The parents of a black college student who was stabbed to death at the University of Maryland urged lawmakers to strengthen the state's hate crime law.
The parents of Richard Collins III attended a news conference in Annapolis Tuesday with Prince George's County State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy.
The legislation would clarify that hate does not have to be the sole motivation for a hate crime.
Sean Urbanski was found guilty in December of killing Collins in 2017. A judge threw out a hate crime charge against Urbanski after ruling prosecutors didn't meet their legal burden of showing that racial hatred motivated Urbanski to stab Collins.
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"Close this gap, this loophole in the current law that allows hate crimes to go unpunished," said Collins father, Rick Collins.
Braveboy, a University of Maryland graduate, said her advocacy for the bill goes well beyond her professional capacity.
"To be able to promote legislation that really calls for fairness for justice when people are committing crimes because of bias, it's personal," she said.