Blaze Bernstein Murder Prompts Call for New Hate Crime Protections
Prior to Samuel Woodward's court appearance this afternoon as a suspect in the Blaze Bernstein murder case, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced a new legislative effort in its wake. With State Senator Janet Nguyen by his side, Rackauckas offered no comments on the investigation at a called press conference, but noted a revelation of another kind. "Over the last several weeks, we have discovered a glaring omission in our laws to protect all members of our community, especially LGBTQ members," Rackauckas said. "This community is often targeted for persecution and prejudice." Currently, state law offers no "protected class" status for victims murdered because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. If found guilty, the hate crime enhancement would have Woodward sentenced to life without the possibility of parole or even the death penalty.
Read more on my latest OC Weekly Navel Gazing Blog post: