The Capitol Building

Doug Jones Introduces Cold Case Act to the U.S. Senate

July 12, 2018

HIGHTSTOWN, New Jersey — On Monday, July 10, Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.) officially presented the Cold Case Act before the floor of the Senate. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Kamala D. Harris (D-Ca.) are original co-sponsors of the legislation, officially titled the Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2018. Earlier in the day, a group of 20 students and their teacher Stuart Wexler traveled to Washington, D.C. to talk with Jones about their bill and witness him introduce it into the U.S. Senate. The Cold Case Act now resides in both chambers of Congress, where it continues to gain bipartisan support in its committees.

“Having prosecuted two civil rights cold cases in Alabama, I know firsthand the importance of having every available piece of information at your disposal. This bill will ensure public access to records relating to these cases and will expand the universe of people who can help investigate these crimes, including journalists, historians, private investigators, local law enforcement, and others,” Jones said in his introduction speech.

Public support also came upon its introduction from the bill’s co-sponsors. “Transparency in our justice system is critical to ensuring trust between the American people and our country’s institutions. I fought for this as Attorney General of California, and am proud to continue these efforts in the United States Senate,” Senator Harris said.

The bill would establish an independent review board to facilitate the release of documents pertaining to civil rights cold cases. It borrows from the JFK Records Act of 1992, a successful piece of legislation that established a similar review board. This process proved to release records more efficiently and securely than Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the traditional channel for obtaining records.

For more information about the legislation, please contact us at [email protected], or visit our main website at