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Lynching deemed as federal crime in 2020

Lynching has finally been officially solidified as a federal crime. No, it wasn’t already a federal crime. Yes, the fact that it has not been a federal crime for over 100 years is unbelievably shocking.

The decision came Feb. 27 after the House of Representatives voted on a bill to formally federally criminalize lynching in a 410-4 vote. Many Americans and individuals globally were outraged over the fact that lynching is just now becoming a federal crime. Many also did not realize it was not already a federal crime. Prior to the bill, lynchings were prosecuted at a local level which ultimately caused many murderers who killed their victims through lynching to receive little to no penalty in the past.

The bill, called the Emmett Till Antilynching Act according to nytimes.com, was named after the 14-year-old boy who was brutally murdered by two white men in 1955 Mississippi. Till was among the thousands of victims to lynching whose murderers received no consequence.

While it is a great thing that this bill will now move to President Trump so that he may sign it into law, it brings about some serious questions as to why it took so long for a bill like this to pass. In addition, another question spurs from the 410-4 vote – who were the four representatives who voted against the bill, and why? This bill should have unanimously been voted in favor of. Many are outraged because in 2020, there are representatives who deem as serious a crime as lynching to still be dealt with at a state level. Those same people in outrage appear to agree that these representatives need to be removed, and it’s difficult to disagree with them.

by Jordan Butler 

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