At the beginning of this year, 22 individuals lost their lives in El Paso, Texas on account of an individual who had hatred towards immigrants and Latinos.
Another gun violence also occurred in Gilroy, California, which resulted in the death of three people and is currently being investigated as a likely function of domestic terrorism a couple of days after the gun violence in Texas.
Numerous hate crimes occur in the United States every year where individuals become targets due to their skin color, their religion, their loved ones and the language they speak.
But what constitutes a hate crime?
The FBI stated that hate crime is a crime against an individual or property that was inspired as a result of the culprit’s predisposition against a religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual perception, or sexual character.
This suggests that the crime is associated with theft, assault and criminal behavior that is determined by investigators as being partly or completely inspired by misjudgment.
Besides, various federal laws allow the indictment of hate crimes. The 1968 Civil Rights Act, the 1994 Law Enforcement Act, the Violent Crime Control and the 2009 Mathew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. These guidelines permit the government to indict any suspect for hate crimes and to expand the punishment.
Federal cases are usually taken very seriously by the federal government, convicted individuals face imprisonment or a significant punishment. This indicates the importance of being aware of the law. Nevertheless, in situations when being caught up with a federal criminal offense, it is imperative to employ the services of the most ideal attorney that will be in charge of your case.
For instance, federal criminal defense attorney, Daniel Perlman and his team of proficient attorneys have several years of advocating for defendants in numerous federal criminal defense cases as a result of their solid knowledge of the law.
Hate crime laws vary in different states as few of them also spread across other categories such as the homeless or nationality. But states like South Carolina, Arkansas, Wyoming, Indiana, and Georgia do not have these laws.
These laws being documented in any state does not imply that they are in effect. For instance, a Salt Lake County district lawyer named the Utah bias regulation as being useless. Some states, however, only protect some group of individuals for instance, the casualties of LGBTQ are not included in the categories of those who are covered in their hate crime regulations.
Nevertheless, there are very significant facts that one should be aware of hate crimes in America:
- The number of hate crimes that occur annually.
Due to the ineffective nature of the data collection process of hate crime, it is difficult to precisely determine the number of hate crimes that occur annually.
This is also as a result of the absence of any policy that would persuade local police departments in providing their reports to the federal government. Some of these police departments, therefore, don’t even provide any reports. For instance, the Hawaii police department doesn’t provide any report.
However, the FBI provided an estimation of over 7,100 hate crime cases in 2017 which is the latest year having available data relating to hate crimes. However, a hate crime survey was carried out by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that estimated an annual hate crime of about 250,000.
This estimation has already been established even if additional data is provided by the police. In 2017, eighty-seven per cent of police agencies who provided their estimations to the FBI indicated the absence of hate crimes. But BuzzFeed discovered 15 criminal offenses related to hate crimes in about 10 states that indicated the absence of hate crime to the FBI after analyzing over 2,000 police cases
Additionally, police departments send hate crime data to agencies in the state who presents the information to the FBI, but there are situations where this process has been deemed irrelevant.
The former deputy assistant attorney general in the civil rights division of the Department of Justice, Roy Austin informed ProPublica that the recent estimations are just a total ruse.
- The purpose of a decline in hate crime investigation and job monitoring.
There are common cases which the police records leave out because many of the victims don’t file a complaint to the police for different reasons which include mistrust in the legal system, the fear of rejection and doubts if the encounter was even a criminal offense.
Although some police departments ascertain the absence of hate crimes and therefore don’t provide data to the FBI, another issue is the absence of an extensive investigation and hate crime monitoring by some of these police departments.
There are several victims of hate crimes that claimed that the police don’t pay proper attention to these activities in which a report is not taken or are not even aware of the appropriate report to use.
Another important issue is that the training of the Police on hate crimes are different everywhere. Only a handful of states require the police training academies to offer training on hate crimes and even these instructions might not last more than a half-hour to recruits.
A researcher on hate crimes on how hate crime tracking can be improved, Brian Levin stated that there should be more training, official leadership and a framework that is maintained and carried out.
- Indictment on Hate Crimes.
Hate crimes are usually very hard to bring to trial because the lawyer must confidently demonstrate that the predisposition of the defendant resulted in the attack. Several intricacies are associated with charges on hate crimes, unlike straightforward cases of vandalism or assault. An investigation carried out by ProPublica found that only 10 hate crimes cases were successfully indicted from about 1,000 cases that were reported to the Texas police between 2010 and 2015.
However, cities like New York and Boston explicitly have bias crime units that offer professional expertise and scrutinize cases of hate crimes to collect information for its indictment. Sadly, the task of investigating these crimes is carried out by the local police in most states.