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Homeless hate crime passed in Florida

November 01 2010
Penalties rise in response to rash of vicious attacks in the state

Back in June, we reported that local governments in Florida and California were introducing laws to bring crimes against homeless people under the banner of hate crime.

On 1 October this year, the law officially passed in the state of Florida in the USA.

"It is already against Florida law to attack someone because of their race or religion. Now, you can add being homeless to the list of criteria for hate crimes," reports

"The new law, which takes effect from October 1st, will lead to steeper penalties for those convicted of hurting people because they are homeless. It was prompted by a rash of vicious attacks on the homeless across the state."

According to the Huffington Post, the new law will see maximum penalties go up one degree from what had been. To put this into context, the Miami Herald reports that " a felony of the first degree is now reclassified to a life felony."

Florida is the third state to pass the law, says the Huffington Post: "Maryland last year was the first to label such attacks as hate crimes and was followed this year by Rhode Island and then Florida."