Skip to main content
We may receive compensation from affiliate partners for some links on this site. Read our full Disclosure here.

Tennessee Lawmaker Makes An Amendment To Bring Back Hanging By Tree


A Tennessee lawmaker has received backlash after calling for the state of Tennessee to bring back hanging-by-tree executions.

Rep. Paul Sherill during a recent legislative session for an introduction of a bill that would bring back firing squads and the electric chair wanted to make an amendment that would bring back the excecution method of hanging by a tree.

Sherill was quoted saying “I think it’s a very good idea, and I was just wondering about… could I put an amendment on that it would include hanging by a tree, also?”

Watch him say it here:

Sherrell would later apologize for his comments after his Democratic colleagues claimed his statements were racist.

ABC News had these details to add:

A Tennessee Republican lawmaker on Thursday apologized after asking earlier this week if “hanging by a tree” could be added to the state’s execution methods, a comment that has shocked Black lawmakers who point to the state’s dark history of lynching.

Rep. Paul Sherrell, who is white, first made the remark Tuesday as a separate lawmaker was introducing legislation to include the firing squad to execute death row inmates.

“I think it’s a very good idea, and I was just wondering about… could I put an amendment on that it would include hanging by a tree, also?” Sherrell asked.

At the time, no one on the legislative committee reprimanded or pushed back against Sherrell’s comments. However, his words gained traction throughout the week, which led to the Republican’s apology on the House floor Thursday.

“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. “My intention was to express my support of families who often wait decades for justice. I sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been hurt or offended.”

The Guardian reported these details:

A 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.


Join the conversation!

Please share your thoughts about this article below. We value your opinions, and would love to see you add to the discussion!

Hey, Noah here!

Wondering where we went?

Read this and bookmark our new site!

See you over there!

Thanks for sharing!