Civil Rights Era Unsolved Murder Victim’s Family to Visit SU College of Law

As part of Black History Month observations, Syracuse University College of Law’s Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI) is holding a special Civil Rights Era unsolved murders program from 6‑8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at the College of Law, in 104 White Hall.

The program will highlight the personal journey of Cordero Ducksworth of Chicago, son of Cpl. Roman Ducksworth Jr., who was killed in Taylorsville, Miss., on April 9, 1962, by Officer William Kelly. Cpl. Ducksworth was on his way home from Fort Ritchie, Md., to see his wife, who was expecting their sixth child. The corporal’s killing was ruled a justifiable homicide; thus no charges were brought because the officer claimed self-defense.

The Feb. 25 event will include a conversation with Cpl. Ducksworth’s son, who will be accompanied by his wife and niece. Cordero Ducksworth will be joined by CCJI co-directors Paula C. Johnson and Janis L. McDonald and some of the CCJI student volunteers. The Ducksworth family will also meet with CCJI volunteers who are working on the family’s case at a reception following the formal portion of the program.

This special visitor's program will be part of a yearlong series of events that will run from 2013-2014 commemorating the 50th anniversary of several important Civil Rights Era milestones. These events include remembering Frank Morris, the Ferriday, La., shoe shop owner who died from injuries sustained when the Ku Klux Klan burned his shoe store, leaving him with burns over 90 percent of his body; the 1964 Klan lynch mob killing of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney near Meridian, Miss.; and the passage of the monumental Civil Rights Act of 1964, among many more.

Parking for the event is available at the Irving Garage on Irving Avenue.