ and that an 
entry of nolle prosequi does not bar another prosecution for 
the same offense.\48\ According to Supreme Court precedent set 
in United States v. Scott\49\ and United States v. Wilson,\50\ 
the Double Jeopardy clause only bars criminal prosecution for 
the same offense for which the defendant has already been 
acquitted, convicted, or pardoned.\51\ The mere passage of time 
does not render a prosecution unprosecutable under the Due 
Process Clause.\52\ Therefore, prosecutions which resulted in 
mistrials and hung juries, such as Beckwith's, can be 
reprosecuted in compliance with the Constitution.
    \45\See generally, Russell, supra note 20, at 1256-61.
    \46\Beckwith, 707 So. 2d at 565-71.
    \47\Id. at 565, 568-89 (holding that defendant did not show 
``intentional delay for tactical purposes'' and citing Stoner v. 
Graddick, 751 F.2d 1535 (11th Cir. 1985)).
    \48\Id. at 566.
    \49\437 U.S. 82, 87 (1978).
    \50\420 U.S. 332, 340 (1975).
    \51\Russell, supra note 20, at 1256 (citing cases).
    \52\Id. at 1260-61.
    In addition, the dual sovereignty doctrine has allowed for 
the re-prosecution of a defendant whose alleged act violates 
both federal and state law, even if the state acquitted the 
defendant for the same crime.\53\ For example, the district 
court found jurisdiction over Avant's murder of Ben White under 
Federal statute because the murder had taken place on a 
national forest, even though the state court acquitted him. The 
Fifth Circuit affirmed the conviction.\54\
    \53\Id. at 1257. Russell warns that this interpretation is 
controversial. Id. at 1259. Therefore, she suggests that the most 
viable approach would be to focus reprosecutions following mistrials 
and hung juries (such as the Beckwith case), and initial prosecutions 
of individuals (such as the Blanton and Cherry trials). Id.
    \54\See supra note 23 and accompanying explanation.

vi. The continuing problem of unsolved missing children cases

    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 
(NCMEC) serves as a clearinghouse of information about missing 
and exploited children. As a national resource center for child 
protection, NCMEC spearheads national efforts to locate and 
recover missing children.
    Established in 1984, NCMEC is a private, nonprofit 
organization that operates under a congressional mandate and 
works in cooperation with DOJ's Office of Juvenile Justice and 
Delinquency Prevention to coordinate ``the efforts of law 
enforcement, social service agencies, elected officials, 
judges, prosecutors, educators, and the public and private 
sectors to break the cycle of violence that historically has 
perpetuated [] needless crimes committed against 
    \55\See National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, General 
Information and Publications, available at http://www.missingkids.com/
    Among its many vital functions, it operates a cold case 
unit to resolve missing-child cases. This unit assists law 
enforcement, medical examiners, and coroners with cases 
involving long-term missing and unidentified children. The unit 
develops strategies for investigative agencies, works with 
medical examiners to provide identification assistance, and 
establishes review processes for long-term cases.\56\ Since the 
unit was established in 2001, 307 cold cases have been 
successfully resolved.\57\
    \56\National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Annual 
Report 2006, at 12, available at http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/
    Despite these accomplishments, the numbers of missing and 
exploited children remain unacceptably high. A 2006 study 
released by DOJ found that, in a one year period, 797,500 
children were reported missing.\58\ That is an average of 2,100 
children reported missing each day. The study also found that, 
in a one year period, 1,682,900 children ran away or were 
abandoned, 203,900 children were abducted by family members, 
198,000 children were involuntarily missing, lost or injured, 
and 58,200 children were abducted by non-family members.\59\ 
NCMEC has been instrumental in improving the recovery rate of 
missing children from 62 percent in 1990 to 96 percent today.
    \58\Department of Justice, Offenders and Victims: 2006 National 
Report, at 26, available at http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/ojstatbb/nr2006/
    Despite these successes, young victims continue to fall 
through the cracks. Nationally, 4 percent of missing children 
cases remain unsolved each year. The haphazard response to 
child abduction, especially prior to the Amber alert, means 
that no one knows exactly how many unsolved missing children 
cases exist. For example, in 2001 The Hartford Courant reviewed 
59 unsolved child-abduction cases in New England over the last 
30 years, and found that authorities sometimes fail to 
immediately investigate such cases, fail to share critical 
information and overlook systems put in place to help solve 
these crimes.\60\ The newspaper found that older cases, in 
particular, tend to fade into oblivion unless an investigator 
takes a personal stake in one.\61\ Thus, the numbers of missing 
children cold cases are likely higher than current estimates.
    \60\Dave Altimari, Why Are They Still Missing?; Indifference, 
Delays and Haphazard Reporting; 59 Stolen Hearts, Hartford Courant, 
April 15, 2001, at A1.
    NCMEC's own records are often incomplete. For example, 
police departments are encouraged to notify NCMEC of old cases, 
as well as new ones. Nevertheless, federal law does not require 
state or local police officials to report to NCMEC or avail 
themselves of its resources. As a result, NCMEC's records may 
likely underreport the numbers of missing child cold cases that 
exist nationwide.
    Even when cold cases are identified by NCMEC, solving these 
cases requires overcoming the burden of insufficient resources. 
According to a recent letter from NCMEC, its cold case unit has 
handled more than 1,800 long-term missing and unidentified 
children cases over the past six years.\62\ Of those, nearly 
1,000 have been resolved in some manner, through recovery, 
identification, or administrative means. The remaining 846 
cases are continually reviewed on a semi-annual basis by three 
full-time employees.\63\ Support from the inspectors general, 
who are eager to provide assistance, would augment the 
important efforts already underway at NCMEC. We would do well 
to facilitate cooperation between our Nation's top resource for 
child protection and the diverse and talented investigators in 
the offices of our inspectors general. This cooperation will 
bolster efforts to solve these heart-wrenching cases.
    \62\See Allen, supra note 29.
    Section 8 of the Till bill would authorize the staff of an 
inspector general to assist NCMEC by conducting reviews of 
inactive case files to develop recommendations for further 
investigations. This provision has been added to the Till bill 
because, similar to families of victims from decades old 
racially motivated murders, families of missing children 
deserve closure after many years of waiting for these cases to 
be resolved.

