I just posted that photo so you’ll know I’m not kidding about this. I was stunned to see some of the things our State Senator Rodric Bray might help turn into state law here in Indiana. I will definitely fill out the form and send it back, along with an answer explaining my choices.
Question One is the most troubling: “Do you think criminals should receive longer sentences if they committed their crime because of prejudice against a specific trait of the victim such as race, religion or gender?”
I took this quote from a Wikipedia article defining hate crimes: “Defined in the 1999 National Crime Victim Survey, “A hate crime is a criminal offense. In the United States, federal prosecution is possible for hate crimes committed on the basis of a person’s race, religion, or nation origin when engaging in a federally protected activity.” Not all crimes fall under federal jurisdiction, of course. When I looked up information on Indiana state law regarding hate crimes, I found out We Don’t Have One. (Follow that link to an Indy Star editorial about this). According to that, Indiana is one of only five states that does not.
I’m glad I did the research, because when I read that question I thought Senator Bray must be hoping to remove penalties for hate crimes and clear the way for racist aggression here. Turns out that in Indiana we are already there. If you commit crimes of harassment for reasons of prejudice in Indiana, you get treated like an ordinary criminal.
Considering my background and beliefs, I think I’ll respond in favor of the removal of the handgun license fee also. Looks like I might need a carry permit.
Gosh, thanks Senator Bray! for letting me know what is happening right here. I’ve been busy with the national news.