The two teenage girls in Maryland have been charged with hate crimes after they lit a Trump sign on fire. The novel charge is based on the prosecutors treating Trump supporters as the protected group. It is quite a stretch from the conventional hate crime. The very notion of a hate crime has been criticized by civil libertarians as raising free speech and double jeopardy concerns.
The two teenage girls are accused of lighting a “Make America Great Again” sign on fire in Princess Anne, Md. A surveillance video caught an image of the suspect and her vehicle. They later arrested D’Asia R. Perry, 19, at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Also arrested was Joy M. Shuford, 19, of Owings Mills, Md.
The two women were accused of a hate crime on the basis that the arson was committed with “discrimination or malice toward a particular group, or someone’s belief.”
The interpretation given to the statute would allow a major expansion of hate crime laws whenever a crime was triggered or motivated by political disagreements.
What do you think?