WASHINGTON (Apr. 19)
A “hate crimes” bill that would impose criminal penalties for damage to religious property and injury to persons in the free exercise of their religion was adopted by the U.S. Senate by a voice vote late Wednesday.
The bill, similar to one adopted by the House last October, for the first time makes damage to religious property a federal crime. Those found guilty could face fines up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment.
The bill now goes to the House-Senate conference committee and must be signed by President Reagan before it becomes law.