SB 629, a measure to correct an obsolete reference to the term “lynching” in California’s penal code, has been signed into law by Governor Brown. It takes effect January 1, 2016.
“The Governor’s swift approval of my bill speaks to its obvious truth. It’s been said that strong words should be reserved for strong concepts, and ‘lynching’ has such a painful history for African Americans that the law should only use it for what it is – murder by mob – and not, especially given recent events nationwide, for an attempt, even if misguided, to free someone from police custody,” said Senator Holly J. Mitchell, who introduced the bill and represents much of South Los Angeles. “Both actions will remain illegal, but the perverse use of the term has finally been corrected.”