GLAD has joined the Anti-Defamation League, MassEquality, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston, Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, and Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association in an amicus brief urging the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) not to add a “predominant” or “substantial” factor test to the state’s hate crime statue.

The brief was submitted in the case Commonwealth v. Kelly,  which questions the standard for determining guilt under the state’s hate crimes statute. It asks the SJC to uphold the jury instructions given by the trial judge, which required proof that the defendants intentionally and deliberately targeted the victim because of his race, and argues that requiring that bias motive also be a “predominant” or “substantial” contributing factor would impede the law’s long standing effectiveness and weaken protections for vulnerable communities across the Commonwealth. (Excerpted from the New England ADL website. Read more).

The amicus brief was prepared by the law firm Cooley LLP in Boston.