African American US Senators Introduced Anti-Lynching Bill

The only three African-Americans in the United States senate have put aside their partisan differences to introduce a bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime. Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California; and Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina recently introduced the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018. Similar legislation has repeatedly failed in Congress for nearly a century.

A similar bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Bobby L. Rush of Illinois and 35 members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Under the bill, lynching would be punishable by a sentence of up to life in prison. The measure would not preclude murder charges that can already be brought under existing law.

According to Senator Harris,

"Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our history, and we must acknowledge that, lest we repeat it. Between 1882 to 1986 there have been 200 failed attempts to enact federal anti-lynching legislation. It's time for that to change."

According to the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit legal advocacy group, between 1882 and 1968, more than 4,000 African-American men, women and children were lynched. Only 99% of those responsible for the crimes were not prosecution.




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