TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to a
PURPOSE OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to include aggravated harassment in the
first degree as a specified offense within the context of hate crimes.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section One amends subdivision three of section 485.05 of the penal
law, pertaining to hate crimes, by adding the crime of aggravated
harassment in the first degree to the list of specified offenses for
which a hate crime categorization would apply.
Section Two is the effective date.
Pursuant to the penal law, a hate crime is committed when a defendant
commits a specified offense and either intentionally selects their
victim or commits a criminal act because of a belief or perception
regarding their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender,
religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation. A
crime committed under these circumstances is considered a hate crime
under the law regardless of whether the belief or perception is
correct. A person convicted of a specified offense, who is found to
have committed such offense for one of the foregoing reasons, is
subject to harsher criminal penalties under the law and specific
Aggravated harassment in the first degree is defined as damaging a
premises primarily used for religious purposes, multiple convictions
of penal law section 240.30(3), etching, painting, drawing or
otherwise placing a swastika or noose on the property of another, or
setting a cross on fire in public view, with the intent to harass,
annoy, threaten or alarm another person because of a belief or
perception regarding such person's race, color, national origin,
ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or
sexual orientation. While aggravated harassment crimes are committed
for the same spiteful reasons that other classified hate crimes are
committed, resources and remedies specifically allocated to deter hate
crimes and rehabilitate or punish hate crime offenders are not
available in instances of these criminal acts for the mere fact that
it is not categorized as a specific offense.
None to the state.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have