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Mississippi Attorney General Says They Wont Prosecute Woman in Emmett Till’s Lynching Because There’s “No New Evidence to Open the Case Back Up”


State officials say that Carolyn Bryant Donham, the white woman who falsely accused Emmett Till of murder, will not face criminal charges in Mississippi.

According to Michelle Williams, the director of staff for Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office, there is “no new evidence to open the case back up.”

Williams added that Fitch’s office has not communicated with Leflore County prosecutors.

Her comment to the AP comes after a decades-old, unfulfilled warrant for Donham’s arrest was discovered.

It also occurred days after she gave reporters access to a copy of her tightly sealed memoir. The manuscript’s assertions appear to conflict with those Donham has previously made.

Emmett’s family has recently been pleading with authorities to arrest Donham, currently living in North Carolina, and is getting close to 90 years old.

In the summer of 1955, Emmett, a native of Chicago, was visiting family in Mississippi when Donham, then 21 years old, accused him of whistling at her and attempting to grasp her hand and waist inside a store. A few days later, Emmett was kidnapped from a relative’s house, brutally abused, and shot. His body was then dumped into the Tallahatchie River while being fastened to a huge metal fan by barbed wire.

That September, an all-white jury found Roy Bryant, Donham’s husband, and J.W. Milam not guilty of murdering Emmett after deliberating for an hour.

In a magazine interview that followed the trial, both men later admitted to killing the boy.

During a 2017 interview, she claimed that Emmett never touched or harassed her. However, in the unpublished memoir, she stated that Emmett did those things, but she tried to help him.

“I did not wish Emmett any harm and could not stop harm from coming to him since I didn’t know what was planned for him,” Donham said in the manuscript, which was co-written by her daughter-in-law. “I tried to protect him by telling Roy that ‘He’s not the one. That’s not him. Please take him home.’”

In the manuscript, she asserts that the fearless Emmett identified himself and spoke up before being hauled away at gunpoint.

Donham wrote that she “always felt like a victim as well as Emmett” and “paid dearly with an altered life” for what happened to him. “I have always prayed that God would bless Emmett’s family. I am truly sorry for the pain his family was caused.”





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