Not being QUITE the legal genius I’d like to be, this kind of tied my brain up in knots. However, it’s neat that our hate crime laws in Louisiana are structured in such a way to encompass organizations. Or is it neat? I dunno.

“The law enhances punishment for someone who targets a victim because of the victim’s association with a certain group of people, in this case, likely those providing abortion services,” said Katherine Mattes, a criminal law professor at Tulane University Law School.

If an offender commits a crime that is motivated by such bias, then the court, through the hate crime law, can increase the sentence. In Kennedy’s case, the underlying crime of simple criminal damage is a misdemeanor. If convicted of both that charge and a hate crime, the court can sentence him to a maximum fine of $500 and up to six months in prison to be served consecutively with the sentence for criminal damage, according to Mattes.

Lawmakers worded the hate crimes statute in such a way so as to encompass hate crimes against organizations such as abortion clinics, laboratories that conduct animal testing or some other non-religious, non-racial organization, Mattes said.

This reminds me of a really outrageous couple I know: for his wife’s birthday one year, her husband vandalized all these anti-choice billboards around town and had pictures taken of him doing it. She saw the vandalism days before, and then on her birthday he gave her a book of the photographs. (She is a public health/sex educator for the juvenile justice system so if you thought YOU were a pro-choice liberal feminazi yahoo, you aren’t near #hardcore enough).