Hate Crimes: A Case Study

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Hate crimes were first addressed at the federal level with the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which permits the federal prosecution of anyone who by force or threat of force injures intimidates or interferes with any person because of their race, color, religion or national origin or because of a victim’s attempt to engage in one of the six federally protected activities. Although a huge step in the right direction towards civil rights for all, this law only protected victims when they were engaging in one of the six federally protected activities, which were; attending a public school, applying for or enjoying employment, participating or enjoying a service administered by state or local government, serving in State court as a juror, traveling…show more content…
In 1994 the federal government took a step further with the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which required increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any…show more content…
One recommendation to better prevent and be aware of hate crimes is to push the federal government to require all agencies to include hate crimes as a classification in their records and to report these to the FBI. This will allow for better understanding of most at risk areas, and will also encourage agencies to take hate crimes seriously. As the current hate crime statistics are so low, many individuals may no longer think that hate crimes are a problem in the U.S. States. Federal and state lawmakers could also consider harsher sentences for hate crimes, as the current sentence is relatively low, as compared to non-violent drug related crimes for example. Harsher sentencing could send a message to people that the government does not tolerate hate crimes and the punishments for committing one are severe. Additionally, police could push perpetrators in the moment for their motives, as someone may not be inclined to initially admit to having a racial bias and committing a crime because of it. Police could do a better job to get the full picture on why a perpetrator committed a crime. This likely would require more training for police officers to recognize and understand racially motivated bias. Lastly, the Federal government specifically the Department of Justice could aid in the fight against hate crime by providing the funds and resources necessary. Specifically funds and resources that
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