Kan. Lawmaker Beefs Up Hate-Crime Law After Shootings

A bill in the Kansas Senate would mean tougher sentences for Kansans convicted of a hate crime.

The FBI is investigating the Olathe shootings as a possible hate crime and federal charges could be filed. "So I don't really want to speak to what may or may not have been the motivation behind these killings, but certainly, we share in the sorrow of the families and loved ones of these victims", he said.

The hearing was scheduled before the shooting happened. Adam Puriton has been taken into custody and the investigation on this hate crime has been on. The bill would double the sentences for hate crimes and require the state attorney general's office to collect data on them. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on this latest version.

"A judge can decide whether or not there will be an enhanced sentence or not".

"Unless such language is included", he said, "bills will have a risky chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech". "It is being prosecuted as a hate crime", Jaishankar said during a media conference at the Indian Embassy in Washington.

Micah Kubic, executive director of ACLU of Kansas, said harsher penalties should be placed in Kansas law to deter deepening the climate of fear, harassment and intimidation against vulnerable or marginalized people.

Other groups testified on the bill, including the American Civil Liberties Union. Haley said he also is open to adding gender identity to the list.

In the wake of the Olathe shooting, Gov. Sam Brownback expressed "profound regret" about violence against the Indian nationals in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Since our founding, Kansas have fought against injustice and senseless hatred".

  • Joanne Flowers