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Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil JusticeCommittee on the JudiciaryCrime, Terrorism and Homeland SecurityIntroducedApril 26th, 2016
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Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016
To reauthorize the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007.
Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016 This bill permanently reauthorizes the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007 (Emmett Till Act) and expands the responsibilities of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to include the investigation and prosecution of criminal civil rights statutes violations that resulted in a death, regardless of when the violations occurred. (Currently, the Emmett Till Act is scheduled to expire at the end of FY2017 and such investigations are limited to violations that occurred before 1970.) The bill expresses the sense of Congress that all authorities with jurisdiction should: (1) coordinate information sharing; (2) hold accountable individuals who were perpetrators of, or accomplices in, unsolved civil rights murders; and (3) comply with Freedom of Information Act requests. In investigating a complaint, DOJ may coordinate activities with entities that DOJ determines to be appropriate. DOJ shall reopen and review cases closed without an in-person investigation conducted by DOJ or the FBI. DOJ must establish a task force to conduct a thorough investigation of Emmett Till Act cases. In an annual report to Congress, DOJ must indicate: (1) the number of cases referred by a civil rights organization, an institution of higher education, or a state or local law enforcement agency; (2) the number of such cases that resulted in federal charges; (3) the date any such charges were filed; (4) whether DOJ has declined to prosecute or participate in an investigation of a referred case; and (5) any activity on reopened cases. DOJ may award grants to civil rights organizations, institutions of higher education, and other eligible entities for expenses associated with investigating offenses under the Emmett Till Act.