Monday, January 30, 2006
On this day:

We should still repeal the hate crimes law, but...

Alabama's existing hate crimes law may not be as strict as that of Wisconsin; unlike Wisconsin's law, Alabama's does not elevate misdemeanor offenses to felonies. Here's what the Alabama law says:

On conviction of a misdemeanor which was found beyond a reasonable doubt to have been motivated by the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability, the defendant shall be sentenced for a Class A misdemeanor, except that the defendant shall be sentenced to a minimum of three months. (Alabama Code Section 13A-5-13)
In Alabama, there are three classes of misdemeanors - Class A, Class B, and Class C. They carry maximum jail terms of one year, six months, and three months, respectively. A misdemeanor that is determined to be a hate crime is punished as a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of one year; the only exception for hate crimes is that there is also a minimum sentence of three months. The bill being considered by the legislature would not change any of that.