Home Laws US Federal Laws Emmett Till Anti Lynching Law 2022, charges and punishment

Emmett Till Anti Lynching Law 2022, charges and punishment

Emmett till anti lynching law

Emmett Till Anti Lynching Law is the newest addition to the US federal civil rights code. The act signed into law on March 29th, 2022 by president Joe Biden classifies lynching as a federal hate crime and prescribes punishments for people found guilty of lynching.

In this article, we take a look at the full text of the Emmett Till Anti Lynching Law, the charges offenders face and the punishment guidelines. Read on to know more.

Emmett Till Law 2022

The law is named after the 14-year old Emmett Till who was lynched to death in 1955 by two white males in Mississippi. The perpetrators were later discharged by an all-white male jury.

The Emmett Till law 2022 is contained in Chapter 13 of title 18 of the United States Code, the chapter which deals with Civil rights in the US. The lynching law shall be cited as an addition to section 249 of title 18 of chapter 13.

The Emmett Till law 2022 states that:

“LYNCHING: Whoever conspires to commit any offense under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) shall, if death or serious bodily injury (as defined in section 2246 of this title) results from the offense, be imprisoned for not more than 30 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both.

OTHER CONSPIRACIES.—Whoever conspires to commit any offense under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) shall, if death or serious bodily injury (as defined in section 2246 of this title) results from the offense, or if the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, be imprisoned for not more than 30 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both.’’.

Paragraph (1), (2), and (3) of the United States Codes are as follows:

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(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN.-Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person-

(A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and
(B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if-

(i) death results from the offense; or
(ii) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.
(2) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B) or paragraph (3), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person-

(i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and
(ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if-

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(I) death results from the offense; or
(II) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.
(B) CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED.-For purposes of subparagraph (A), the circumstances described in this subparagraph are that-

(i) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) occurs during the course of, or as the result of, the travel of the defendant or the victim-

(I) across a State line or national border; or
(II) using a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce;
(ii) the defendant uses a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A);
(iii) in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A), the defendant employs a firearm, dangerous weapon, explosive or incendiary device, or other weapon that has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce; or
(iv) the conduct described in subparagraph (A)-

(I) interferes with commercial or other economic activity in which the victim is engaged at the time of the conduct; or
(II) otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.
(3) OFFENSES OCCURRING IN THE SPECIAL MARITIME OR TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES -Whoever, within the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States, engages in conduct described in paragraph (1) or in paragraph (2)(A) (without regard to whether that conduct occurred in a circumstance described in paragraph (2)(B)) shall be subject to the same penalties as prescribed in those paragraphs.
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Punishment for lynching in US

The initial punishment prescribed by a 2020 version of the anti-lynching act was a maximum of 10 years in prison, but an amendment to the bill means, the new law will see offenders face 30 years in prison and fines for anyone found guilty of conspiring to commit an act of lynching that causes death or injury.

Why Anti-lynching law matters

Lynching has been a crime perpetrated against African Americans and other minorities in the United States and effectively used as a tool to terrorize the racial minority community in furtherance of supremacists and racial ideologies.

For nearly 200 times and over a century, congress failed to pass an anti-lynching law from the first introduction of a bill by North Carolina congressman, Rep. George Henry White, the only African American in congress in 1900.

Recent incidents involving the 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia by two white males counted as hate crime as determined by a federal jury, a case in which charges for lynching would have applied had the Emmett Till Anti lynching law been in force when the heinous crime was committed.

Conclusion

The Emmett Till Anti Lynching Law 2022 is in force and will see offenders face prison time of up to 30 years and fines crimes motivated by racial or religious hatred that leads to death or injury of others.

REFERENCE: CaseText U.S Code

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