Opinions on the new Indiana hate crime bill are extremely important to inform voters on. Christine Stephenson’s April 4 article on the new hate crime bill was a good first step to uncovering the potential issues of the hate crime bill just signed.
Some additional information that might be helpful is a brief explanation of how difficult it can be to make changes to a bill and how ineffective these bills have been in other states in lowering the amount of hate crimes. The full view of this issue is key to help inform voters on what is actually going on behind the scenes.
While a hate crime bill sounds good, this bill is far too unspecific where it tells what a hate crime can be in court. The bill leaves the decision up to the judge’s discretion so much that it’s pointless for the law to be in effect. The judge can say that they don’t believe something is a hate crime because it is unrelated to religion or race.
It’s important that judges have specific guidelines in newer crime laws like this because we need to know that they will properly sentence people of this crime across the board. It’s better to have no hate crime law since it seems like this one is only so Indiana isn’t one of the few states without one.