Charleston church massacre looms over SC hate crime debate

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A group of South Carolina lawmakers is hearing testimony on whether South Carolina needs to join 47 other states in having a hate crimes law.

The House subcommittee heard from prosecutors Wednesday about the details of a possible law and from the pastor and a sister of a victim at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, where nine worshippers were killed in a racist attack in 2015.

South Carolina House Speaker Jay Lucas created several subcommittees to review all facets of criminal justice.

They range from how police operate to sentencing reform. The actions come after several high-profile cases in other states led to protests over racial injustice.

South Carolina, Arkansas and Wyoming are the only states that don’t have hate crime laws.

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