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By Emma Epperly
WNPA Olympia News Bureau 

Malicious harassment renamed hate crime in proposed legislation


Newly named hate crime offenses would let courts infer the offense was due to the perception of the victim’s association with a protected class, unless evidence suggests otherwise.

The legislation would also create a multidisciplinary Hate Crime Advisory Working Group under the attorney general. The group would work to raise awareness of hate crimes and recommend best practices for prevention, increasing reporting and identification of such crimes, victim support and for strengthening law enforcement and prosecution of these offenses.

The Senate Law and Justice Committee heard pubic testimony Tuesday on Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1731 that passed with a vote of 85 in favor 12 opp...

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