WASHINGTON — Sixty-five years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi, Congress has approved legislation naming lynching as a hate crime under federal law.
The bill, introduced by Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush and named after Till, comes 120 years following when Congress first contemplated anti-lynching legislation and after dozens of similar efforts were defeated.
The measure was approved 410 to 4 on Wednesday in the House and now goes to the White House, where President Donald Trump is anticipated to sign it. The Senate unanimously approved the legislation last year. It designates lynching as a federal hate crime punishable by up to life in prison, a fine, or both.