U.S. House of Representatives passes Emmett Till Anti-lynching law
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to make lynching a federal crime.
This decision comes 100 years after lawmakers first attempted to criminalize lynching.
The House's first attempt was in 1900, according to the Washington Post, and was sponsored by Rep George Henry White - then the country's only black member of Congress.
The bill, which passed with a 410-4 majority, is named after Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store.
Lynching is an American evil. Today, we— Bobby L. Rush (@RepBobbyRush) February 26, 2020
send a strong message that violence—and race-based violence, in particular—has no place in America.
Thank you to my colleagues in the House & Senate who have joined me to correct this injustice. #OutlawLynching https://t.co/io451Agyne pic.twitter.com/3Uq1U6fTFM
Lynching is defined as murder by a mob with no due process or rule of law.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, thousands of African Americans were lynched by mobs in the United States.
Lawmakers say that at least 4, 742 people were reported lynched in the U.S. between 1882 and 1968.
In 99% of cases, the perpetrators went unpunished.
Now, the two bills must be combined before being signed into law by President Trump.