Utah Senate approves hate crimes Bill
March 06, 2019
SB 103 would authorize increased penalties for criminals who target victims based on certain personal attributes including age, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
(2) A defendant is subject to enhanced penalties under Subsection (3) if the defendant intentionally selects:
(a) the victim of the criminal offense because
of the defendant’s belief or perception regarding the victim’s personal
attribute or a personal attribute of another individual or group of individuals
with whom the victim has a relationship; or
(b) the property damaged or otherwise affected by the criminal offense because of the defendant’s belief or perception regarding the property owner’s, possessor’s, or occupant’s personal attribute or a personal attribute of another individual or group of individuals with whom the property owner, possessor, or occupant has a relationship.
Senator Daniel Thatcher, who sponsored the bill, said the biggest hurdle facing the bill came from senators worried about prosecuting thought crimes. As written, SB 103 would not operate as a standalone criminal offense, and only increase penalties for those convicted of other crimes.
SB 103 faced significant debate on the floor, including over what classes should be covered.