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BREAKING: Sen. Ossoff’s Bipartisan Bill to Secure Justice for Victims of Unsolved Lynchings & Murders Becomes Law

Sen. Ossoff’s new law will help deliver justice to families of unsolved crimes from the Civil Rights era

WATCH/LISTEN: Broadcast-quality footage of Sen. Ossoff reacting to his bipartisan bill becoming law

Sen. Ossoff: “There’s no expiration date on justice. That’s why this effort must continue.”

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff’s bipartisan bill to secure justice for victims of unsolved lynchings and murders today was signed into law.

Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan law will help families and descendants get the answers they deserve about unsolved lynchings and murders from the Civil Rights era.

“Now that the President has signed my bipartisan legislation to investigate unsolved lynchings and Civil Rights cold cases, the work of pursuing justice can continue for the Black women, Black children, and Black men who were killed in some of the most heinous ways in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s,” Sen. Ossoff said after his bipartisan bill became law. “With those crimes having been swept under the rug and never investigated, this is an opportunity to pursue justice and truth on behalf of those who were killed. There’s no expiration date on justice; that’s why this effort must continue.”

Sen. Ossoff introduced the bipartisan bill with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in February to extend the Civil Rights Cold Case Records Review Board’s term and help investigate these unsolved crimes.

The bipartisan bill passed the Senate in September and the House in November.

“During the Civil Rights movement, there were far too many unsolved violent race-based crimes committed against African Americans. It’s my hope that by giving the Review Board more time to examine the case files related to these unsolved crimes, we can shed sunlight on these Civil Rights cold cases and finally bring justice to the victims and their families, and I’m proud to have worked with Sen. Ossoff and Rep. Bobby Rush to get this bill through Congress and into law,” Sen. Cruz said.

In September, Sen. Ossoff delivered a passionate speech on the Senate floor urging passage of his bipartisan bill: 

“I rise this afternoon in pursuit of justice for the Black men and Black women abducted, beaten, and killed during the segregation era in the American South, and in retaliation for their participation in the Civil Rights Movement,” Sen. Ossoff said. “We will demonstrate that the United States will never rest in the pursuit of truth and justice for those who were lynched, abducted, beaten, killed, and assaulted in the segregation era South and during the Civil Rights Movement.”

While former President Donald Trump formally authorized the Review Board back in 2019, the Board’s members were not confirmed and finalized until more than three years later.

Sens. Ossoff’s bipartisan legislation will extend the Review Board’s term through 2027, ensuring the Board has ample time to conduct its investigations and deliver justice to the families and victims impacted by these hate crimes.

Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL-01) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives with Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-AL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Don Bacon (R-NE-02), and Nikema Williams (D-GA-05).

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