Bill Text: NJ S3550 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Amends statute that criminalizes display of symbols, objects, or graffiti exposing another to threats of violence to specifically include noose, burning cross, or swastika.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-05 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [S3550 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3550-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3550

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 5, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH P. CRYAN

District 20 (Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Amends statute that criminalizes display of symbols, objects, or graffiti exposing another to threats of violence to specifically include noose, burning cross, or swastika.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning hate crimes and amending P.L.1981, c.282.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.1981, c.282 (C.2C:33‑10) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he purposely, knowingly or recklessly puts or attempts to put another in fear of bodily violence by placing on private property of another a symbol, an object, a characterization, an appellation or graffiti that exposes another to threats of violence, including but not limited to a noose, burning cross, or Nazi swastika. A person shall not be guilty of an attempt unless his actions cause a serious and imminent likelihood of causing fear of unlawful bodily violence.

     A person convicted of an offense under this section that involves an act of graffiti may, in addition to any other penalty imposed by the court, be required either to pay to the owner of the damaged property monetary restitution in the amount of the pecuniary damage caused by the act of graffiti or to perform community service, which shall include removing the graffiti from the property, if appropriate.  If community service is ordered, it shall be for either not less than 20 days nor less than the number of days necessary to remove the graffiti from the property.

(cf: P.L.1995, c.251, s.2)

 

     2.    Section 2 of P.L.1981, c.282 (C.2C:33-11) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if he purposely defaces or damages, without authorization of the owner or tenant, any private premises or property primarily used for religious, educational, residential, memorial, charitable, or cemetery purposes, or for assembly by persons for purpose of exercising any right guaranteed by law or by the Constitution of this State or of the United States by placing thereon a symbol, an object, a characterization, an appellation, or graffiti that exposes another to threat of violence, including but not limited to a noose, burning cross, or Nazi swastika.

     A person convicted of an offense under this section that involves an act of graffiti may, in addition to any other penalty imposed by the court, be required either to pay to the owner of the damaged property monetary restitution in the amount of pecuniary damage caused by the act of graffiti or to perform community service, which shall include removing the graffiti from the property, if appropriate. If community service is ordered, it shall be for either not less than 20 days or not less than the number of days necessary to remove the graffiti from the property.

(cf: P.L.1995, c.251, s.3)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would criminalize the display of a noose, burning cross, or Nazi swastika under certain circumstances.

     Under section 1 of P.L.1981, c.282 (C.2C:33‑10), it is a crime of the third degree to purposely, knowingly or recklessly put or attempt to put another in fear of bodily violence by placing on private property of another a symbol, an object, a characterization, an appellation or graffiti that exposes another to threats of violence.  Under section 2 of P.L.1981, c.282 (C.2C:33-11), it is a crime of the fourth degree to purposely deface or damage, without authorization of the owner or tenant, any private premises or property primarily used for religious, educational, residential, memorial, charitable, or cemetery purposes, or for assembly by persons for purpose of exercising any right guaranteed by law or by the Constitution by placing thereon a symbol, an object, a characterization, an appellation, or graffiti that exposes another to threat of violence. 

     This bill would amend both statutes to provide that "a symbol, object, characterization, appellation or graffiti that exposes another to threats of violence" specifically includes, but is not limited to, a noose, burning cross, or Nazi swastika.

      A crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years or a fine up to $15,000, or both.  A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months or a fine up to $10,000, or both.

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