          II. History of the Bill and Committee Consideration

                               A. HEARING

i. June 12, 2007

    On June 12, 2007, the House Judiciary Committee's 
Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil 
Liberties and Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland 
Security held a joint legislative hearing on ``H.R. 923--the 
Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.'' This hearing 
examined the urgency and need for the federal government to 
provide additional financial assistance and resources to assist 
in solving these crimes.
    The following witnesses testified at this hearing: Grace 
Chung Becker, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights 
Division, United States Department of Justice; Myrlie Evers 
Williams, widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers (d. 
1963), Founder of the Medgar Evers Institute, and Chairman 
Emeritus of the National Association for the Advancement of 
Colored People; Douglas Jones, Esq., former United States 
Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama; Richard Cohen, 
Esq., President and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center; 
Rita L. Bender, Esq., widow of slain civil rights worker 
Michael Schwerner (d. 1964).

                             B. LEGISLATION

i. Legislative history of Till bill

    Senator Chris Dodd and Chairman Patrick Leahy introduced 
the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, S. 535, on 
February 8, 2007. This bipartisan bill is cosponsored by, in 
alphabetical order, Senators Alexander, Biden, Cardin, Cornyn, 
Durbin, Hatch, Kennedy, Landrieu, McCaskill, Schumer, Specter, 
and Whitehouse.
    This legislation is similar to the Unsolved Civil Rights 
Crime Act, S. 2679, which then-Senator Jim Talent and Senator 
Dodd introduced on April 27, 2006. The Judiciary Committee 
favorably reported that legislation on August 3, 2006, by voice 
vote, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute, which 
included the Missing Child Cold Case Review Act. At the close 
of the 109th Congress, the bill's sponsors sought to pass the 
bill by a unanimous consent agreement. They were unable to 
secure the agreement and the bill did not pass.
    On June 7, 2007, S. 535 was placed on the Judiciary 
Committee's agenda. The Committee considered this legislation 
on June 14, 2007.
    During the Committee's consideration of S. 535, one 
amendment to the bill was offered by Chairman Leahy and it was 
adopted by the Committee by unanimous consent. The Leahy 
amendment revised the structural changes at the DOJ and the FBI 
originally envisioned by the bill by assigning a Deputy Chief 
in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ 
and a Special Investigatory Agent in the Civil Rights Unit of 
the FBI to coordinate, investigate, and prosecute racially 
motivated cold cases on or before December 31, 1969. It 
maintained strong reporting requirements while avoiding hurdles 
that could have a detrimental impact on pending investigations 
such as requiring the DOJ to report the case names of open 
investigations. It allowed the DOJ to issue grants to state and 
local law enforcement agencies for investigation and 
prosecution of violations of state and local laws similar to 
federal criminal civil rights statutes. Finally, it made 
technical changes to the remainder of the bill to ensure 
    The Leahy amendment in the form of a complete substitute 
mirrors the companion bill that was referred to the full House 
Judiciary Committee, H.R. 923.
    The Committee favorably reported S. 535, as amended by the 
Leahy amendment in the form of a complete substitute, by 
unanimous consent.

ii. Legislative history of the Missing Child Cold Case Review Act

    Senator Patrick Leahy introduced the original Missing Child 
Cold Case Review Act (S. 2435) on May 18, 2004, with Senator 
Grassley. Senators Lincoln and Hatch were also cosponsors. It 
was discharged from the Judiciary Committee and passed the 
Senate by Unanimous Consent on October 1, 2004. The bill was 
then referred to the House Committee on Government Reform, 
Subcommittee on Government Efficiency and Financial Management. 
The bill languished in the House Subcommittee through the end 
of the 108th Congress.
    Senator Leahy and Senator Hatch also included the Missing 
Child Cold Case Review Act in the Department of Justice 
Appropriations Authorization Act, fiscal years 2005 through 
2007 (S. 2863, 108th Congress), which was introduced on 
September 24, 2004. That bill was referred to the Senate 
Judiciary Committee where it never saw further action.
    In the 109th Congress, at a Judiciary Committee Executive 
Business Meeting on August 3, 2006, Senator Leahy offered, and 
the Judiciary Committee adopted by voice vote a substitute 
amendment to the Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act (S. 2679), 
which included the Missing Child Cold Case Review Act. The 
Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act (S. 2679), as amended, was 
reported out of the Judiciary Committee by voice vote. At the 
close of the 109th Congress, the bill's sponsors sought a 
unanimous consent agreement to pass the bill, but were unable 
to secure the agreement and the bill did not pass.
    On August 3, 2006, the Missing Child Cold Case Review Act 
was included in the Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act as a Leahy-
Cornyn as an amendment in the form of a complete substitute.

