New legislation would increase list of hate crime-eligible charges in New York

New legislation unveiled Monday would increase the list of hate crime-eligible charges in New York state from 66 to 97.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who proposed the Hate Crimes Modernization Act along with several elected officials and community leaders, said it would enhance criminal charges and certain sentences.

A record high of 650 hate crimes were reported in New York City last year, and the new measure comes amid a recent surge in hate crimes linked to the ongoing war in the Middle East.

As hate crimes rise, the nature of the incidents has increasingly varied, which Bragg said means the penal code creates loopholes that prevent prosecutors from appropriately charging and ensuring accountability for people who commit offenses motivated by bias and prejudice.