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Tennessee Senate OKs bid to remove 'slavery' as punishment

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Posted at 9:44 PM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 08:33:40-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Senate has advanced a proposal that would remove a clause in the state’s constitution allowing slavery or involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime.

Currently, the Tennessee Constitution states that “slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, ... are forever prohibited in this state.”

Under the proposal passed on Monday, voters will have the option to delete that section and replace it by clearly stating that slavery and involuntary servitude is banned throughout Tennessee.

An additional line would be added to note that “nothing in this section shall prohibit an inmate from working when the inmate has been duly convicted of a crime.”