Sunday, August 06, 2006

Brother and Mother of Slain Civil Rights Martyr James Earl Chaney Urge Support For Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, Senate Bill No. S. 2679

Ben Chaney requested that the attached letter from his mother Fannie L. Chaney to members of the U.S. Senate, be forwarded, especially to veterans of the civil rights movement. Ms. Chaney asks in her letter that Senators support the Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, Senate Bill No. S. 2679 which calls for the Department of Justice and the F.B.I. to investigate surviving perpetrators of racial violence that took place up to 1970:
"Making a Difference in the Quality of Life"

36 East 12th Street

6th Floor

New York, NY 10003

(212) 475-3232


August 1, 2006
To Members of the United States Senate BY FAX AND MAIL

Dear Senator,

I am writing to seek your support for the Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, Senate Bill No. S. 2679 which calls for the Department of Justice and the F.B.I. to investigate surviving perpetrators of racial violence that took place up to 1970. The Bill is sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans. It makes available to prosecutors F.B.I. files which the Department of Justice has been reluctant to release to local states. Such files include the so-called “informant files.”

The importance of the Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act cannot be understated. In the fall of 2004, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood publicly announced that he was requesting the assistance of the F.B.I. to investigate the murders of James Chaney, Andy Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Instead of filing a request with the Justice Department, Mr. Hood investigated the case on his own and, in January 2005 introduced evidence on only one defendant before a Neshoba County Grand Jury. That defendant, Edgar Ray Killen was convicted in June 2005.

Days before the trial, Mr. Hood met with the families and told us that he had presented evidence to the Grand Jury concerning all the living “suspects” in the case and that the Grand Jury only returned an indictment against Mr. Killen. In the fall of last year we discovered that the reason the Grand Jury issued only one indictment was because Mr. Hood had introduced evidence on only one man, Edgar Ray Killen. Had Mr. Hood been sincere in his quest for justice and used the resources of the Justice Department, he could not have avoided presenting evidence to the Grand Jury on the role of a multi-millionaire in Neshoba County who was involved in the murders and on whose property (the Old Jolly Farm) the bodies were found. Nor could he have avoided evidence on the involvement of a former State Legislator who served on the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission and spent his career obstructing justice in this case.

The Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act would reduce, to some degree, the “delay”, “stall” and/or “play stupid” tactics used by some county and state District Attorneys to protect the influential members of their community who participated in these crimes. The Bill would put a stop to their feigning ignorance. It offers the best opportunity for full disclosure of all the evidence in these cases and will bring closure to the families and to the communities in which the murders took place.

The Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act is perhaps the most important piece of civil rights legislation since the 1960's.

I have hoped and prayed for over 40 years for justice including full disclosure and the complete prosecution of all those involved in the murder of my son James, and his companions, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Therefore I urged you and your colleagues in the U.S. Senate to pass the Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act this week, so that those who participated in these horrible crimes can receive the justice that has been long overdue.
Fannie L. Chaney

A young Ben Chaney and his mother Fannie L. Chaney at his brother's funeral.

Ben also asked that people immediately contact their Senators, and especially any Senator who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and ask for their support of the bill. It is Ben's understanding that the committee will vote on the bill tomorrow (Thursday, August 3).
A general number that can be used to reach a Senate switchboard that will transfer your call to any Senator is: 1-800 459-1887.
Below are links for form email to Senators and also their fax numbers.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) Fax: 202-224-3149
Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R) Fax: 202-224-3416

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) Fax: 202-224-5301
Sen. Ted Stevens (R) Fax: 202-224-2354

Sen. Jon Kyl. (R) Fax: 202-224-2207
Sen. John McCain (R) Fax: 202-228-2862

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) Fax: 202-228-1371
Sen. Mark Pryor (D)
Fax: 202-228-0908

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) Fax: 415-956-6701
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) Fax: 202-228-3954

Sen. Wayne Allard (R) Fax: 202-224-6471
Sen. Ken Salazar (D) Fax: 202-224-1933

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) Fax: 202-224-1083
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D) Fax: 202-224-9750

Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D) Fax: 202-224-0139
Sen. Tom Carper (D) Fax: 202-228-2190

Sen. Mel Martinez (R) Fax: 202-224-2237
Sen. Bill Nelson (D) Fax: 202-228-2183

Sen. Saxby Chamblis (R) Fax 202-224-0103
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) Fax: 202-228-2090

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D) Fax: 202-224-2126
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D) Fax: 202-224-6747

Sen. Larry Craig (R) Fax: 202-228-1067
Sen. Michael Crapo (R) Fax: 202-228-1375

Sen. Dick Durbin (D)
Fax: 202-228-0400
Sen. Barack Obama (D) Fax: 202-228-5417

Sen. Evan Bayh (D)
Fax: 202-228-1377
Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R)
Fax: 202-228-0360

