Hate Crime Laws
*Hate crime laws have been used since 1968. Hate Crimes seem to be a problem in today’s world. In 2017, according to the FBI, 49 percent of hate crimes are by African American Bias. Roughly 58 percent of religious hate crimes were against Jewish believers. For sexual orientation, roughly 58 percent of hate crimes are committed against gay males. Forty five percent of hates crime were committed based on intimation and 78 percent were directed at an individual only. (site) There are five different type of statues to hate law crimes. The five statues are Shepard Byrd Act of 2009, Criminal Interference with Right to fair housing, damage to religious property, violent interference with federally, and conspiracy against rights.
The Shepard Byrd Act makes it a crime to use a dangerous weapon or cause harm to one’s body because of the victims appeared race, color, religion and national origin. The act also includes sexual orientation, gender identity, or someone that deals with a disability. This act is significant because it is the first act that allows federal prosecution for hate crimes.
The Criminal Interference with Right to Fair Housing law makes it a crime for someone to interfere with where someone chooses to live because of their race, color, religion, sex, disability, status, or national origin. For an example, if a transgender wants to buy a house in a conservative place, a person cannot refuse to sell them the house because they do not think they would be a good fit.
The Damage to Religious Property or Church Arson Prevention Act prohibited any type of damage to a religious structure just because a person did not agree with the religion. This act criminalizes anyone who threats a person who is exercising their rights of religious beliefs.
The Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights protects anyone who participating in a federally protected activity. Some federal protective activities include public education, jury service, and travel. For an example, religious groups can pray in public education, but if someone commits a crime against those prayers because they do not agree with their religious practices doing, then it would be a violation to this act.
The last act, Conspiracy against Rights, makes it illegal for two or more people to hurt a person in any state because the person constitutional rights. For an example, if a group of African Americans attacked Muslims because they do not feel like they do not belong in American that would be violation of this act.
*Hate laws have been effective in reducing crime. The first reason being, with comparing the statistics above; in 2010, all those statistics were around five percent higher. Next, the stronger the penalty for hate crime laws, the more fear it can put into people’s heart to commit it. For an example, the common punishment for a hate crime seems to be the death penalty. No one wants their life taken away; that is a very permanent decision, and scares so many people that could very well be a factor on why hate crimes are reducing.