User:Abram samuelson/Rash of U.S. hate crimes brings strong convictions
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012
A number of recent high profile convictions for hate crimes in theis redefining the crime and the consequences of committing one.
Statistics indicate that a hate crime occurs in the US every hour, according to Sarah Warbelow, who is the legislative director for the. The term "hate crime" did not appear until the 1980s when newly emerging hate groups committed a number of bias-related crimes, according to the (FBI). The US government classifies hate crimes as a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. It wasn't until 2009 that US criminal civil rights law was amended to include violence against the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community known as .
The US law has to strike a balance betweenand protecting people from a crime that is seen as affecting a group or groups of people.
Hate is not a crime.
A recent example of headline hitting hate crimes is. Ravi is a former student who was convicted on March 16, 2012, on all 15 charges he had faced for spying on his roommate having sex with another man and recording it via webcam. Although Ravi was not charged with his roommate death, he was convicted of the charge of bias intimidation with the intent to intimidate based on sexual orientation. This verdict is poised to impact the current definition the federal government has placed on .
Ravi's case had no federal charges, as there was no direct physical violence as required by federal government laws, so the incident could not be classified as a hate crime by federal government standards.
On February 26, in Sanford,, fatally shot 17-year-old african-american while on neighborhood watch. This case has placed hate crimes in the forefront of the public as the facts continue to unfold. Although no charges have been filed in this case, Florida along with 22 other states has a in place to protect individuals who resort to violence in the name of self-defense.
Laws of this type blur the lines for a hate crime conviction.
Warbelow said, "There are lots of actions that states and people take that contribute to the mind set of bias individuals. These actions reinforce hatred."
- HRC Policy & Strategy Coordinator Jennifer Pike:. "Indiana Stops Selling LGBT License Plates" — March 19, 2012
- Adam Weinstein. "Three men plead guilty to federal hate crimes in Mississippi killing" — Sun Mar. 18, 2012 10:4
- Cora Currier. "The 23 States That Have Sweeping Self-Defense Laws Just Like Florida’s" — , March 22, 2012, 1:05 p.m.
- "Hate Crime—Overview" — , March 22, 2012
- Scott Bronstein. "Three men plead guilty to federal hate crimes in Mississippi killing" — , March 22, 2012
- Sruthi Gottipati. "Dharun Ravi Denies Anti-Gay Bias" — , Sunday, March 25, 2012