Judge: March Deadline to Decide on Houston-Area Remains
SUGAR LAND, Texas (AP) — A Houston-area judge has set a March deadline to decide whether century-old remains believed to be those of African-American prisoners should be reburied in a nearby historic cemetery or remain at a school construction site where they were uncovered last spring.
State district Judge James Shoemake determined Monday that more community feedback is needed before a decision is made on the 95 remains found on land owned by the Fort Bend school district.
School officials want to rebury the remains in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery, which holds bodies believed to be from Texas' notorious convict-leasing system during the decades after the Civil War, where state prisoners were contracted out to perform cheap labor.
Archeologists who exhumed the construction site in June believe the remains are prisoners who were part of the convict-leasing system.