SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As the nation recently watched in horror as neo-Nazis in Charlottesville VA, inflicted violence against protestors, legislation supported by state Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, was signed into law on Tuesday that will increase the penalties against those convicted of committing hate crimes against houses of worship.
“Nazis-sympathizers are not just causing damage in Charlottesville, but in Illinois as well,” said D’Amico. “Our community must both remain a welcoming place for people of all faiths while simultaneously standing up against hate in all forms.”
With more incidents of vandalism and racist graffiti targeting houses of worship throughout Illinois, the D’Amico supported House Bill 2390 allows police and prosecutors to charge criminals who target religious institutions with a hate crime. In order to prevent future crime, those convicted of committing hate crimes must attend in-person educational classes focused on discouraging hate crimes. A judge would also have the flexibility at sentencing in determining fair financial penalties based on the severity of the crime.
“In addition to punishing hate crime offenders swiftly, we need to educate them as to why hatred against certain groups is wrong,” continued D’Amico. “People who would commit such horrible offenses need professional help in changing their ways.”