It is almost impossible that the 88-year-old will ever be prosecuted for the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955. There were allegations of kidnapping and manslaughter.

Till, a Chicago teenager, was visiting relatives in Mississippi when Carolyn Bryant Donham – a white woman – accused him of whistling at her in her husband’s store and touching her. Three days later, Till was abducted from his uncle’s house by the then 21-year-old’s husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam.

Another three days later, Till’s horribly mangled corpse was found in a river: one eye had been gouged out, the head split open, and there was a weight fastened with barbed wire around the neck.

Bryant and Milam were acquitted by an all-white jury after just a five-day trial. Only four months after the acquittal, the two men confessed to the crime in an interview. Both remained at liberty, they have since died.

There were repeated investigations against Carolyn Bryant Donham. The FBI investigated the case between 2004 and 2007, but there were no charges against the woman. In 2017, an author said Bryant Donham had admitted to him that her previous allegations against Till were wrong. The investigation ended in December 2021, also without charges.

Finally, last June, a 1955 warrant for the woman’s arrest was discovered in the basement of the Leflore County Courthouse, which was never executed. This led to new investigations, which have now come to an end.

Till’s murder is one of the most notorious crimes of the segregation era and fueled the black civil rights movement in the southern states. Till’s mother had insisted that her dead son be laid out in an open coffin so that the brutality of the murder would become public. Last March, President Joe Biden signed legislation named after Till, making lynching and attempted lynching a hate crime.