Joe Biden signed the law on Tuesday March 29

Adopted unanimously by the US Senate in early March, the “Emmett Till” law was signed on Tuesday by President Joe Biden. This text is calleda black teenager tortured and killed in 1955 in Mississippi (in the south of the country) and who became a symbol of the struggle for civil rights. It makes lynching a federal crime.

A maximum sentence of 30 years in prison

The proposed law, which provides for a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, makes lynching a “hate crime” for federal authorities, a separate category of criminal offenses where victims have in common that they have been targeted because of their membership, real or supposed, of a racial group or a religion, or because of their sexual identity or their handicap.

Democratic Senator Cory Booker, at the origin with two other senators of a similar proposal voted in 2018 by the Senate, welcomed this progress in a press release at the beginning of March.

“This law is a necessary step for America to heal from the racialized violence that permeates its history.”

According to the text of the 2018 proposal, 4,472 mostly black people were victims of lynching between 1882 and 1968.

“Not just about the past”

“The lynching was pure terror intended to make believe a lie that not everyone has a place in America,” Joe Biden said on Tuesday. This law “is not only about the past”, he asserts.

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