Fourteen days after rallying on the third floor of the Indiana Statehouse to cheer, applaud and push the Legislature into passing a hate crime bill this session, advocates were stunned the measure failed last week to even get a committee vote.
Two Republican state lawmakers have released draft legislation that would address Indiana’s lack of a hate crimes law by giving judges the ability to consider bias as an aggravating factor when considering prison sentences.
Robert Gregory Bowers killed eight men and three women at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday before a tactical police team tracked him down and shot him, according to state and federal affidavits made public on Sunday. The gunman is set to appear in federal court Monday morning, and prosecutors are planning to seek the death penalty.
Several hours of testimony before a legislative study committee charged with examining a potential hate crimes law for Indiana heavily underscored one central point: there are many opinions and no common ground.
Even as Indiana lawmakers from both parties continue to echo Gov. Eric Holcomb’s call for hate crime legislation, the deep divisions that foiled previous attempts to pass a bias-motivated crime bill appear to still be entrenched.
Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is calling on the General Assembly to pass a hate crimes bill after someone spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti at a suburban Indianapolis synagogue. Holcomb said Monday he’ll meet with lawmakers, legal experts, corporate leaders and “citizens of all stripes who are seeking to find consensus on this issue so that, once and for all, we can move forward as a state."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana’s Transgender Education and Advocacy Program is organizing an “Ask Me Anything” event starting at noon Wednesday on Facebook Live, featuring advocates Lo Ray and Michelle Young.