                         C. LETTERS OF SUPPORT

    The Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act is intended 
to investigate and prosecute violations of civil rights 
statutes that occurred prior to 1970 and resulted in death. 
Although these delayed prosecutions cannot right the wrongs of 
the past, they are a step towards providing equality in the 
American criminal justice system. Recognizing that there is a 
small window of time to investigate and prosecute these crimes, 
the Act increases the financial and human resources available 
for the aggressive investigation and prosecution of these 
crimes. This legislation is supported by a wide range of 
governmental and non-governmental agencies including The U.S. 
Department of Justice,\64\ The National Center for Missing and 
Exploited Children,\65\ The Fraternal Order of Police,\66\ The 
Southern Poverty Law Center,\67\ and The National Association 
for the Advancement of Colored People,\68\ The American Civil 
Liberties Union,\69\ The Leadership Conference on Civil 
Rights,\70\ and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.\71\
    \64\Moschella, supra note 42, (stating that DOJ ``strongly supports 
the important legislative goals of the bill'').
    \65\Allen, supra note 29 (stating that ``Section 8 of this Act will 
allow the Inspectors General to provide much-needed assistance to NCMEC 
in reviewing cases of long-term missing children.'').
    \66\Letter from Chuck Caterbury, National President of the 
Fraternal Order of Police, to Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the S. 
Comm. on the Judiciary (June 6, 2007) (supporting section 8 of the bill 
in particular and referring to the strong support for the bill in the 
Inspector General community) (letter on file with the S. Comm. on the 
    \67\Letter from Richard Cohen, CEO of The Southern Poverty Law 
Center, to Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the S. Comm. on the 
Judiciary (June 1, 2007) (claiming that ``investigating and prosecuting 
the unsolved slayings [that were racially motivated and occurred pre-
1970s] * * * is a crucial step toward healing the wounds of racial 
division that still afflict our nation.'') (letter on file with the S. 
Comm. on the Judiciary).
    \68\Letter from Hilary Shelton, Director of the NAACP, to Senator 
Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary (June 4, 2007) 
(urging senators to support the bill because ``it is imperative to 
bring murderers of early civil rights activists to justice, to show the 
victims' families, as well as the Nation, that their sacrifices 
continue to outrage our Nation.'').
    \69\Letter from Caroline Frederickson, Director of the ACLU, to 
Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary (June 
12, 2007) (applauding the legislation's goals and urging members to 
support it).
    \70\Letter from Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership 
Conference on Civil Rights, to Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the 
S. Comm. on the Judiciary (June 4, 2007) (claiming ``it is imperative 
to put resources behind investigating and prosecuting those individuals 
* * * who committed heinous crimes against civil rights activists and 
individual African Americans.'').
    \71\Letter from John G. Brittain, Chief Counsel of the Lawyers 
Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, to Speaker of the House Nancy 
Pelosi (June 19, 2007) (supporting the bill and urging the Speaker to 
schedule a floor vote on H.R. 923--the companion to S. 535--during the 
week of June 18, 2007, to mark the 43rd anniversary of the deaths of 
Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney (June 21, 1964)).

            III. Section-by-Section Summary of the Till Bill

Section 1--Short title

    The Act may be cited as the ``Emmett Till Unsolved Civil 
Rights Crime Act.''

Section 2--Sense of the Congress

    Section 2 expresses the sense of the Senate that, as each 
year passes, the window of opportunity to solve these crimes 
becomes smaller because potential witnesses are getting older. 
In order to capitalize on the presence of both witnesses and 
evidence, it is important to aggressively investigate the pre-
1970 civil rights crimes that resulted in a death in order to 
efficiently solve the cases.
    Section 2(2) expresses the sense of Congress that time, 
resources, and personnel should be devoted to investigating 
pre-1970 Civil Rights murders.

Section 3--Deputy Chief in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights 

