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TV Series Tries to Revive Civil Rights Cold Cases

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Better known for crime fare like “I (Almost) Got Away With It” and “Deadly Women,” Investigation Discovery is using Black History Month to turn the spotlight on three unsolved, racially motivated killings of the 1960s. For Keith Beauchamp, the 39-year-old documentary filmmaker who is an executive producer of the series and its host, it is familiar terrain. He’s been involved with these cases for years, since starting the 2005 documentary “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till,” about a 14-year-old who was tortured and murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for supposedly whistling at a white woman.

Theodore M. Shaw, a professor at Columbia Law School and the former director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said, “The culture of our country is that these shows do produce an audience.”

He added: “It’s not just a question of whether someone is sentenced to prison, but the inviolate right to prosecute these cases. It’s a kind of truth and reconciliation.”

Read the full article here.