Bill would release records from civil-rights cold cases

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A bill proposed by Alabama U.S. Sen. Doug Jones would require the government to release records from unsolved criminal cases linked to the civil-rights era.

The former prosecutor introduced the legislation Tuesday, saying existing laws don’t go far enough to require the release of documents from the period.

A statement from Jones’ office says the bill would require officials to gather and release records from unsolved civil-rights crimes.

Jones, a Democrat, is a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted two Ku Klux Klansmen for a church bombing that killed four black girls in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. He says the bill is modeled after one that mandated the release of records from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The Justice Department is still reviewing a few unsolved civil-rights killings.

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