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How Should Utah Punish Hate?

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Monday, we’re discussing a legislative bill that would strengthen Utah’s hate crimes law. Public prosecutors have called the present law "worthless," but does it really need to be replaced?

RadioWest divider.

Monday, we’re discussing a legislative bill that would strengthen Utah’s hate crimes law. Senate Bill 103 aims to boost the penalties for crimes that target victims because of their race, religion, sex, and other attributes. The Salt Lake District Attorney calls the current law “worthless,” and says the new bill would give prosecutors a tool to punish acts of hate. But a former state representative claims the existing law sets the gold standard because it “includes and protects all people”.


  • Sim Gill is the Salt Lake County District Attorney.
  • LaVar Christensen is a lawyer and a former Utah State Representative. He helped write the legislation that encoded the state’s existing hate crimes law.
  • Brian Levin is a professor of criminal justice and the director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino where he specializes in the analysis of hate crime, terrorism and legal issues.

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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