Printed in the Herald-Times, March 24, 2020
To the Editor:
When James Byrd was brutally murdered, the state of Texas did not have a “hate crime” law, yet two of the three men who committed this demonic act were put to death and the third will spend life in prison. There was no need to make murder illegal a second time.
Similarly, there is no need for a federal law against lynching. Part of the problem with mass incarceration is the expanded federalization of law enforcement. Much of the problem with police militarization is that the federal government gives surplus military equipment to local police forces – something that violates the spirit if not the letter of the Posse Comitatus Act. The federal anti-lynching law proves we have not learned this lesson.
No one supports lynching, including the four brave Republicans who voted against this law. I wish our Congressman, Trey Hollingsworth, had joined them.
If the states were not protecting blacks from lynching, then the federal government would need to step in. That is not the case. Murder is illegal and prosecuted in all fifty states. Murderers should be put to death, as commanded in Genesis 9:6. But we do not need a bigger federal government to obey that command.