Hate Crime Prevention Act

Summary: The Hate Crime Prevention Act establishes enhanced sentences for crimes motivated by bias, provides civil remedies, and directs the state police to maintain records and provide training.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Hate Crime Prevention Act.”

SECTION 2. HATE CRIME PREVENTION

After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:

(A) HATE CRIMES—ENHANCED PENALTIES

If a person charged with any felony, misdemeanor, or petty misdemeanor offense is found to have intentionally selected the victim or the victim’s property because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, national origin, or age, that person may be found guilty of a hate crime with the penalty imposed as follows:

1. Where the underlying offense is a petty misdemeanor, it shall be punishable as a misdemeanor.

2. Where the underlying offense is a misdemeanor, it shall be punishable as a class C felony.

3. Where the underlying offense is a class C felony, it shall be punishable as a class B felony.

4. Where the underlying offense is a class B felony, it shall be punishable as a class A felony.

5. Where the underlying offense is a class A felony, the maximum fine authorized shall be doubled and a 20-year term of imprisonment shall be imposed.

(B) CIVIL ACTION FOR HATE CRIMES

1. If a person commits an intentional tort and has selected the victim or the victim’s property because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, national origin, or age, any victim of that tort may file a civil action to secure an injunction, damages or other appropriate relief at law or equity. In this subsection, a victim can be a person, corporation, association or other organization.

2. In any such action, whether a tort has occurred shall be determined according to the burden of proof used in other civil actions for similar relief.

3. Upon prevailing in such civil action, the plaintiff may recover:

a. Both special and general damages, including damages for emotional distress;

b. Punitive damages; and/or

c. Reasonable attorney fees and costs.

4. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of any unemancipated minor shall be liable for any judgment rendered against such minor under this section.

(C) HATE CRIME REPORTING AND TRAINING

1. The state police shall establish and maintain a central repository for the collection and analysis of information regarding hate crimes. Upon establishing such a repository, the state police shall develop a procedure to monitor, record, classify and analyze information relating to crimes apparently directed against individuals or groups, or their property, by reason of their actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, national origin, or age.

2. All local law enforcement agencies shall report monthly to the [state superintendent of police] concerning such offenses in such form and manner as prescribed by rules and regulations adopted by the [state superintendent of police]. The [state superintendent of police] must summarize and analyze the information received and file an annual report with the governor and the state legislature.

3. All information, records and statistics collected in accordance with this subsection shall be available for use by any local law enforcement agency, unit of local government, or state agency, to the extent that such information is reasonably necessary or useful to such agency in carrying out the duties imposed upon it by law. Dissemination of such information shall be subject to all confidentiality requirements otherwise imposed by law.

4. The [state superintendent of police] shall provide training for law enforcement officers in identifying, responding to, and reporting all hate crimes.

SECTION 3. EFFECTIVE DATE

This Act shall take effect on July 1, 20XX.


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