The Justice Department has added Indiana to the list of states with a bias crimes law.
According to the DOJ website, Indiana is on the list of states with a bias crimes law and reporting statute, but it has yet to go into effect.
Under Indiana law, a judge may enhance a defendant’s sentence if it can be proven the crime was committed due to the victim’s or the group’s real or perceived characteristic, trait, belief, practice, association, or other attributes… including but not limited to an attribute in the state’s existing bias crime reporting statute.
That statute specifically mentions color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion or sexual orientation. It does not mention gender identity, age or sex.
Critics had argued that the list was not inclusive enough to be effective.
Proponents of the measure had been trying to get Indiana off the list of states without a hate/bias crimes law. The Anti-defamation League has not added Indiana to the list of states with a hate crimes law.
Indiana’s law goes into effect on July 1.