Since US Senator Hyde-Smith’s comments about “public hangings’ several national officials have come out to either condemn her, or defend her. State legislators in Mississippi have joined that voice as well.

At a rally for Hyde-Smith over the weekend, State Senator Charles Younger, R-Columbus, told Mississippi Today that he believed Hyde-Smith has “atoned for her comments” and went on to add that if public hangings were still performed it would probably “deter crime.”

“She said something out of jest that wasn’t the most politically correct thing to say but, you know, I bet you nine out of 10 Democrats would vote to execute the young man that killed the nine black people in the church in South Carolina — the African Americans that were killed in South Carolina. I bet you nine out of 10 Democrats would vote to have him executed any kind of way,” Younger told the publication.

However, his opinion isn’t the only one represented in state legislature. Democratic Senator Derrick Simmons, released a formal statement in response to what he says are “appalling statements.”

“I am appalled that in recent weeks decent Mississippians have been shocked by clearly racist and humanely insensitive comments made by U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde Smith that referenced attending a public hanging and suppressing black votes, tactics used many years ago in Mississippi that we should want to forget.

As the national media has focused resources on Hyde Smith’s racist and insensitive comments made before a runoff with former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, an African America man, I am baffled as to how on Monday, November 26, 2018 the same day that nooses are found hanging on trees outside of the state Capitol along with racist signs, my colleague Senator Chuck Younger is quoted in Mississippi Today supporting Hyde Smith’s comments and even adds public hangings “it would deter a lot of crime,” if brought back as a means of execution. Younger even claims “Democrats” would agree to the hanging of Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who murdered nine African American churchgoers in June 2015.” – an excerpt from his letter. 

Simmons encouraged voters to make their opinions of comments like these known at the voting booths on November 27.

“I also pray that my many friends in the Republican Party would move to rid themselves of the cancerous growth that seems to be rotting away within it,” said Simmons.

Lawmakers will head back to the Capitol on January 8 for the 2018 Legislative Session.