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BREAKING: Senate Homeland Security Committee Passes Sen. Ossoff’s Bipartisan Bill to Secure Justice for Civil Rights Cold Case Victims

Washington, D.C. –– Today, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff’s bipartisan legislation to secure justice for Civil Rights cold case victims and their families.

Sen. Ossoff and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’s bipartisan Civil Rights Cold Case Investigations Support Act of 2022 will help the Civil Cold Case Review Board investigate unsolved crimes from the Civil Rights era and secure justice for victims and their families.

During today’s hearing, Sen. Ossoff highlighted meeting last week the family of Caleb Hill Jr., who was pulled from Wilkinson County jail in the middle of the night in 1949 and shot to death by a lynch mob — but whose killers have not been brought to justice.

“I had the chance to sit down with the descendants and relatives of Caleb Hill Jr. And Mr. Hill in 1949 was dragged at night from the county jail and shot to death by a lynch mob. And no one’s ever been brought to justice. And so, for this Committee today, Democrats and Republicans, to unite to advance legislation that ensures the Federal government can support the continued investigation of cases like Mr. Hill’s to seek truth and justice, is meaningful and vital to serve the values of truth and justice,” Sen. Ossoff said in the hearing.

While the Review Board was formally authorized and signed into law by former President Donald Trump in 2019, Board members were not nominated until last year and confirmed until February of this year.

Sen. Ossoff’s legislation will extend the Review Board’s term through 2027 to ensure they have enough time to do their jobs and to secure justice and answers for families and communities harmed by these crimes.

Click here to watch Sen. Ossoff’s remarks:

Sen. Ossoff speaks in Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing.

Please find a transcript of Sen. Ossoff’s remarks below:

SEN. OSSOFF: “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I noted earlier my appreciation to colleagues in both parties to advance my legislation to support these investigations of Civil Rights cold cases. And I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your support. I was in Irwinton, Georgia, last Friday, meeting with local leaders about the funding that Congress has appropriated to build a new public sewer system for that county — the first in its history. And I had the chance to sit down with the descendants and relatives of Caleb Hill Jr. And Mr. Hill, in 1949, was dragged at night from the county jail and shot to death by a lynch mob. And no one’s ever been brought to justice. And so, for this Committee today, Democrats and Republicans, to unite to advance legislation that ensures the Federal government can support the continued investigation of cases like Mr. Hill’s to seek truth and justice, is meaningful and vital to serve the values of truth and justice. So, I thank, again, the Committee for their support.”

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