LGBT community worries about hate crime prosecutions - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

LGBT community worries about hate crime prosecutions

By JEFF AMY
Associated Press

LUCEDALE, Miss. (AP) - During the waning days of President Barack Obama's administration, supporters of LGBT rights hailed the first federal hate crime conviction for the killing of a transgender woman in Mississippi.

Now with President Donald Trump in office, they worry about the future of such prosecutions.

New Attorney General Jeff Sessions opposed the 2009 hate crime law as a U.S. senator. During his confirmation hearing, Sessions told fellow senators they "can be sure" he will enforce the law, but some observers wonder about his commitment.

Sentencing in the Mississippi case is set for May. With a plea agreement in place, it's unlikely Sessions could change the strategy in this prosecution. But six Democrats in Congress have asked the Justice Department to investigate at least seven deaths of transgender women this year, including one in Mississippi.

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