Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) made the following statement today regarding bias crimes:
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 30, 2018) ― “Our caucus discussed the bias crimes bill for several days in an attempt to come to a consensus on language that would effectively punish those who commit crimes against their victim because of who that person is.
“In the end, we were unable to come to a consensus on how to approach this issue. Some members felt that making a list in Indiana code would inevitably leave someone off, some felt the bill was fine as it was, and some felt that Indiana code already allows the aggravator concept to apply in a bias-crime situation, which is true.
“The Indiana Supreme Court, in its ruling in the case of Witmer v. State, found Indiana’s sentencing statute allows a court to punish bias crimes more severely by allowing judges to consider any factor they see fit, which would include things like race or gender identity.
“For those reasons, many members of our caucus feel that there is justification for not moving Sen. Glick’s bill forward at this time. I have no doubt the General Assembly will continue to discuss this issue moving forward, but that conversation will now have to wait until next year.”