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Spencer Lawton, retired district attorney, Savannah, Georgia. (Courtesy photo) Spencer Lawton, retired district attorney, Savannah, Georgia. (Courtesy photo)

The recent upwelling of interest in “hate crime” legislation around the country has resulted in Georgia’s HB 426, recently signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp. The immediate urgency of this proposal grew out of a social convulsion sparked by the vile murder of a Black man committed by a white police officer, and a national reaction that has itself indiscriminately led to deaths and destruction of property of numerous other innocents. A conflagration of this sort would hardly seem an environment conducive to the kind of intelligent and sensitive consideration appropriate to important legislative acts. The resulting law proves the point.

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