Tennessee shows why the American Civil War never ended

Lee Heidhues 3.2.2023

Beyond abhorrent.

Tennessee was the 11th and final American State to secede and join the Confederacy in its insurrection against the United State government beginning in 1861 and concluding in 1865.

The Civil War was all about States rights and the right to own black slaves.

Obviously some beliefs have not changed in the past 158 years.

Civil rights is still a mirage for too many of America’s Black citizens.

Top photo: Tacoma Times 5.22.2017 Just as appalling as the “Lynching Fever Grips South” is the story underneath it headlined “Study This Picture.” Blatant anti-Asian racism on full display on page one above the fold. The Chinese Six Companies of San Francisco is the subject of criticism for wanting to bring Chinese workers into the Tacoma, Washington area.

The Guardian 3.2.2023

Like many US states, Tennessee has a long history of official killing.

Tennessee Republican lawmaker apologized after suggesting “hanging by a tree” could be added to a bill concerning methods of execution in the state.

Paul Sherrell, a state representative from Sparta, made the suggestion on Tuesday, during discussion of an amendment which would allow execution by firing squad in Tennessee.

“I was just wondering, could I put an amendment on that that would include hanging by a tree, also,” Sherrell asked, offering to co-sponsor the state bill.

The remark prompted considerable backlash, particularly as it was made in a southern state with a brutal history of racially motivated lynchings.

The prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump wrote: “This is UNREAL! … How in 2023 can a government official have such a grotesque suggestion leave his mouth?!”

On Wednesday, Sherrell said sorry.

“My exaggerated comments were intended to convey my belief that for the cruelest and most heinous crimes, a just society requires the death penalty in kind,” he said.

“Although a victim’s family cannot be restored when an execution is carried out, a lesser punishment undermines the value we place on protecting life.”

Reprehensible Republican Paul Sherell

Sherrell said he “sincerely apologise[d] to anyone who may have been hurt or offended”.

There are currently 47 inmates on death row in Tennessee.

Earlier this year, the state was found to have repeatedly violated its execution protocol since 2018, regarding the improper testing of lethal injection drugs.

The Republican governor, Bill Lee, said in January there would be no more executions until action had been taken “to fix the protocol”.

According to the state government, “until 1913, all individuals convicted of a capital offense were hanged.

All too typical newspaper headline – June 16, 1920

“… From 1913 to 1915, there was no capital punishment in Tennessee … From 1916 until 1960, 125 persons were executed by electrocution in Tennessee.

“In 2000, lethal injection replaced electrocution as the primary method of execution. In September, 2007 the first electrocution in 47 years was carried out.”

For nine years from 2009, the state did not execute anyone. Executions resumed in 2018.