    Section 3(a) requires the Attorney General to designate a 
Deputy Chief in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights 
Division of the DOJ.
    Section 3(b)(1) defines the post of Deputy Chief in the 
DOJ. The Deputy Chief is responsible for investigating, 
prosecuting, and coordinating both investigative and 
prosecutorial actions in cases where there is an alleged 
violation of a criminal civil rights statute no later than 
December 31, 1969 that resulted in a death.
    Section 3(b)(2) allows the Deputy Chief to coordinate 
investigative activities with state and local officials. While 
this coordination is not required, the fact that most of these 
cases will lack federal jurisdiction underscores the importance 
of state and local participation in the investigations in order 
to bring about efficient and accurate results.
    Section 3(c) describes the study and report to be conducted 
by the Attorney General.
    Section 3(c)(1)(A) mandates that the Attorney General must 
annually report the number of open and ongoing investigations 
conducted by the DOJ.
    Section 3(c)(1)(B) requires that the Attorney General 
annually report the number of cases and investigations that 
were opened pursuant to the enactment of S. 535 and after the 
previous report.
    Section 3(c)(1)(C) mandates that the Attorney General 
annually report the number of unsealed Federal cases, as well 
as the case names and jurisdictions that the cases occurred in.
    Section 3(c)(1)(D)(i) mandates that the Attorney General 
annually report the number of cases that the DOJ referred to a 
state or local law enforcement agency, as well as the number of 
these cases that resulted in the filing of state or local 
charges. The Attorney General must also provide the 
jurisdiction in which the charges were filed and the dates the 
charges were filed.
    Section 3(c)(1)(D)(ii) mandates that the Attorney General 
annually report the case names of any unsealed Federal cases in 
which the state or local government did not file charges or 
prosecute. As such, the Attorney General must also report the 
decisions by federal officials not to coordinate investigations 
with the state or local officials.
    Section 3(c)(1)(E) mandates that the Attorney General 
annually report the cases that were closed without federal 
prosecution. If the cases are unsealed, then the Attorney 
General must provide the names of the un-prosecuted cases, the 
dates these cases were closed, and any relevant federal 
statutes that led to the closure of these cases.
    Section 3(c)(1)(F) mandates that the Attorney General 
annually report the number of attorneys who worked on any of 
these cases.
    Section 3(c)(1)(G) mandates that the Attorney General 
annually report the number of applications for grants that are 
made by state and local law enforcement officials (as provided 
for in Section 5). This report must include the reasons why the 
grant amounts were given.
    Section 3(c)(2) mandates that the Attorney General prepare 
and submit a report of these results to Congress six months 
after the enactment of this legislation, and each year after 
that, until 2017.

Section 4--Supervisory Special Agent in the Civil Rights Unit of the 
        Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Section 4(a) requires that the Attorney General designate a 
Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) in the Civil Rights Unit of the 
FBI. The SSA is tasked with investigating violations described 
in 3(b)(1).
    Section 4(b)(2)(A) states that the SSA may coordinate 
investigative activities with State and local law enforcement 
officials. As such, this section recognizes the essential 
nature of State and local law enforcement officials in the 
successful investigation of the pre-1970 civil rights crimes. 
However, it does not require coordination, giving discretion 
not to coordinate in a case where state and local law 
enforcement is hostile to the investigation of civil rights 
cold cases.

Section 5--Grants to State and local law enforcement

    Section 5(a) authorizes the Attorney General to award 
grants to State and local law enforcement agencies for expenses 
incurred in investigating and prosecuting violations of State 
or local laws similar to the Federal criminal civil rights 
statutes detailed in Section 7.
    Section 5(b) authorizes $2 million to be appropriated for 
each of fiscal years 2008 through 2017 to carry out Section 

Section 6-Authorization of appropriations

    Section 6(a) authorizes the appropriation of $10,000,000 
annually for FY 2008 through FY 2017 to be shared by the Deputy 
Chief created by Section 3 and the Supervisory Special Agent 
created by Section 4 to advance the goals of this Act. This 
section also specifies that the amounts appropriated for this 
purpose of carrying out Sections 3 and 4 are in addition to any 
other amounts appropriated for the investigation of racially 
motivated murders.
    Section 6(b) provides for $1,500,000 to be appropriated to 
the Community Relations Service of the DOJ each year. This 
money is to aid in the investigations of pre-1970 civil rights 
crimes that resulted in a death. This money is used to enable 
the Service, which was created under 42 U.S.C. 2000g to provide 
for appointment and authorization of personnel by a Director to 
carry out the duties of a particular office or unit. This money 
will therefore be used to enable 4(b), which provides for the 
prosecution of pre-1970s civil rights crimes, for the 
coordination of racially motivated unsolved civil rights 
murders with the State or local officials, and for the referral 
of crimes that do not meet the criteria of 3(b)(1) to other 

Section 7--Definitions

    Section 7 defines ``civil rights statutes.'' The unit must 
determine if the following statutes were violated: 18 U.S.C. 
241, 242, 245, 1581 and 1584, and 901 of the Fair Housing Act 
(42 U.S.C. 3631). If one of these criminal civil rights 
statutes was not violated, then the crime is not investigated 
or prosecuted under this Act.
    18 U.S.C. 241 provides for punishment of individuals for 
conspiring to deprive another individual of his or her free 
exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege. Conspiring is 
deemed to be when two or more individuals work together to 
injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any 
state. 18 U.S.C. 241. Additionally, other crimes committed 
during a conspiracy against rights shall be further punished.
    18 U.S.C. 242 provides for punishment of individuals who 
act under color of law of any law, statute, ordinance, 
regulation, or custom in order to deprive another of any 
rights, privileges, or immunities that are secured by the 
Constitution or by other laws. This means that if an individual 
is working in his or her state-granted capacity while 
committing a crime then that crime is punishable by law. This 
would apply to persons such as police officers, government 
officials, etc.
    18 U.S.C. 245 provides for punishment of individuals who 
interfere with another's right to engage in a federally 
protected activity, such as voting or enrolling in a public 
college or school 18 U.S.C. 1581 and 1584 provide for 
punishment of people who hold or try to hold an individual with 
the intent of placing him or returning him to peonage or 
    Sec. 901 of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3631) makes it 
illegal for a person to discriminate against and interfere with 
an individual based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, 
familial status, or national origin, when the individual is 
attempting to purchase, rent, or sell housing.
    Section 3(2)(F)(i) ensures that laws that were in effect 
prior to 1970, but may not be in effect now, can still be 
enforced by the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.
    Section 3(2)(F)(ii) ensures that the federal laws the 
Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ 
regularly enforced prior to the enactment of the Act will be 
enforced for the purposes of this Act. If the DOJ does not 
regularly enforce certain federal laws after the enactment of 
the Act, but did before, then those laws must continue to be 
enforced for the purposes of this Act.

