The family of Emmett Till is calling for a fresh look at his death after a key witness recently admitted to perjury more than 60 years after the verdict.
Two white men killed 14-year-old Till for allegedly whistling at a white woman in 1955 as he was visiting family in Mississippi. J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant were arrested shortly after the lynching.
A new book titled “The Blood of Emmett Till” by Timothy Tyson, a Duke University scholar, reveals that Carolyn Bryant Donham admitted she made false claims during her testimony. Milam and Bryant were found not guilty after deliberation from an all-white male jury.
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In Tyson’s book, he writes that Donham felt remorseful and said “nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him.”
Now, two of Till’s cousins, Wheeler Parker and Deborah Watts, said that Donham’s confession should force a new probe of the case, according to the Associated Press.
“We know that she has admitted that she lied, and we know that is part of the reason Emmett is no longer with us,” said Watts. “If there is any chance to reopen the case, I hope they will take this opportunity to do it now.”
Donham, who is now 82, lives in North Carolina.