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The murder of Emmett till

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1 The murder of Emmett till
Mock Trial The murder of Emmett till

2 Your Role Today You have been selected as a juror for Emmett Till’s murder case. You and your group will be presented with evidence. You will be asked to make an informed decision on the case and ultimately decide who was responsible for his death. Remember you must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone is guilty of murder to convict them of the crime. You will also reflect on the case and its impact on the civil rights movement.

3 4 corners (Evidence) Around the room you will find 4 pieces of evidence that are critical to the case. On your post it note: Please view each piece of evidence and list them from 1 to 4 in order of importance for the murder case.

4 Why did Emmett’s mother want to have an open casket?

5 Timeline of known events
May 17, 1954 in Brown vs. Board of Education the United States Supreme Court rules that segregation in public schools in unconstitutional. August 17, Emmett Till and his cousin Wheeler Parker arrives in Mississippi to visit his Uncle Mose Wright. August 24, (Wednesday) Emmett Till enters the Bryant Grocery and Meat Market at about 7:30 P.M.. Emmett Till allegedly said something to upset the woman working in the store- Caroyln Bryant. August 26, (Late Evening) Roy Bryant returns home after working at the grocery store and his wife tell him about the event with Emmett Till. August 28, (Early Sunday Morning, approximately 2:00 A.M.) Mose Wright claims that Emmett Till is abducted. August 28, (Early Sunday Morning, approximately 8:00 A.M.) Mose Wright calls Sheriff George Smith and informs him that Emmett Till has been abducted. August 28, (Approximately 9:00 A.M.) a formal investigation into the alleged abduction of Emmett Till begins. August 28, (12:00 noon) Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam are arrested and charged with kidnapping Emmett Till. August 31, (Wednesday) Emmett Till’s body is found by Robert Hodges at the bottom of the Tallahatchie River tied to a large cotton gin fan (approximately 70 pounds). September 1, 1955 Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam are charged with the murder of Emmett Till. They are held without bond. September 19, 1955 (Monday): Trial begins with jury selection. More than 70 reporters and 30 photographers attend the trial. It is called the most important murder trial of the 1950’s.

6 Please review the timeline and answer the attached questions.

7 Important people Please review the biography cards, these are all important people from the trial. Look for evidence that can be used in the trial. Each juror in your group is responsible for filling out one biography worksheet. Discuss each person with your group and share evidence…

8 Evidence log On the “Evidence Log” you will list any evidence you think would help convict Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam in the murder of Emmett Till. Please make your recommendation for sentencing, discuss this with your group.

9 The verdict After 68 minutes of discussion the jury came back with a “Not Guilty” verdict for first degree murder. The jury even gave the 2 men a not guilty verdict for kidnapping. This is easily one of the most grotesque injustices in American history. What does this decision say about America in the South during the 1950s?

10 D.O.l. Quick write (3 to 5 sentences): Compare and contrast the death of Emmett Till to the death of Travon Martin. How are these 2 cases alike and different? What does this say about our progress in civil rights?

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