WASHINGTON (SCS) – In a historic act on the final day of Black History Month, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late Monday that would make lynching a federal crime.
The Emmett Till Antilynching Act is named after the Chicago teenager whose lynching in Money, Mississippi in 1955 helped spark the civil rights movement.
READ MORE: Road rage feud in Streamwood leaves man dejected, 2 daughters without their father
The bill passed with a vote of 422 to 3, according to the office of U.S. Representative Bobby Rush (D-Illinois).
Rush said in part in a statement, “Today is a day of tremendous consequences for our nation,” Rep. Rush said. “By passing my Emmett Till Antilynching Act, the House has sent a resounding message that our nation is finally coming to terms with one of the darkest and most horrific periods in our history, and that we are morally and legally committed to changing course. .”
READ MORE: In Chicago’s Uptown community, ‘Masks Required’ signs have fallen and many are optimistic, but some will stick with masks at least some of the time
Under the bill, a crime could be prosecuted as a lynching when a conspiracy to commit a hate crime results in death from grievous bodily harm, according to Rush’s office. The maximum sentence for someone convicted under the anti-lynching law would be 30 years in prison.
The bill is now heading to the US Senate.
NO MORE NEWS: Pepper spray-wielding thieves target Edgewater victims in River North
The bill also passed the United States House in the 116th Congress in February 2020, but stalled in the Senate.