On March 7, 2022, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime for the first time in U.S. history. More than 200 bills to ban lynching in the United States had been introduced in the past century, but to no avail until now.
The Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act will amend the current U.S. code to specifically identify lynching as a hate crime, punishable by federal imprisonment of up to 30 years. Lynching is defined as a conspiracy to commit a hate crime, resulting in death or serious bodily injury.
The legislation is named after a black teenager from Chicago who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Till’s death has been widely regarded as one of the events that started the civil rights movement in the U.S.
The Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act was originally introduced in the House of Representatives in 2019. After the killing of George Floyd in 2020, the House overwhelmingly approved similar legislation, but the Republican-controlled Senate blocked it. In January 2021, a revised version of the bill was introduced.
Last week, the House passed a revised act by a 422-3 margin. The legislation was then signed off by every senator.
President Joe Biden is expected to quickly sign the legislation into law.
If you have been accused of committing a federal crime in Massachusetts, New York, or New Hampshire, call Brad Bailey Law at (617) 500-0252 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Attorney Brad Bailey is a former state and federal prosecutor with more than five decades of trial-tested experience!