The Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act, led by Senators Doug Jones D-Ala. and Ted Cruz, R-Texas was recently signed into law by President Donald J. Trump. The act requires that unsolved criminal civil rights cases be reviewed, declassified and any related government records be released.
“This law sends a powerful message to those impacted by these horrific crimes and to young folks in this country who want to make a difference, Jones said. “I know how deeply painful these Civil Rights-era crimes remain for communities so by shedding light on these investigations I hope we can provide an opportunity for healing and closure.”
The new legislation used the President John F. Kennedy, Jr. Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, as a model during the creation process.
The Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2018 will mandate the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) develop a collection of cold case records of unsolved criminal civil rights cases that federal offices are required to publicly disclose. In addition, the legislation will create a Civil Rights Cold Case Records Review Board to aid the review, relaying records to NARA and publicly disclosing the government records related to cases of this form.