CHICAGO – A new law increasing penalties for those who commit hate crimes against houses of worship will become effective Jan. 1, 2018 as the result of efforts undertaken by state Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago.
“The rise of Donald Trump and his extreme right-wing allies has inspired hateful and intolerant people to commit horrible acts of violence against churches, synagogues and mosques,” D’Amico said. “I have fought hard to increase penalties against hate and intolerance given how many houses of worship we have in our area.”
The D’Amico-supported House Bill 2390 responds to a recent increase in acts of vandalism against churches, synagogues and mosques by allowing law enforcement to charge criminals who target religious institutions with a hate crime. D’Amico’s legislation forces people convicted of committing hate crimes to attend in-person educational classes focused on discouraging hate crimes in addition to fulfilling community service mandates. The new law also provides judges the opportunity to determine a fair compensation based on the severity of the crime and damages suffered by the survivor.
“While hate and bigotry may continue to spill from Trump’s Twitter page, we in Illinois will act like adults by cracking down on hate crimes,” D’Amico continued. “Our diversity makes our community and country great, so when bigots attack an individual because of their background or beliefs, they are attacking us all.”