Hate crime bill sees momentum on Utah’s Capitol Hill

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A hate crime bill could move forward in the Utah State Legislature.

After sitting stagnant in committee, State Senator Daniel Thatcher’s bill,  S.B. 103, will get a hearing Thursday in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Standing Committee.

The bill would give harsher penalties to people found guilty of a hate crime, which is determined if “the offender acted against an individual because of the offender’s perception of the individual’s ancestry, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.”

Thatcher said this bill does not affect an individual’s constitutional right of free speech or any other constitutional rights. “If you commit a crime, and we can prove, beyond reasonable doubt that you intentionally and deliberately did it to threaten a community, you should be punished more severely.”

The senator has been trying to get his bill passed for years but hasn’t been able to garner enough support on the Hill.

To read the Thatcher’s bill in its entirety, click here.

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Glen Mills

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...