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Jo Etha Collier


Jo Etha Collier, an African-American young woman and recent high school graduate, was fatally shot by XXXXX in Drew, Mississippi, on the evening of May 25, 1971.  XXXXX and two other men – XXXX (XXXX) and XXXX (XXX XXX) – were driving past Ms. Collier when she was shot and killed.  The state arrested the three men and charged them with murder.  XXXXX was tried before a jury in October 1971, convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.  The state later dropped the charges against XXXX and XXXX.  For the reasons stated more fully below, this matter should be closed without prosecution or referral.  The statute of limitations has long run on any federal civil rights crime and Ms. Collier’s death does not implicate any other federal crimes.  Referral to the state for prosecution is inappropriate because the Double Jeopardy clause of the United States Constitution would bar a subsequent state prosecution of XXXXX, and because the state previously determined that XXXX and XXXX could not be held legally responsible for the shooting. 

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Case Name
Jo Etha Collier
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Updated October 27, 2021