Section 8--Sunset

    Section 8 limits the execution of this Act until the year 

Section 9--Authority of Inspectors General

    Section 9 amends the Crime Control Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 
5779 et seq.). 42 U.S.C. 5779 requires that Federal, State, and 
local law enforcement officials report cases of missing 
children under the age of 21 to the National Crime Information 
Center of the DOJ.
    Section 9(a) amends the Crime Control Act of 1990 to 
specify that an Inspector General may authorize staff to assist 
the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by 
conducting reviews of inactive case files and developing 
recommendations for further investigations. This will bolster 
the expertise available to review missing children cold cases.
    Section 9(b)(1) provides that an Inspector General may not 
allow staff to engage in the activities described in subsection 
(a) if they will interfere with the other duties incumbent upon 
an Inspector General.
    Section 9(b)(2) provides that no additional money is 
appropriated to carry out these tasks.
    Together, the provisions of section 9 ensure that no 
preexisting function or duty of an Inspector General's office 
will be compromised by any provisions in this legislation.

                           IV. Cost Estimate

                                                     June 19, 2007.
Hon. Patrick J. Leahy,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 535, the Emmett Till 
Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Daniel 
                                                   Peter R. Orszag.

S. 533--Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act

    Summary: S. 535 would authorize the appropriation of $10 
million a year over the 2008-2017 period for the Department of 
Justice (DOJ) to investigate and prosecute certain unsolved 
homicides committed prior to 1970. The bill would also 
authorize the appropriation of $3.5 million annually over the 
2008-2017 period to provide technical assistance to state and 
local law enforcement agencies, as well as make grants to those 
agencies for expenses related to the investigation and 
prosecution of such crimes. CBO estimates that implementing S. 
535 would cost $10 million in 2008 and $63 million over the 
2008-2012 period, subject to appropriation of the authorized 
amounts. Enacting this legislation would not affect direct 
spending or revenues.
    S. 535 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no cost on state, local, or tribal 
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 535 is shown in the following table. The 
cost of this legislation falls within budget function 750 
(administration of justice).
    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
535 would be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2007 and that 
the authorized amounts will be appropriated for each year. We 
estimate that implementing S. 535 would cost a total of $10 
million in 2008 and $63 million over the 2008-2012 period.

                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                      2008--    2009     2010     2011     2012
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Investigation and Prosecution of Unsolved Crimes:
    Authorization Level............................................       10       10       10       10       10
    Estimated Outlays..............................................        9       10       10       10       10
Grants to State and Local Law Enforcement:
    Authorization Level............................................        2        2        2        2        2
    Estimated Outlays..............................................        0        1        1        2        2
Community Relations Service:
    Authorization Level............................................        2        2        2        2        2
    Estimated Outlays..............................................        1        1        2        2        2
    Total Changes:
        Authorization Level........................................       14       14       14       14       14
        Estimated Outlays..........................................       10       12       13       14       14

Investigation and prosecution of unsolved crimes

    S. 535 would authorize the appropriation of $10 million a 
year over the 2008-2017 period for the investigation and 
prosecution of civil rights violations involving homicides 
committed before 1970. The legislation would direct the 
Attorney General to designate a Deputy Chief in the Civil 
Rights Division of DOJ to coordinate with a newly created 
Supervisory Special Agent in the Civil Rights Unit of the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation to carry out those 
responsibilities. Based on the spending patterns for similar 
DOJ activities, CBO estimates that implementing this provision 
would cost $9 million in 2008 and $49 million over the 2008-
2012 period.

Grants to state and local law enforcement

    S. 535 would authorize the appropriation of $2 million 
annually over the 2008-2017 period for DOJ to make grants to 
state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate and 
prosecute certain civil rights cases. CBO estimates that 
implementing this provision would cost $6 million over the 
2008-2012 period.

Community relations service

    S. 535 would authorize the appropriation of $1.5 million a 
year over the 2008-2017 period for the Community Relations 
Service of DOJ to aid in investigating and prosecuting those 
unsolved civil rights cases. Costs would include technical 
assistance and other expenses related to the coordination of 
law enforcement officials and affected communities with DOJ. 
CBO estimates that this provision would cost $1 million in 2008 
and nearly $8 million over the 2008-2012 period.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 535 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Previous CBO estimate: On June 19, 2007, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for H.R. 923, the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil 
Rights Crime Act of 2007, as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on the Judiciary on June 13, 2007. The two bills are 
very similar, and the CBO cost estimates are identical.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Daniel Hoople and Mark 
Grabowicz; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: 
Melissa Merrell; Impact on the Private Sector: Paige Piper/
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    V. Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b)(1), rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee, after due 
consideration, concludes that S.535 will not have significant 
regulatory impact.

                             VI. Conclusion

    Passage and enactment of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil 
Rights Crime Act, S. 535, is long overdue. This bipartisan 
legislation strengthens and expands the federal government's 
ability to investigate and prosecute unsolved and decades-old 
racially motivated hate crimes and long-term missing children 
cases. To that end, it provides much needed resources and tools 
to the DOJ and the FBI to investigate and prosecute such cases. 
In addition, the bill authorizes the Inspectors General to 
assist NCMEC in their investigations. This recognizes the 
urgency in resolving these cases so that the victims' families, 
and this Nation, can attain justice.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 535, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

                  5779 ET SEQ.)--ADDING A NEW SECTION


    (a) In General.--An Inspector General appointed under 
section 3 or 8G of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. 
App.) may authorize staff to assist the National Center for 
Missing and Exploited Children--
          (1) by conducting reviews of inactive case files to 
        develop recommendations for further investigations; and
          (2) by engaging in similar activities.
    (b) Limitations--
          (1) Priority.--An Inspector General may not permit 
        staff to engage in activities described in subsection 
        (a) if such activities will interfere with the duties 
        of the Inspector General under the Inspector General 
        Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.).
          (2) Funding.--No additional funds are authorized to 
        be appropriated to carry out this section.
                             VIII. Appendix

                      Southern Poverty Law Center

                           THE ``FORGOTTEN''

    These are the names of 74 men and women who died between 
1952 and 1968 under circumstances suggesting they were the 
victims of racially motivated violence. The information below 
was gathered by the Southern Poverty Law Center as it planned a 
timeline of killings for the Civil Rights Memorial. The 
Memorial, dedicated in 1989, includes the names of 40 civil 
rights martyrs who were slain during that era. The names below 
were not inscribed on the Memorial because there was 
insufficient information about their deaths at the time the 
Memorial was created. They are, however, identified in a 
display at the Civil Rights Memorial Center as ``The 

