H.R.90 — the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2013, or David’s Law — aims to up the punishments that perpetrators of hate crimes receive. Hate crime refers to an act of violence or intimidation motivated by race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or disability.
If passed, H.R. 90 would amend the federal criminal code, so that a person who commits a hate crime, as defined above, using fire, a firearm, or explosives will receive 10 years in prison. If the hate crime results in death, the perpetrator could face a life sentence. Currently, how hate crimes are punished varies from state to state — but the federal government can prosecute hate crimes.
The bill also commissions a study on adult recruitment of children to commit hate crimes and grants money to state and local programs that organize programs to stop hate crimes committed by juveniles.