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During a Criminal Justice Subcommittee in Tennessee, State Representatives suggested bringing back lynching as a form of execution.
Tennessee State Representative Dennis Powers (R) introduced a bill earlier this year to the Criminal Justice Subcommittee that would give those sentenced to death the option to choose between lethal injection or the electric chair.
House Bill 1245 “allows for a sentence of death to be carried out by electrocution as an alternative to lethal injection,” the bill reads.
Rep. Powers debated last month that the state wanted to give those sentenced to death another choice because of “the problems that we’ve had in the state of Tennessee” as it pertains to capital punishment. Power referenced South Carolina’s decision in 2021 to legalize death by firing squad, even though that ruling has been temporarily overturned by the state’s Supreme Court.
Death penalty bill would bring back lynching if amendment approved
HB1245 was brought before the full Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday, where Representative Paul Sherrell (R) thanked Rep. Powers for introducing the bill and suggested adding an amendment.
“Thank you Representative Powers for bringing this, I think it’s a very good idea,” Rep. Sherrell said. “I was just wondering about – could I put an amendment on that that would include hanging by a tree also? And also I would like to sign on to your bill sir.”
President Biden signed into law last March a bill with overwhelming bipartisan support that would make lynching a federal hate crime. After almost 200 attempts in Congress to try and get anti-lynching legislation passed, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act was passed in 2022.
The amendment to HB1245 has yet to be adopted.