Bill Summaries: S439 HATE CRIMES PREVENTION ACT.

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Mar 31 2021 - More information

    Part I.

    Entitles this act “The Hate Crimes Prevention Act.”

    Part II.

    Amends GS 14-3 by expanding the categories under which a crime will be elevated to a higher level offense as a hate crime under subsection (c) to include crimes committed because of the actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or sexual orientation of the victim or a person or group associated with the victim (previously did not specify actual or perceived characteristics included). Class 2 or Class 3 misdemeanors committed for these reasons will be elevated to a Class 1 misdemeanor. Class A1 or Class 1 misdemeanors committed for these reasons will be elevated to a Class H felony. Adds new subsection (d), permitting a person who is injured or whose property is damaged as a result of a hate crime as defined in subsection (c) or an immediate family member of that person to bring an action for appropriate relief, including actual damages, punitive damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and any other litigation costs reasonably incurred. Deems the burden of proof to be the same as in other civil actions for similar relief. Actual damages under this subsection includes damages for emotional distress. Makes conforming changes to the statute's caption. Adds a new subsection (e), authorizing ordering a person convicted of or who has pleaded no contest to having engaged in conduct in violation of subsection (c) to participate in a restorative justice session with the victim at the victim's request, to be conducted as specified at the cost of the defendant.

    Amends GS 14-401.14, changing the title to Intimidation by hate crime; teaching any technique to be used in the commission of a hate crime. Expands the categories covering hate crime identical to the above changes to GS 14-3. Adds new subsection (c), allowing for the person who is injured or whose property is damaged as a result of a hate crime or their immediate family member to seek civil damages, identical to the above changes to GS 14-3. Deems the burden of proof to be the same as in other civil actions for similar relief. Adds new subsection (d), authorizing ordering a person convicted of or who has pleaded no contest to having engaged in conduct in violation of subsection (a) to participate in a restorative justice session with the victim at the victim's request, to be conducted as specified at the cost of the defendant. Includes gender-neutral pronoun change.

    Amends GS 15A-1340.16(d)(17), expanding the definition of an aggravating factor identical to the above definition of hate crime.

    Amends GS Chapter 14, Article 8, adding new GS 14-34.11, titled Felonious assault as a hate crime. Creates the crime felonious assault as a hate crime, defined as assaulting and inflicting serious bodily injury or attempting an assault inflicting serious bodily injury because of, in whole or in part, the actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or sexual orientation of that person or a person or group associated with that person. Punishable as a Class F felony, elevated to a Class E felony if death results from the offense, or the offense includes the commission or attempted commission of kidnapping, first- or second-degree forcible rape, or first- or second-degree forcible sexual offense. Permits the person injured or whose property is damaged as a result of a hate crime or the person's immediate family to seek civil damages, identical to the above changes to GS 14-3. Deems the burden of proof to be the same as in other civil actions for similar relief. Authorizes ordering a person convicted of or who has pleaded no contest to having engaged in conduct in violation of subsection (b) to participate in a restorative justice session with the victim at the victim's request, to be conducted as specified at the cost of the defendant. Defines gender identity as actual or perceived gender-related characteristics.

    This Part becomes effective December 1, 2021, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

    Part III.

    Amends GS Chapter 143B, Article 13, enacting new GS 143B-907, titled Hate crime statistics. Directs the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to collect, analyze, and disseminate information regarding the commission of offenses punishable under GS 14-3(c), 14-401.14, or 14.34.11. This information must include the total number of offenses committed for each type, personal protected characteristics of the offender and victim from each offense, and the disposition of each offense. Requires all State and local law enforcement agencies to report monthly to the SBI on offenses committed in their jurisdictions that meet the criteria for a hate crime. Requires the SBI to report to the General Assembly on a yearly basis on the information gathered. The SBI must also publish this report on its website. Requires the SBI to share any information collected under this section upon request of any local law enforcement agency, unit of local government, or State agency. Effective January 1, 2022.

    Directs the SBI to develop guidelines for the information on hate crimes required to be submitted by local law enforcement agencies. Requires the first report by the SBI to the General Assembly to be submitted by January 15, 2023.

    Appropriates $1.89 million in nonrecurring funds for the 2021-22 fiscal year from the General Fund to the SBI to cover any costs incurred in establishing the hate crime statistics database. Appropriates $530,000 in recurring funds for the 2021-22 fiscal year from the General Fund to the SBI to hire an additional employee to manage the database.  

    Effective July 1, 2021.

    Part IV.

    Amends GS 17D-2(c), adding new subdivision (5), requiring the North Carolina Justice Academy to develop and provide training to law enforcement officers on how to identify, respond to, and report hate crimes.

    Amends GS 17C-6(a) and GS 17E-4(a), requiring the minimum educational, training, in-service training, and continuing education standards for criminal justice officers and sheriffs established by the Training Standards Commission to include education and training on how to identify, respond to, and report a hate crime.

    Effective July 1, 2021.

    Part V.

    Amends GS 7A-413 to add new subsection (c), requiring the Conference of District Attorneys to develop and provide training to prosecutors on prosecuting hate crimes.

    Effective July 1, 2021.

    Part VI.

    Except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes law.


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