Hate Crimes

Utah hate crime law under scrutiny after tire shop beating

The recent beating of a young man and his father at their Salt Lake City tire shop by an attacker who told police he targeted them because they were Mexican is renewing criticism of the state's hate crime law, which one prosecutor is calling unusable.

Rather than protecting specific groups, the 1990s-era measure speaks generally about crimes that block people from freely exercising their constitutional rights.

"It's not worth the paper it's written on," said Salt Lake County Attorney District Attorney Sim Gill, a Democrat, said Wednesday. The hate crime statute hasn't been prosecuted for at least two decades, and ethnic and LGBT groups live in fear when attacks...