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House approves bill making lynching a federal hate crime

The House has overwhelmingly approved the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which would make lynching a federal hate crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison, reports the Washington Post.

In a change from the 2020 measure, which ultimately went nowhere after it was held up by Sen. Rand Paul, who said that he feared the bill might “conflate lesser crimes with lynching” and that it would allow enhanced penalties for altercations that resulted in only “minor bruising,” the latest version includes the words “death or serious bodily injury.”

Paul now says he joined with Senators Cory Booker and Tim Scott to rework the legislation and that he supports the version that was expected to pass the House. More than 4,000 people, mostly African Americans, were reported lynched in the United States from 1882 to 1968, in all but a handful of states, and ninety-nine percent of perpetrators escaped state or local punishment.

Rep. Bobby L. Rush, who introduced the bill, said the bill’s passage marked “a day of enormous consequence for our nation” and that “modern-day lynchings like the murder of Ahmaud Arbery make abundantly clear that the racist hatred and terror that fueled the lynching of Emmett Till lynching are far too prevalent in America to this day.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the Senate to “take immediate action and send this bill to the President’s desk.”

This report was first published by The Crime Report.


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