The organization representing the state’s prosecutors says while it supports “hate crimes” legislation, it is leaving it up to Indiana lawmakers on how to best achieve that goal.

Lawmakers are dealing with competing versions of bias crimes legislation, with the big question being should there be an enumerated list of protected classes or whether it should be more general and all-encompassing.

A spokesman for the Indiana Prosecutors Attorneys Council (IPAC) told Indy Politics this week, “this year, like in previous years, the Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys, Inc., supports the passage of a hate crimes bill,”  said Zach Osowski. “In past years, the Association supported proposed legislation allowing for a sentencing aggravator if the crime is believed to have been motivated by some kind of bias. An aggravator may be the most effective way of addressing this issue.”

He also noted, “the Association will leave the discussion of if there should be a list of protected classes, as well as who should be on that list, to the discretion of the General Assembly. We certainly support efforts that hold offenders who commit crimes motivated by hate accountable.”