FBI reopens civil rights era investigations

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The FBI reopened investigations of about a dozen decades-old suspicious deaths, officials said Tuesday amid a Justice Department focus on cracking unsolved cases from the nation's civil rights era.

The high-priority cases, which FBI Director Robert S. Mueller described as numbering between 10 and 12, are among an estimated 100 that investigators nationwide are looking at as possible civil rights-related murders.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acknowledged many of the cases may be beyond the boundaries of what the federal government can legally prosecute. But they "remain on our radar," he said.

"Much time has passed on these crimes," Gonzales told reporters in Washington. "The wounds they left are deep, and still many of them have not healed. But we are committed to re-examining these cases and doing all we can to bring justice to the criminals who may have avoided punishment for so long."

Addressing civil rights violators, Gonzales said: "You have not gotten away with anything -- we are still on your trail."

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