Mississippi Grand Jury Decided To Not Indict Carolyn Bryant Donham

The white woman who had her name on an unserved arrest warrant for Emmett Till’s death and gave a bogus account in her memoir of what happened in the days prior to his death will not be facing any time behind bars because a Mississippi grand jury declined to indict her due to insufficient evidence last week.

On Tuesday, Leflore County District Attorney Dewayne Richardson released a statement that the Grand Jury heard testimony from witnesses regarding the investigation from 2004 to now and said that the jury found a lack of sufficient evidence to indict Carolyn Brant Donham, leading them to return a “No True Bill” to the kidnapping and manslaughter charges, which means Donham gets to live her life without facing consequences for her involvement.

Richardson addressed the 1955 arrest warrant that was found in the Leflore County Circut Clerk’s basement by a search team looking for evidence in the Mississippi courthouse’s basement.

“Following the discovery, the FBI was notified, and further discussions were had between the District Attorney’s Office and its federal partners,” Richardson said in the press release. “Although prosecutors do not arrest people nor do prosecutors serve arrest warrants, the existence of the 1955 warrant along with additional information confirmed the decision to present this matter to the next regularly scheduled Leflore County Grand Jury.”

Emmett Till’s cousin and the last living witness to his abduction, Rev. Wheeler Parker, Jr., gave a statement about the decision.

“This outcome is unfortunate but predictable news,” Parker said. The prosecutor tried his best, and we appreciate his efforts, but he alone cannot undo hundreds of years of anti-Black systems that guaranteed those who killed Emmett Till would go unpunished to this day.”

He continued, “The fact remains that the people who abducted, tortured, and murdered Emmett did so in plain sight, and our American justice system was and continues to be set up in such a way that they could not be brought to justice for their heinous creams.”

In the memoir, Donham claimed that Till grabbed her and made lewd comments in the store. She also alleged that she tried to protect Till by telling her husband he wasn’t the man that grabbed her after they brought him into the house for her to identify him. But, according to her, the 14-year-old boy outed himself by telling them it was him with a smile on his face.

Taylor Berry