TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The reopening of the 63-year-old Emmett Till slaying case has brought back emotions for many.
One such man is Jak Smith, the son of one of the prosecutors in the case. He says his father, Robert B. Smith III, would be proud to see the progress in this case.
"I think it would be something he would enforce and improve of. I'm sure he felt he should have gotten a conviction in this obvious murder case," Smith said.
Jak Smith says not many wanted to prosecute the case. He says his father stepped forward.
"This was no white-washed, wink-wink prosecution," Smith said. "They tried to convict these guys with everything they had."
Smith kept letters his father received in 1955. Some letters were hateful, citing race betrayal.
Some others praised him for his work.
Jak Smith was seven years old at the time of the trial in 1955, but it still affected his life.
"I remember we had Highway Patrol men with us 24/7 in fear that someone would do something to my family," Smith said.
He says looking back at how horrible Mississippi was, he knows his father would be happy with the progress the state has made.