Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Florida governor signs homeless hate-crime bill

Attacks on homeless people will soon be classified as a hate crime in Florida, which has ranked first in the nation for such attacks the past 11 years.

Gov. Charlie Crist has signed the bill, which amends the state's hate-crime statute to include offenses where there is evidence of prejudice based on the victim being homeless. The law goes into effect Oct. 1.

Florida's law places it in a small group nationally -- Maryland, Maine and Washington, D.C. -- that has similar hate crime bills, according to officials at the National Coalition for the Homeless. Advocates are seeking a similar change in the federal hate crime law.

Read the Daytona Beach News-Journal report here. And see previous posts here and here.


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