Supporters of establishing a hate crimes law in Indiana say they hope the state Legislature will take action following the deadly violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville.
The Anti-Defamation League lists Indiana as one of just five states without laws allowing increased penalties for crimes motivated by biases, including race, gender, religion and sexual orientation.
Bills establishing such an Indiana law have failed repeatedly in the Legislature, but Democratic Sen. Lonnie Randolph says it’s abundantly clear that the state needs those protections.
Some in Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature have argued the motivation for a crime shouldn’t change how a person is punished.
But Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma says it might be time to make it clear that judges can consider such factors in sentencings.