ACLU Praises House Judiciary Committee for Passing Hate Crimes Legislation

April 26, 2007 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union applauded the House Judiciary Committee for passing H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, by a vote of 20-14 late yesterday. As introduced by Representative John Conyers (D – MI), this legislation expands federal law enforcement ability to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“This legislation is long overdue and the ACLU is incredibly pleased to see it starting to move quickly through Congress. For too long, hate crimes have gone unpunished where local law enforcement lack the resources, or in some cases the willingness, to adequately investigate or prosecute offenders. H.R. 1592 will go a long way towards stopping people from being targeted with violent crime simply because of who they are. We are also pleased that the legislation protects First Amendment rights by explicitly prohibiting the use of evidence of speech unless it was specifically related to the crime. We urge members on both sides of the aisle to pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act when it comes before the full House of Representatives.”

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