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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=24140
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 13, 2017 01:43 PM
From: Representative Nick Miccarelli
To: All House members
Subject: Co-Sponsor Disability Intimidation Bill
 
In the near future I plan to introduce legislation regarding disability intimidation.

Recent incidents reported in the press have disclosed a new trend where persons with mental or physical disabilities are targeted for violence. In one instance, four teens in Philadelphia assaulted a man with a mental disability and then posted the unprovoked attack on Facebook. See:
http://www.phillymag.com/news/2017/06/07/teens-video-punching-disabled-man-arrested/

In another, a young man who suffers from cerebral palsy was attacked after being mocked in West Chester.
http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/06/man_accused_of_sucker_punching.html

Though the law addresses the underlying crime in each of these cases, I believe it doesn’t go far enough to protect people with disabilities and punish those who prey on people who are in many cases less able to defend themselves. To counter that, I plan to introduce legislation to expand Pennsylvania’s hate crime statutes, Title 18 Section 2710 (Ethnic Intimidation) to include enumerated crimes that are motivated by a hatred toward someone’s mental or physical disability. Like the current Ethnic Intimidation, the crime would be chargeable in addition to whatever the underlying crime is and be graded one grade higher than it.

One of society’s most important functions is to protect its citizens, especially those who are more vulnerable to being victimized as a result of something over which they have no choice or control. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.




Introduced as HB1622