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Holden Calls for Cross Burning Ban

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By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Bob Holden says it should be a crime to burn a cross to intimidate someone.

Monday, at a speech during a Martin Luther King celebration in Jefferson City, he called on Missouri lawmakers to pass such legislation.

Missouri Senate Pro Tem Peter Kinder Monday introduced a bill to that effect.

Upholding a Virginia law, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April that states can punish Ku Klux Klansmen and others who set crosses afire.

Holden says the Missouri legislation will mimic Virginia's law. The proposal would make a first offense under the law a misdemeanor, and a repeat offense a felony. Holden says the new law would fill in a gap in the state's current hate crimes law.

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