NewsPublic Affairs / January 26, 2016

Proposed Bill Would Remove Indiana From Short List Of States Without Hate Crimes Law

Indiana is one of only five states without a hate crimes law. Legislation unanimously approved Tuesday by a Senate committee would change that.Indiana Senate, hate crime, Terry Curry, Sue Glick2016-01-26T00:00:00-05:00
Proposed Bill Would Remove Indiana From Short List Of States Without  Hate Crimes Law

Legislation creating just a penalty enhancement for hate crimes was unanimously approved Tuesday by a Senate committee.

file photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana is one of only five states without a hate crimes law.  Legislation unanimously approved Tuesday by a Senate committee would change that.

LaGrange Republican Sen. Sue Glick’s bill would allow judges to inflict harsher penalties based on a person’s motivation for committing a crime – specifically, if they committed a crime with the intent to harm or intimidate someone based on that person’s race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, or transgender status.  Her original proposal would’ve created a new crime entirely, but she says her legislation creating just a penalty enhancement still sends a strong message.

“Sends a message to those individuals that we will not tolerate it in our society,” Glick said. 

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry says recent examples prove the need for such a law.  He cites an Indiana University student’s attack on a Muslim woman, a burning cross on an African-American family’s lawn, and an attack on a man because he’s gay.

“Bias motivated crimes clearly affect more than a victim in any given case, but instead can create fear throughout an entire community,” Curry said.

The bill now heads to the Senate floor.

 

 

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