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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Asa Hutchinson is shown in this file photo. ( Democrat-Gazette file photo / Staton Breidenthal)

Arkansas' governor says the state should have harsher penalties for people convicted of targeting others because of their race, ethnicity or religion, calling for the measure in the wake of two mass shootings that include one in Texas being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told a group of sheriffs on Tuesday that he wants to end the state's distinction as one of only four without a hate crimes law. Hutchinson later said he would support the measure also including enhanced penalties for people targeted for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Republican says he wants to build broad support for the measure before taking it before the Legislature, which will meet next year for a session focused primarily on the state budget.


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Archived Comments

  • RBear
    August 6, 2019 at 1:32 p.m.


    August 6, 2019 at 2 p.m.

    Thank you, Governor Hutchinson.

  • NoUserName
    August 6, 2019 at 2:01 p.m.

    Personally, I think a crime is a crime. I've never agreed with what amounts to a thought crime. One that also appears to not be applied evenly.

  • Illinoisroy
    August 6, 2019 at 2:15 p.m.

    How does this save lives since it is after the incident?

  • lazyman
    August 6, 2019 at 2:23 p.m.

    This law in nonsense. Crime is crime. Punish accordingly.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    August 6, 2019 at 2:32 p.m.

    abit hypocritical of a state that teaches racism from birth,
    that targets by race,
    for public shaming, even when its their own congregation,
    that teaches children that whites are evil,
    then demands/grooms them to list their race on all their documents.
    targeting people by race is a hate crime?
    So when you are impoverished and you have a disability or a birth defect and you are immediately not given consideration because you are not a minority.
    Hate crime huh?
    A red hat wearing republican/independent at a monument getting abused, doxxed and death threats..
    not a hate crime mr fat-crat gobner?
    the weasel is in his death throes his blue blood will ooze out in the same fashion he does.

  • GeneralMac
    August 6, 2019 at 2:33 p.m.

    Inner city Blacks in Little Rock, Pine Bluff, and Blytheville better not tell a white person who enters their "hood"......."you don't belong here, Whitety "

    Be careful what you "usual suspects " wish for as it can cut both ways.

  • abb
    August 6, 2019 at 2:34 p.m.

    No such thing as a hate crime. There is crime against persons and crimes against property.

    "Formerly we suffered from crimes, now we suffer from laws"- Tacitus

  • Jfish
    August 6, 2019 at 2:36 p.m.

    I disagree, just execute all murderers when there is no question of guilt, there, problem solved.

  • GeneralMac
    August 6, 2019 at 2:48 p.m.

    Governor RINO