Anderson, Andrew Lee--Marion, Ark., 1963. Anderson was slain by 
            a group of whites and sheriff's deputies after a 
            white woman said he had molested her 8-year-old 
            daughter. A coroner's jury ruled justifiable 
            homicide, and no arrests were made.
Andrews, Frank--Lisman, Ala., 1964. Andrews was shot in the 
            back by a white sheriff's deputy. The county 
            solicitor said the victim was attacking another 
            deputy, and no arrests were made.
Banks, Isadore--Marion, Ark., 1954. Banks' charred corpse was 
            found chained to a tree. Black press reports 
            speculated he was killed by whites who wanted his 
            land. His property was later rented by white 
Bolden, Larry--Chattanooga, Tenn., 1958. Bolden, 15, was shot 
            by a white policeman. No arrests were made.
Brazier, James--Dawson, Ga., 1958. Brazier was beaten to death 
            in front of his wife and children by two police 
            officers. County Sheriff Z.T. Matthews was later 
            quoted in the Washington Post saying, ``There's 
            nothing like fear to keep niggers in line.''
Brewer, Thomas--Columbus, Ga., 1956. Brewer was instrumental in 
            forming a local chapter of the NAACP in 1937. He 
            was shot seven times outside his office by white 
            politician Lucio Flowers. A grand jury failed to 
Brooks, Hilliard--Montgomery, Ala., 1952. Brooks was shot by a 
            police officer after initially refusing to get off 
            a city bus when the driver claimed he had not paid 
            his fare. A coroner said the murder was justified 
            because Brooks resisted arrest.
Brown, Charles--Yazoo City, Miss., 1957. A white man shot 
            Brown, who was visiting the white man's sister. The 
            Justice Department handed the case over to the 
Brown, Jessie--Winona, Miss., 1965. The 1965 NAACP annual 
            report claimed white farmer R.M. Gibson killed 
Brumfield, Carrie--Franklinton, La., 1967. Brumfield was found 
            shot to death in his car on a rural road. He was 
            shot once in the chest with a .22-caliber revolver.
Brumfield, Eli--McComb, Miss., 1961. Police officer B.F. Elmore 
            alleged self-defense after shooting Brumfield. 
            Police claimed Brumfield jumped from his car with a 
            pocket knife after police pulled him over for 
Caston, Silas (Ernest)--Jackson, Miss., 1964. Caston was shot 
            by a local police officer. CORE and NAACP filed a 
            civil suit against Deputy Sheriff Herbert Sullivan. 
            The result of that suit is unknown.
Cloninger, Clarence--Gaston, N.C., 1960. Cloninger died while 
            incarcerated. Authorities denied him medical 
            attention after he suffered a heart attack.
Countryman, Willie--Dawson, Ga., 1958. Police officer W.B. 
            Cherry was cleared of murder charges after police 
            said he shot Countryman ``in self defense in the 
            line of duty.''
Dahmon, Vincent--Natchez, Miss., 1966. Dahmon, 65, was shot in 
            the head around the time of a march in support of 
            James Meredith.
Daniels, Woodrow Wilson--Water Valley, Miss., 1958. Sheriff 
            Buster Treloar, identified by four witnesses as the 
            man who beat Daniels to death in a prison, was 
            freed after 23 minutes of deliberation by an all-
            white jury. ``By God,'' Treloar said after the 
            trial. ``Now I can get back to rounding up 
            bootleggers and damn niggers.''
Dumas, Joseph Hill--Perry, Fla., 1962. Florida Governor Farris 
            Bryant suspended constable Henry Sauls in 
            connection with the shooting of 19-year-old Dumas. 
            Sauls was indicted by a federal grand jury. The 
            result of indictment is unclear.
Evans, Pheld--Canton, Miss., 1964. Medgar Evers identified 
            Evans as having been killed under mysterious 
Evanston, J.E.--Long Lake, Miss., 1955. Evanston's body is 
            fished out of Long Lake in December. Evanston was a 
            teacher in the local elementary school.
Greene, Mattie--Ringgold, Ga., 1960. Greene is killed when a 
            bomb explodes under her house.
Greenwood, Jasper--Vicksburg, Miss., 1964. Greenwood was found 
            shot to death near his car on a rural road. Police 
            said the slaying was not racially motivated.
Griffin, Jimmie Lee--Sturgis, Miss., 1965. Griffin was killed 
            in a hit-and-run accident. A coroner's report 
            revealed Griffin was run over at least twice.
Hall, A.C.--Macon, Ga., 1962. Hall was shot and killed after a 
            white woman claimed he stole a pistol from her car. 
            He was shot by police as he ran away.
Hamilton, Rogers--Lowndes County, Ala., 1957. Hamilton, 19, was 
            taken from his home by a group of white men and 
            shot to death. Hamilton was allegedly warned to 
            stay away from black girls in the town of 
            Hayneville. No charges were brought in the case.
Hampton, Collie--Winchester, Ky., 1966. Hampton was shot by 
            police officers after allegedly threatening a 
            police officer.
Harris, Alphonso--Albany, Ga., 1966. Harris, a member of SCLC, 
            died after allegedly organizing a walkout by black 
            students at a school in Grenada, Miss. He was 
            killed in Georgia in response to previous civil 
            rights activity there.
Henry, Izell--Greensburg, La., 1954. Henry was brutally beaten 
            a day after voting. He suffered permanent brain 
            damage and died five years later.
Hill, Arthur James--Villa Rica, Ga., 1965. Hill was shot during 
            an argument with whites. One suspect was held on 
            voluntary manslaughter charge.
Hunter, Ernest--St. Mary's, Ga., 1958. Hunter was shot and 
            killed while in jail following an arrest on charges 
            he was interfering with an officer.
Jackson, Luther--Philadelphia, Miss., 1959. Jackson was killed 
            by police after he and his girlfriend were found 
            talking in their car, which was stalled in a ditch. 
            Police claim Jackson attacked them.
Jells, Ernest--Clarksdale, Miss., 1964. Jells was accused of 
            stealing a banana from a grocery and pointing a 
            rifle at pursuing police officers. The officers 
            were exonerated.
Jeter, Joe Franklin--Atlanta, Ga., 1958. Jeter was killed by 
            police in front of his family, who were also 
            arrested and convicted in connection with a 
            gathering that police said turned into a melee. A 
            grand jury found the slaying was justified.
Lee, John--Goshen Springs, Miss., 1965. Lee's body was found 
            beaten on a country road.
Lee, Willie Henry--Rankin County, Miss., 1965. Lee, who was 
            known to have attended civil rights meetings, was 
            found beaten on a country road. An autopsy revealed 
            he died by strangulation from gas.
Lillard, Richard--Nashville, Tenn., 1958. Lillard died after a 
            beating from three white guards at a local 
            workhouse. All three were acquitted of murder 
Love, George--Indianola, Miss., 1958. Love was killed in a gun 
            battle with police who believed he was responsible 
            for a murder and arson. He was later cleared of any 
            connection to the murder.
