New focus on unsolved civil rights cases
Jun 13,2007 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - U.S. House of Representatives and Senate committees are considering legislation this week aimed at solving decades-old civil rights crimes.

The measure, drawn up by a House Judiciary subcommittee, calls for the creation of a Justice Department post to coordinate all federal prosecutions of civil rights murder cases that occurred before 1970, USA Today reported Wednesday.

In addition, the legislation provides $11.5 million a year to pursue cold civil rights cases and establishes a $2 million-a-year grant program to help state and local law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute old civil rights crimes, USA Today said.

The bill was unanimously approved by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Tuesday and sent to the full committee for markup.

The Senate Judiciary Committee planned to consider similar legislation Thursday.

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