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Michigan bill makes it a felony to cause someone to 'feel' frightened, includes 5-years in prison

The new law is headed to the Senate, and will go to Governor Whitmer's desk to sign if it passes.

Published: June 29, 2023 4:35pm

The Michigan state House passed legislation on Tuesday making it a felony for someone to make an individual "feel" scared.

HB 4474 would replace Michigan's Ethnic Intimidation Act that is currently on the books and broaden the category of protected classes to include "gender identity or expression" and "sexual orientation." It also calls for someone to be found "guilty of a hate crime" if that individual "intimidates" someone else. 

Intimidation is defined in the bill as "a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable individual to feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened."

The law fails to specify what constitutes "harassment."

If the hate speech law passes, violators could become felons and be subjected to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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