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VOL. 41 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 07, 2017

Tennessee push for new political intimidation felony fails

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NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee Senate panel has voted down legislation to make it a felony to deface someone's property, or hurt or threaten injury on someone based on their political beliefs.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted against the legislation by Republican Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains on Wednesday. The vote came after the House passed the bill 93-0 late last month.

The felony would have included injuring, threatening to injure, damaging, destroying or defacing any real or personal property to intimidate a person from freely exercising political beliefs, political party affiliation or choice of candidates for public office.

Currently, it's a felony to hurt or coerce, or deface property, to intimidate someone from freely exercising or enjoying a right or privilege of the U.S. or state constitution or laws.

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