Published on November 28, 2008
Hate & Bias Crimes : Hate & Bias Crimes Tammy S. Garland, Ph.D. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Who is this? : Who is this? KILLER!!!!!! : KILLER!!!!!! Shawn Allan Berry, along with Russell Brewer and John King were responsible for the death of James Byrd on June 7, 1998. They tied him to the back of a pick-up truck and drug his body until his head popped off. Byrd was killed because he was black. Who is this? : Who is this? Matthew Wayne Sheppard : Matthew Wayne Sheppard Severely beaten and tied to a fence post. Left for dead. His killers were Aaron McKinney (22) and Arthur Henderson (21) Murdered because he was gay. Hate and Bias Crimes : Hate and Bias Crimes What is a hate crime? It depends!!!!!!! Hate Crime Statistic Act of 1990 : Hate Crime Statistic Act of 1990 a hate crime is “manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, including where appropriate the crimes of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, arson, and destruction, damage, or vandalism of property” has taken place. What is the problem? : What is the problem? HCSA (1990)-only uses the definition to statistically report hate and bias crimes. Does not make hate crimes illegal Does not protect all persons under federal hate crime legislation Not Federally Protected : Not Federally Protected Homosexuals Mentally disabled Physically disabled Women Note: These persons are still protected under the law!!!!! Violence Against Women Act : Violence Against Women Act Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994 Allowed victims of gender-based crime to sue in either state of federal court for monetary damages or injunctive relief US v. Morrison (2000) VAWA unconstitutional (based on Commerce Clause) DV noneconomic in nature Local issue applying to private persons Does not fall within Congress’ control What do hate crime statutes do? : What do hate crime statutes do? Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act (1994) Part of Clinton’s Crime Bill Enhances the penalty if it can be proven that crime was out of hate toward a particular group Federal Legislation : Federal Legislation Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act Has yet to be passed into law Introduced each year Recent Legislation : Recent Legislation David’s Law (H.R. 254) Introduced in the House (Jan. 5, 2007) Would expand definition Use of a minor No action was ever taken Recent Legislation : Recent Legislation Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 Included: Defining hate crime to gender and sexual orientation (bodily harm or intimidation) providing federal support to state, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies authorize the federal government to prosecute hate crimes if a state does not intend to prosecute the crime Introduced in the Senate (April 12, 2007) Passed Senate (Oct. 1, 2007) Placed under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (HR 1585) Vetoed by President Bush (Dec. 28, 2007) Slide 15: Why weren’t these bills enacted into law? State Law : State Law Fewer than half of the states have adopted the federal definition of a hate crime Are victims of hate crime not protected? Yes and no State Law : State Law States have the ability to grant rights to those who are not protected under federal law 24 states do not include homosexuals under their law Many others do not include: Ethnicity Gender Disabled (physical and mental) Constitutionality of State Laws 1st Amendment : Constitutionality of State Laws 1st Amendment R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul (1992) Struck down local ordinance banning all “hate symbols Wisconsin v. Mitchell (1993) SC held that providing sentence enhancement for bias motivated crimes did not violate 1st Amendment…directed at conduct not expression….i.e. Mississippi Burning Virginia v. Black (2003) SC held 1st amendment permits state to outlaw cross burnings Intimidation Constitutionality of State Laws 6th Amendment : Constitutionality of State Laws 6th Amendment 6th Amendment provides defendants a right to a jury trial. Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) Struck down judge doubling the statutory maximum Unless a recidivist cannot do this (prior conviction) Why? Any fact that increases penalty must be submitted to a jury (not up to the judge) Tennessee Hate Crimes Legislation : Tennessee Hate Crimes Legislation State of TN defines hate crimes as “the right of every person regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, or national origin, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, harassment, and bodily injury caused by the activities of groups and individuals (Tennessee Code 39-17-309, Part A, Civil Rights Intimidation). Slide 21: (b) A person commits the offense of intimidating others from exercising civil rights who: (1) Injures or threatens to injure or coerces another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate another from the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured by the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee; (2) Injures or threatens to injure or coerces another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate another because that other exercised any right or privilege secured by the constitution or laws of the United States or the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee; (3) Damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property of another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate another from the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured by the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee; or (4) Damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property of another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate another because that other exercised any right or privilege secured by the constitution or laws of the United States or the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee. Slide 22: (c) It is an offense for a person to wear a mask or disguise with the intent to violate subsection (b).