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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 28, 2017 02:33 PM
From: Senator Sharif Street and Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione, Sen. Judith L. Schwank, Sen. Daylin Leach, Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman, Sen. Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Updates to the Institutional Vandalism Statute
Over the weekend, 75 to 100 headstones at the Mount Carmel cemetery in Philadelphia were found toppled to the ground in an act of vandalism. This crime was more than vandalism. It was hate.

Over the past several months, the nation has witnessed an increased number of crimes or threats committed against religious institutions. These acts or threats are unacceptable in our nation, where we pride ourselves on our foundation of free exercise of religion.

We must stand up to those individuals who think it is acceptable to attack or threaten individuals or institutions because of what they believe.

In the near future, we plan on introducing a bill that amends section 3307 of Title 18 (institutional vandalism) to enhance the existing statute and make several technical changes meant to give a district attorney expanded options for combating vandalism.

Now more than ever we must stand up to bigotry and hatred. Please join us in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB571