Bills to expand hate crimes law die at Mississippi Capitol

Mississippi this year will not expand its hate crimes law to allow stronger criminal penalties for crimes against additional groups.

Posted: Feb 6, 2019 9:34 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi this year will not expand its hate crimes law to allow stronger criminal penalties for crimes against additional groups.

Advocates asked legislators include crimes targeting people because of sexual orientation, gender identity or disability under the law.

House Bill 1494 and Senate Bill 2163 died under a Tuesday deadline in legislative committees.

Mississippi's current hate crimes law allows prosecutors to seek stronger penalties against a person charged with committing a crime against someone because of the victim's actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, national origin or gender.

Rob Hill is Mississippi director of LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign. He said Monday that no American "should be targeted for who they are."

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