(d) A violation of subsection (b) is a Class D felony. A violation of subsection (c) is a Class A misdemeanor.(e) The penalties provided in this section for intimidating others from exercising civil rights do not preclude victims from seeking any other remedies, criminal or civil, otherwise available under law. TN : TN Who is not protected? Homosexuals Women Disabled Slide 24: Is Matthew Sheppard’s life less valuable than James Byrd’s? Under federal law and Tennessee state law, it seems that it is TN law : TN law 39-17-311. Desecration of venerated object (a) A person commits an offense who intentionally desecrates: (1) A place of worship or burial; or (2) A state or national flag.(b) A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor. Civil Action : Civil Action Most states have enacted civil lawsuit provisions so victims of hate crimes can sue their offenders In many states, if a youth commits a hate crime, parents can be held civilly liable. What can they get? : What can they get? Out of pocket expenses Reimbursement for attorney’s fees Punitive damages Injunctive Relief TN State Law--Civil : TN State Law--Civil A person may be liable to the victim of malicious harassment for both special and general damages, including, but not limited to, damages for emotional distress, reasonable attorney's fees and costs, and punitive damages (4-21-701). Are Hate Crimes a New Phenomenon? : Are Hate Crimes a New Phenomenon? NO!!!!! –Difference Breeds Hate American Indians Jews African-Americans New focus: Homosexuals and Mexicans Statistics : Statistics FBI reported 11,451 specific incidents in 2001. -only 7,755 hate crime incidents were reported in 1998. -why was there such a change in reporting? Race : Race Approximately 46% (5300) of the bias-motivated offenses were due to racial bias. majority of incidents based on race were committed against African-Americans or those of African decent (67%) Ethnicity : Ethnicity Approximately 22% were due to hatred of a specific ethnic group or nationality -most people targeted for ethnicity were Hispanic Interesting fact!!!! Religion : Religion Roughly 18% (2000) were due to religious intolerance most were against Jewish population (56%), followed by Islam (27%) Sexual Orientation : Sexual Orientation Approximately 14% were due to disapproval of the victim’s apparent sexual orientation. Slide 35: WHY DO HATE CRIMES OCCUR!!!!!!! Interpersonal Violence : Interpersonal Violence Differs from interpersonal violence!!! The level of brutality is often excessive, The victim is frequently a stranger targeted because they are “different,” and The offenders often work in a group rather than being an isolated offender Slide 37: What is the effect on the victim? Primary injury Secondary injury What effect does this have on the community at large? What does this mean? : What does this mean? Is this a symbol of pride or hatred? What does this mean? : What does this mean? What is this? Good or Evil? Types of hate/bias offenders : Types of hate/bias offenders Thrill-seeking Go outside their own turf Reactive Attack individuals on their own turf Attack those who might be a threat to their lifestyle Mission Psychotic God/Devil tells them to do it. Operates alone Hate Groups : Hate Groups Approximately 270 hate groups active in the United States Between 20-50K members of white supremacists in the US Approximately 15-20% of hate/bias crimes are committed by hate groups White Supremacists : White Supremacists Often times, these groups work together KKK Neo-Nazi Christian identity skinheads Other non-white hate groups : Other non-white hate groups Gangs Other religious groups Assisting Victims of Hate : Assisting Victims of Hate Allow victims to express their feelings Address and confront the obvious hate and prejudice involved in the crime Be non-judgmental Assist victims with appropriate forms Assist with filing of forms Inform victim of possible civil remedies Slide 45: Be careful when interviewing victims of hate crimes Provide information regarding the investigation and prosecution of the case Inform them of victim impact statements Assist them in preparing victim impact statements Inform victim if there is an appeal Inform the victim if offender is released on probation or parole Establishing ties with the community : Establishing ties with the community Improve community outreach Lower socio-economic areas are often ignored Conduct presentations in the community on hate crimes Establish ties with local law enforcement Create multilingual written materials for distribution in accordance with the language spoken in the community Slide 47: What can professionals do to help end hate crimes? Become an activist Rally for the changing of state laws Rally for stiffer penalties
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