Mahone, Maybelle--Molena, Ga., 1956. Mahone was killed by a 
            white man for ``sassing'' him. The man was 
            initially found guilty, but later found not guilty 
            by reason of insanity.
Maxwell, Sylvester--Canton, Miss., 1963. Maxwell's castrated 
            and mutilated body was found by his brother-in-law 
            less than 500 yards from the home of a white 
McNair, Robert--Pelahatchie, Miss., 1965. McNair was killed by 
            a town constable.
Melton, Clinton--Sumner, Miss., 1956. Elmer Otis Kimbell was 
            cleared in Melton's death. Kimbell claimed Melton 
            fired at him three times before he returned fire 
            with a shotgun. No gun was found in Melton's car or 
            on his body.
Miller, James Andrew--Jackson, Ga., 1964. Miller was shot by 
            whites a few days after being beaten. A suspect was 
            cleared after the coroner ruled he fired in self-
Mixon, Booker T.--Clarksdale, Miss., 1959. Mixon's body was 
            found lying on the side of the road, completely 
            nude. Police claimed it was a hit-and-run, though 
            family members cited his naked body and the 
            extensive amount of flesh torn from his body as 
            evidence of murder.
Montgomery, Nehemiah--Merigold, Miss., 1964. Montgomery, 60, 
            was shot by police after allegedly refusing to pay 
            for gas. Police were acquitted, and the shooting 
            was called justifiable homicide.
Morris, Frank--Ferriday, La., 1964. Morris, who owned a shoe 
            store, was killed when a gas stove exploded during 
            an arson. Morris, who lived in a room adjoining the 
            store, was ordered to return to his room by the men 
            who started the fire. An extensive Justice 
            Department investigation was conducted, but the 
            outcome is unclear.
Motley, James Earl--Wetumpka, Ala., 1967. Elmore County Deputy 
            Sheriff Harvey Conner was cleared in the death of 
            Motley, who died in prison after suffering three 
            severe blows to the head.
O'Quinn, Sam--Centreville, Miss., 1959. O'Quinn, derided by 
            some local whites for being ``uppity,'' was shot 
            after joining the NAACP.
Orsby, Hubert--Pickens, Miss., 1964. Orsby's body was found in 
            the Black River. It was reported that he was 
            wearing a t-shirt with ``CORE,'' written on it, 
            representing the Congress of Racial Equality.
Payne, Larry--Memphis, Tenn., 1968. Payne, 16, was killed by a 
            shotgun blast fired by a patrolman as he emerged 
            from a basement in a housing development.
Pickett, C.H.--Columbus, Ga., 1957. The part-time minister was 
            beaten to death while in police custody.
Pitts, Albert
Pitts, David
Johnson, Marshall
McPharland, Ernest--Monroe, La., 1960. A white employer was 
            arrested and then released in the shooting of five 
            of his employees, four of whom died. The victims 
            were accused of making threats. The employer was 
            never charged.
Powell, Jimmy--Brooklyn, N.Y., 1964. Powell, 15, was fatally 
            shot by a Brooklyn police officer. The officer's 
            exoneration by a grand jury sparked riots in 
Prather, William Roy--Corinth, Miss., 1959. Prather, 15, was 
            killed in an anti-black Halloween prank. One of 
            eight youths involved was indicted on manslaughter 
Queen, Johnny--Fayette, Miss., 1965. A white off-duty constable 
            was named in the pistol slaying of Johnny Queen. 
            The shooting was not connected to any arrest.
Rasberry, Donald--Okolona, Miss., 1965. Rasberry was shot to 
            death by his plantation boss.
Robinson, Fred--Edisto Island,, S.C., 1960. Robinson's body was 
            found washed ashore on August 5. His eyes were 
            reportedly gouged out and his skull crushed.
Robinson, Johnny--Birmingham, Ala., 1963. Robinson, 16, was 
            shot in the back by a policeman on the same day as 
            the 16th Street Church bombing. Police said the 
            victim had thrown stones at white youths driving 
            through the area.
Sanford, Willie Joe--Hawkinsville, Ga., 1957. Sanford's naked 
            body was raised from the bottom of a creek where it 
            had been wired to undergrowth in the water. The 
            result of a grand jury investigation is unknown.
Scott Jr., Marshall--New Orleans, La., 1965. Scott was put into 
            solitary confinement in a New Orleans jail. He died 
            without receiving any medical attention. There were 
            no arrests in the case.
Shelby, Jessie James--Yazoo City, Miss., 1956. Shelby, 23, was 
            fatally wounded by a police officer who claimed he 
            shot Shelby because he resisted arrest.
Singleton, W.G.--Shelby, N.C., 1957. Singleton died from third-
            degree burns suffered in an explosion and fire.
Smith, Ed--State Line, Miss., 1958. A grand jury refused to 
            indict L.D. Clark in the death of Smith, who was 
            shot in his yard in front of his wife. Clark later 
            reportedly bragged about the killing.
Stewart, Eddie James--Crystal Springs, Miss., 1966. Stewart was 
            reportedly beaten and shot while in police custody. 
            Police claimed he was shot while trying to escape.
Taylor, Isaiah--Ruleville, Miss., 1964. Taylor was shot by a 
            police officer after allegedly lunging at him with 
            a knife. The shooting was ruled a justifiable 
Thomas, Freddie Lee--LeFlore County, Miss., 1965. Federal 
            investigators looked into the death of Thomas, 16. 
            Thomas' brother believed he was murdered as a 
            warning against black voter registration. The 
            result of the investigation is unknown.
Triggs, Saleam--Hattiesburg, Miss., 1965. The body of Mrs. 
            Triggs was found mysteriously burned to death.
Varner, Hubert--Atlanta, Ga., 1966. Varner, 16, was killed when 
            a gunman fired into a group of black teenagers. The 
            gunman allegedly believed the teenagers made a 
            comment to his white companion. The result of a 
            federal investigation is unknown.
Walker, Clifton--Adams County, Miss., 1964. Walker was killed 
            by a shotgun blast at close range. The result of a 
            federal investigation is unknown.
Waymers, James--Allendale, S.C., 1965. A white man is acquitted 
            in the shooting death of Waymers after entering a 
            plea of self-defense.
Wilder, John Wesley--Ruston, La., 1965. A white policeman was 
            accused of Wilder's death, and a coroner's jury 
            ruled the slaying was justifiable homicide.
Williamson, Rodell--Camden, Ala., 1967. Williamson's body was 
            recovered from the Alabama River after it snagged 
            on a fisherman's line. Williamson was active in the 
            Wilcox County branch of the NAACP, but local 
            sheriff P.C. Jenkins said there were no signs of 
            foul play.
Wooden, Archie--Camden, Ala., 1967. Wooden, 16, bled to death 
            after either jumping or falling onto a sapling in a 
            ditch. The cut sapling severed an artery. A 
            newspaper report said the Mobile office of the FBI 
            made a civil rights violation inquiry into the 
            incident. The results of that inquiry are unknown.