INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Legislation targeting hate crimes is advancing in Indiana, one of five states without such a law.
The measure would not create a new crime but would allow a judge to consider imposing a tougher sentence on crimes motivated by a victim’s perceived or actual race, religion, sex, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation, among other things. An approved amendment extends protections to targeted off-duty law enforcement officers.
A Senate panel approved the measure 6-3 Tuesday. A similar measure cleared the Senate last year but died in the House.
Opponents argue the legislation is unnecessary because the criminal code doesn’t prevent a judge from considering hate. They say it creates special protected classes that leave some people out and treats victims of the same crime differently.Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.