Indiana hate crimes bill signed into law
April 03, 2019
The bill allows judges to impose harsher sentences for criminals who victimize others based on listed traits.
It has been controversial because it was significantly amended from the original bill. Originally, the bill was written to extend protections to people based on age, gender identity and sex. However, the bill that was passed only includes color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion and sexual orientation in the list of protected traits.
According to the fact sheet released by the Indiana Senate Republicans, judges are not limited to the list in determining sentencing: “This law is carefully worded to make sure that courts can punish any bias crime committed against a person based on any trait they may have, including gender, even if that trait is not specifically listed in the law.”
Senate minority leader Tim Lanane tweeted in response to the bill: “The bias crimes amendment in SB 198 leaves out protections for age, gender and gender identity, but is being called ‘inclusive’ by the supermajority. I wish I could tell you this is an April Fool’s Day jokes, but sadly it’s not.”
Previously, Indiana was one of five states without a hate crimes bill.
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.