Maryland Delegate proposes changes to hate crime law named after assault victim

Maryland

Del. Dan Cox introduced a bill called the John Weed Dignity Act

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Frederick County State Delegate Dan Cox has proposed additions to be made to the state’s hate crime law, after an assault at the Great Frederick Fair last Friday that resulted in the death of 59-year-old John Weed of Mt. Airy.

On Tuesday, Cox introduced a bill, called the John Weed Dignity Act, that would add “dignity of the human body” along with making it a crime to “intentionally throw, hit, spit…upon any person.”

This all comes after an assault by two brothers, a 15 and 16-year-old, last week who are currently in custody.

A bill considered to be titled The John Weed Dignity Act as follows:

To amend the MD Hate Crimes statute, 

Crim. Code § 10-304. Harassment; destruction of property; DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN BODY.
Because of another person’s or group’s race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or national origin, AGE, ETHNICITY, SPEECH, OR REFUSAL TO DONATE MONEY OR PAY ANYONE MONEY OR ANY TANGIBLE THING, or because another person or group is homeless, a person may not:
(1) 
(i) commit a crime or attempt to commit a crime against that person or group;
(ii) damage the real or personal property of that person or group;
(iii) deface, damage, or destroy, or attempt to deface, damage, or destroy the real or personal property of that person or group; or
(iv) burn or attempt to burn an object on the real or personal property of that person or group; 
(V) INTENTIONALLY THROW, SPIT, PLACE, SMEAR, EJECT OR OTHERWISE TOUCH, OR ATTEMPT TO DO ANY OF THE SAME, ANY BODILY FLUIDS OR EXCREMENT OR ANY FLUIDS OR SOLIDS, UPON ANY PERSON; OR,
(2) commit a violation of item (1) of this section that:
(i) except as provided in item (ii) of this item, involves a separate crime that is a felony; or
(ii) results in the death of a victim.

The bill will be reviewed by the Maryland Legislature.

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