Texas Hate Crimes Bill Signed into Law

Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill last weekend that expands the state’s current hate crimes law to specify that crimes committed because of the victim’s “race, religion, color, sex, disability, sexual preference, age or national origin” will result in stiffer penalties than other crimes. Two years ago, the Texas State Senate rejected the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, named after the African American man who was brutally killed by three whites when they dragged him behind their pick-up truck, because then governor George W. Bush refused to sign the bill. “The message is clear,” said Gov. Perry at the signing of the bill. “If you commit a crime in Texas we have tough laws to deal with you. And if you commit a crime of hate, our laws are tougher still.”


Office of the Texas Governor Press Release Ð May 11, 2001; Washington Post Ð May 12, 2001

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