Criminal Justice

Hate Not Required for Hate Crime

A New York judge has upheld hate crime charges against three suspects accused of choosing their gay victim because they thought he would be an easy mark.

The suspects are accused of robbing, beating and chasing the victim, Michael Sandy, who died after he ran into traffic and was struck by a car. Prosecutors say the suspects met the victim in a gay online chat room.

Judge Jill Konviser of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn said the state hate crimes law does not require a showing that hatred motivated the crime—only evidence that the bias is the reason a victim was chosen, New York Times reports. The law provides for enhanced penalties.

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