Bill Sponsorship: stricter sentencing for hate crimes
Source: Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act (H.R.1152)
To make sentencing guidelines for Federal criminal cases that provide sentencing enhancements for hate crimes.
Amends the Federal judicial code to require the U.S. Sentencing Commission to:
promulgate or amend existing guidelines to provide for sentencing enhancements of not less than three offense levels for offenses that the finder of fact at trial determines beyond a reasonable doubt are hate crimes; and
assure reasonable consistency with other guidelines, avoid duplicative punishments for substantially the same offense, and take into account any mitigating circumstances that might justify exceptions.
Proponents' Argument in Favor:Rep. SENSENBRENNER. This bill does not create a new Federal crime. Nothing that is presently not criminal now would be made criminal as a result of enactment. What enactment of H.R. 1152 will do is provide for enhanced criminal penalties for certain specifically designated hate crimes. As used in the bill, the term hate crime is defined as a Federal crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation of the person. Hate crimes are more serious offenses and often result in a greater level of injury to the victim and to society.