House measure extends reviews of unsolved racial murders

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has voted to renew a law that would extend federal and state reviews of cold cases of racially motivated killings during the civil rights era.

The law calls for a full accounting of race-based murders, many of which had been closed for decades. It expires next year. More than 100 cases from the 1960s and earlier have been checked out, with one conviction. But new racially suspicious murders have been identified for investigation.

The bill is named after Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy murdered in 1955 after whistling at a white woman. His killers were acquitted of murder but later admitted their crimes to a reporter and couldn’t be retried.

The House bill provides federal resources to local jurisdictions to look into the cases. It now goes to the Senate.

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