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R)
Fax: 202-224-6020
Sen. Tom Harkin (D)
Fax: 202-224-9369

Sen. Sam Brownback (R)
Fax: 202-228-1265
Sen. Pat Roberts (R)
Fax: 202-224-3514

Sen. Jim Bunning (R) Fax: 202-228-1373
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) Fax: 202-224-2499

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) Fax: 202-224-9735
Sen. David Vitter
(R) Fax: 202-228-2577

Sen. Susan Collins (R) Fax: 202-224-2693
Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R) Fax: 202-224-1946

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) Fax: 202-224-8858
Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D) Fax: 202-224-1651

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D) Fax: 202-224-2417
Sen. John Kerry (D) Fax: 202-224-8525

Sen. Carl Levin (D) Fax: 202-224-1388
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) Fax: 202-228-0325

Sen. Mark Dayton (D) Fax: 202-228-2186
Sen. Norm Coleman (R)
Fax: 202-224-1152

Sen. Thad Cochran (R)
Fax: 202-224-9450
Sen. Trent Lott (R)
Fax: 202-224-2262

Sen. Kit Bond (R)
Fax: 202-224-8149
Sen. Jim Talent (R)
Fax: 202-228-1518

Sen. Max Baucus (D) Fax: 202-224-4700
Sen. Conrad Burns (R) Fax: 202-224-8594

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) Fax: 202-224-5213
Sen. Ben Nelson (D) Fax: 202-228-0012

Sen. John Ensign (R) Fax: 202-228-2193
Sen. Harry Reid (D) Fax: 202-224-7327

New Hampshire
Sen. Judd Gregg (R) Fax: 202-224-4952
Sen. John Sununu (R) Fax: 202-228-4131

New Jersey
Sen. Robert Menendez (D)
Fax: 202-228-2197
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D)
Fax: 202-228-4054

New Mexico
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D)
Fax: 202-224-2852
Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R)
Fax: 202-228-3261

New York
Sen. Charles Schumer (D) Fax: 202-228-3027
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) Fax: 202-228-0282

North Carolina
Sen. Richard Burr (R) Fax 202-228-2981
Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) Fax: 202-224-1100

North Dakota
Sen. Kent Conrad (D)
Fax: 202-224-7776
Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D)
Fax: 202-224-1193

Sen. Mike DeWine (R) Fax: 202-224-6519
Sen. George Voinovich (R) Fax: 202-228-1382

Sen. James Inhofe (R) Fax: 202-228-0380
Sen. Tom Coburn (R) Fax: 202-224-6008

Sen. Gordon Smith (R) Fax: 202-228-3997
Sen. Ron Wyden (D) Fax: 202-228-2717

Sen. Rick Santorum (R) Fax: 202-228-0604
Sen. Arlen Specter (R) Fax: 202-228-1229

Rhode Island
Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) Fax: 202-228-2853
Sen. Jack Reed (D) Fax: 202-224-4680

South Carolina
Sen. Jim DeMint (R) Fax: 202-228-5143
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) Fax: 202-224-3808

South Dakota
Sen. John Thune (R) Fax: 202-228-5429
Sen. Tim Johnson (D) Fax: 202-228-5765

Sen. William H. Frist (R)
Fax: 202-228-1264
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R)
Fax: 202-228-3398

Sen. John Cornyn (R)
Fax: 202-228-2856
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) Fax: 202-224-0776

Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R) Fax: 202-228-1168
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R) Fax: 202-224-6331

Sen. James M. Jeffords (I) Fax: 202-228-0776
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D) Fax: 202-224-3479

Sen. George Allen (R)
Fax: 202-224-5432
Sen. John W. Warner (R)
Fax: 202-224-6295

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D)
Fax: 202-228-0514
Sen. Patty Murray (D)
Fax: 202-224-0238

West Virginia
Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D)
Fax: 202-228-0002
Sen. John D. Rockefeller, IV (D)
Fax: 202-224-7665

Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D)
Fax: 202-224-2725
Sen. Herb Kohl (D)
Fax: 202-224-9787

Sen. Mike Enzi (R)
Fax: 202-228-0359
Sen. Craig Thomas (R)
Fax: 202-224-1724

Territories and Delegates:

American Samoa
Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (D-At Large) Fax: 202-225-8757

Washington, D.C.
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-At Large) Fax 202-225-3002

Delegate Madeilene Bordallo (D-At Large)
Fax: 202-226-0341

Puerto Rico
Delegate Luis Fortuno (R-At Large) Fax: 202-225-2154

Virgin Islands
Delegate Donna Christensen (D-At Large)
Fax: 202-225-5517

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