By Whitney Woodard
RALEIGH – The Senate voted Wednesday to ratchet up the penalties for people who burn crosses or hang nooses could face, providing those acts were carried out to intimidate a person of a different race or background.
A plan sponsored by Sen. Doug Berger, D-Franklin, would make the displays felonies. Such offenses are misdemeanors under current law.
He said burning crosses and noose hangings are acts of terrorism.
“We’re not trying to punish speech here, we’re trying to punish an act, and that’s the act of intimidation,” Berger said.
The plan now heads to the House, which must approve the plan before it can be sent to Gov. Mike Easley. The Senate approved the plan 47-3.
Read the Christian Action League’s Previous Story on this Legislation: Click here