DC forms bias crime partnership with prosecutors, LGBT community

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WASHINGTON (AP) - District of Columbia officials are announcing a partnership between prosecutors, the mayor's office and the gay, lesbian and transgender community.

JaParker Jones, 23, was stabbed at a bus stop and died later at a hospital. (Photo: courtesy of the family)

The goal of the partnership, announced Saturday by Mayor Vincent Gray, is to seek stronger punishments for people convicted in bias- or hate crimes.

As part of the arrangement, the mayor's office of GLBT Affairs will solicit so-called impact statements from community members in criminal cases that were motivated by the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity. The statements are intended to factor into a judge's sentencing decision.

The announcement was made at a memorial service for Deoni Jones, a transgender woman fatally stabbed to death last year.

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