Saturday, June 21, 2008

Legislation To Make Noose Hanging Criminal- En Route

BATON ROUGE -- Trying to intimidate someone with a hangman's noose, a symbol of racial lynchings in the Old South, will be a crime in Louisiana if Gov. Bobby Jindal goes along with legislation unanimously passed by the House and Senate.

House Bill 726 by Rep. Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, will make it a crime for a person to place a hangman's noose, or a picture of one, on another person's property or on public property with "the intent to intimidate." Conviction could bring fines up to $5,000 and up to a year in prison.

A 37-0 vote in the Senate late Monday, following a 97-0 House vote earlier in the legislative session, sent the measure to Jindal for his signature. His office did not immediately respond Tuesday to a request for comment on the bill, which is modeled after an existing law outlawing cross burning.

There was little discussion in either chamber but Hardy, during a committee hearing on the bill in May, noted the noose's history as a symbol of racial lynchings.

- The AP

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