Homeless hate crime bill passes Florida SenateA bill adding the homeless to Florida's hate crime law is headed to the governor after the Senate passed it 25-10.
The bill was triggered by a 2006 spree of attacks by three Broward teens who beat homeless men for sport. The teens beat one sleeping homeless man to death with a baseball bat. Another of the beatings was captured on video tape and gained national attention.
Under the bill (HB11), people who attack the homeless out of prejudice would face heightened criminal penalties. For example, a second-degree felony would get bumped to a first-degree felony -- with the maximum prison sentence enhanced from 15 to 30 years.
Read the South Florida Sun-Sentinel report here. And see previous post here and here.