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A grand jury declined to indict a woman whose accusations set off Emmett Till killing

Emmett TillA grand jury in Mississippi has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago, despite revelations about an unserved arrest warrant and a newly revealed memoir by the woman, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

A Leflore County grand jury considered evidence and testimony regarding Carolyn Bryant Donham's involvement in the kidnapping and death of Till, Leflore County District Attorney Dewayne Richardson said in a news release.

After hearing more than seven hours of testimony from investigators and witnesses, the grand jury determined that there was not sufficient evidence to indict Donham, Richardson said. Charges of both kidnaping and manslaughter were considered.



Georgia father, son sentenced to life for hate crimes in Ahmaud Arbery death

Father and son sentenced to lifeThe father and son who are serving life in prison for Ahmaud Arbery's murder were again sentenced to life in prison Monday on federal hate crime charges.

Travis McMichael, who fatally shot Arbery, will serve his federal sentence of life plus 10 years. McMichael, 36, declined to address the court. His father, Gregory, who initiated the deadly pursuit of the jogger, will serve life in state prison plus seven years. They both will serve the federal sentences concurrently with the state time.

Their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, who was also convicted of murder, was set to be sentenced later Monday. In February, a jury found that the three men, who are white, violated Arbery’s civil rights and targeted him because of his race. Arbery was Black.


Last Conviction in Salem Witch Trials Is Cleared 329 Years Later

Last of salem women cleared

Elizabeth Johnson Jr. is — officially — not a witch.

Until last week, the Andover, Mass., woman, who confessed to practicing witchcraft during the Salem witch trials, was the only remaining person convicted during the trials whose name had not been cleared.

Though she was sentenced to death in 1693, after she and more than 20 members of her extended family faced similar allegations, she was granted a reprieve and avoided the death sentence.

The exoneration came on Thursday, 329 years after her conviction, tucked inside a $53 billion state budget signed by Gov. Charlie Baker. It was the product of a three-year lobbying effort by a civics teacher and her eighth-grade class, along with a state senator who helped champion the cause.


New Zealand pornography producer pleads guilty to sex trafficking in US

Wolf brought sex trafficking to US

A New Zealand man who helped build a US-based pornography empire by coercing young women into filming adult videos has pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 40, admitted to his part in a scheme that recruited women to perform in videos for GirlsDoPorn, on the promise the films would not be shown in the US and would not be uploaded online. Wolfe is the fourth defendant to plead guilty in connection to the case.

The adult subscription service launched in 2006 by New Zealander Michael Pratt and was operated by Ruben Garcia and Wolfe, who moved to the US in 2011 to help Pratt. Pratt’s websites generated more than US$17m in revenue.


Former Minneapolis officers sentenced for violating George Floyd's rights

Police officers sentenced in Floyd trialThe last two former Minneapolis police officers who were convicted of violating George Floyd’s civil rights during his May 2020 killing were sentenced Wednesday in federal court to penalties that a judge said reflected their level of culpability in the case that sparked worldwide protests as part of a reckoning over racial injustice.

J. Alexander Kueng was sentenced to three years and Thao got a 3 1/2-year sentence. They were convicted in February of two counts of violating Floyd's civil rights in the 2020 slaying. The jury found they deprived the 46-year-old Black man of medical care and failed to stop Derek Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd's neck for 9½ minutes while Floyd gasped for air.

As Chauvin pinned Floyd’s neck, Kueng held Floyd's back, former Officer Thomas Lane held his feet and Thao kept back bystanders, some of whom recorded video that led to worldwide protests.





Pope Issues Historic Apology For ‘Devastating’ Abuse Against Indigneous Students

Pope issues historic apologyPope Francis issued a historic apology Monday for the Catholic Church’s cooperation with Canada’s “catastrophic” policy of Indigenous residential schools, saying the forced assimilation of Native peoples into Christian society destroyed their cultures, severed families and marginalized generations in ways still being felt today.

“I am sorry,” Francis said, to applause from school survivors and Indigenous community members gathered at a former residential school south of Edmonton, Alberta, the first event of Francis’ weeklong “penitential pilgrimage” to Canada.

The morning after he arrived in the country, Francis traveled to the lands of four Cree nations to pray at a cemetery. Four chiefs then escorted the pontiff in his wheelchair to powwow ceremonial grounds where he delivered the long-sought apology and was given a feathered headdress.


‘They don’t have any humanity’: Black immigrants in Ice custody report abuse and neglect

No humanity shown for black immirantsIn August 2001, Bel’Or, a native of Congo, arrived at Philadelphia international airport with one suitcase, a visiting visa, and a dream to study at an American university. In the two decades that followed, he learned English and received a bachelor’s in finance from Temple University on a student visa. Then one night in 2018, as he returned from spending time with friends to mark the first anniversary of his wife’s death, he was arrested by police for a DUI. On 27 January 2020, Bel’Or (identified here by his first name only, for his protection) was placed in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) custody on non-deportable charges.

Once detained, Bel’Or, who had long enjoyed his freedom as one of the 4.6 million Black immigrants in America, joined a new group: the more than 4,500 Black immigrants inside Ice facilities. Ice’s database lists about 25,000 detainees nationwide, but does not maintain reliable inmate demographics. Non-profits such as Freedom for Immigrants (FFI) and Black Alliance for Just Immigration estimate that roughly 20% of Black immigrants are waiting for deportation.

Advocacy organizations like FFI also say that this demographic experiences higher rates of deportation; sexual, physical, medical, and psychological abuses in detention; and solitary confinement.


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