An attack on a Latino man and his son led some Utah officials to declare a state crime against hate crimes ineffective, as it can only be used for offenses.
"The law we have is such an untenable and unenforceable law that we have not been able to prosecute a hate crime at the state level for over 20 years," said Sim Gill, Salt Lake County prosecutor, The New York Times , "It is worthless. It's not worth the paper it's written on. "
On November 27, Alan Covington entered Lopez Tires in Salt Lake City and shouted," I'm here to kill a Mexican, "before he assaulted Jose Lopez and his teenage son Luis with a three-meter-long metal bar, said the authorities. The younger Lopez was taken to hospital in a critical condition with injuries and facial fractures.
His father was bleeding from his face and "chuckled and coughed with his own blood". He was released from a hospital on Friday.
Covington 50, an African-American, said he attacked the store because he felt he was part of a Mexican mafia jail gang plot against him.
FEDERAL HATE CRIME CHARGES IN KENTUCKY KROGER SHOOTING 
The prosecutors have him in connection with the attack with three crimes, two second-degree attacks and unlawful possession of one Weapon charged by a culprit. He is also facing two drug-related offenses. He could face more than 26 years in prison.
He was imprisoned for $ 1
Gill said the hate crimes prohibition in Utah can only be applied to offenses, which means an attack like the alleged Lopez. He can not be considered a hate crime, he said.
"One would think that a hate crime is the worst kind of behavior and one would like to be able to use it in this way," he said.
An attempt was made to change the law, most recently in 2016, which was inspired by an attack on a group of gay men in Salt Lake City. This failed effort was quoted by Stephen H. Urquhart, a Republican State Senator, according to the Times.
Urquhart dictated opposition to the amendment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Gill told his opponents Extended laws against hate crimes fear that a new law could "create special rights for people" or give the government the power to "control someone's thoughts," the newspaper said.
"But that does not happen if we have evidence," he said. He referred to a case such as the attack on the Lopez family, in which a suspect allegedly during an attack expresses a bias. He added, "I do not have to speculate on what goes through your mind and what message you are sending.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.