The Department of Justice’s Efforts to Investigate and Prosecute Unsolved Civil Rights Era Homicides

Overview. The Civil Rights Division launched this website to make information about the Justice Department’s investigation of unsolved homicides—or “cold cases”—from the Civil Rights Era more accessible to the public.... View More

Investigations and Prosecutions. The Department has always been willing to reassess and review cold cases when new evidence came to light. Thus far, the Department’s efforts have resulted in two successful federal prosecutions and three successful state prosecutions....View More

Notifying Families. In the years since the passage of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, the FBI has completed its work on most of the investigations it has opened and has submitted them to the Department for review. The Department’s review is ongoing. Unfortunately, it has become apparent during this process that due to legal and evidentiary impediments, it is unlikely that any remaining cases will be prosecuted.... View More

Community Engagement & Contacting the Division. The Division is committed to engaging with community members who may have information about cold cases. The first step in the Department’s civil rights cold case effort was to have each of the FBI’s 56 field offices identify cases in its jurisdiction that might warrant review. In 2007, we conducted extensive outreach to entities including the NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the National Urban League, community groups, academic institutions, and state and local law enforcement organizations....View More

List of cold case closing memoranda

Updated February 6, 2017