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NEWS: Sen. Ossoff’s Bipartisan Bill to Secure Justice for Victims of Unsolved Lynchings & Murders Passes U.S. House

Bipartisan bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law

Sen. Ossoff: “Decades may have passed, but the pursuit of justice cannot and will not end.”

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff’s bipartisan bill to secure justice for victims of unsolved lynchings and murders is one step closer to becoming law.

Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill to help the Civil Cold Case Review Board investigate unsolved lynchings and murders from the Civil Rights era and deliver justice to families and victims impacted by these crimes.

Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill passed the U.S. Senate in September and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“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 in a passionate speech on the Senate floor in September. “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 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 and Ted Cruz’s bipartisan legislation will extend the Review Board’s term through 2027, ensuring the Board has ample time to conduct its investigations and help families get the answers they deserve. 

Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL-01) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“There are far too many unsolved crimes from the Civil-Rights era where there could be critical information found in Federal case files. Four years ago, my bill requiring that those files be made public was signed into law. The passage of my bill today means the law will be implemented as Congress intended and grieving families and communities are now one step closer to receiving closure on what happen decades ago,” said Rep. Rush. “I am thrilled by the passage of the bill in the House today, and I look forward to seeing President Joe Biden sign this legislation into law.”

“Our nation has a long, troubling history of failing to deliver justice for victims of racially motivated violence. One could draw a direct line from the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955 to the killing of Trayvon Martin just ten years ago. In neither case were the killers convicted.  I’m proud of the students from Hightstown, NJ in my district who took action and wrote the Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2017 with my friend, Congressman Bobby Rush,” Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman said. “By passing this bipartisan bill, we’ve begun the process of healing the wounds of our past and demonstrating that racist violence has no place in America.”

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