Crime Watch 8

Research: Majority of bias homicides don’t result in bias crime charges

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Researchers at Indiana University have released new information on the prosecution of bias crimes.

The Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy (CRISP) at Indiana University put it together. 

It looked at bias-motivated homicides across the country from 1990 to 2016. 

Researchers found, among other things, that states having a bias crime law did not mean bias homicides would be prosecuted as such. 

Researchers say lawmakers should consider the information they gathered ahead of the debate at the Statehouse.  

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CRISP found “anti-sexual orientation/gender identity and anti-race/ethnicity” are the majority of bias homicides. CRISP says that “anti-sexual orientation/gender identity homicides are disproportionately less likely than other groups to be officially prosecuted as bias crimes.”

“Our team’s findings suggest that fully addressing bias-related crimes in an equitable way is complicated,” said Breanca Merritt, director of CRISP. “Yet a bill can include language that both helps potential victims while increasing knowledge for policymakers. Including language that calls for continued assessment of a hate crimes bill and support for victim groups could better inform policymakers long-term.”