Are Hate Crime Laws Effective? Essay

1650 Words Feb 19th, 2016 null Page
Are Hate Crime Laws Effective? Recent legislations have been passed to control the rate of bias motivated crimes in the United States. Such crimes are referred to as hate crimes and include the targeting of a victim based on their race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, disability, etc. Those who take part in hate crimes are to be charged with tougher penalties than those who commit the same crime without bias motivation or, in other words, carry out an act on a victim specifically for something they said or did rather than for a large scale characteristic they possess. Hate crime laws are effective in that they protect the freedoms of the victims as well as prosecute the transgressor. The outrageous violence of hate crimes has shown throughout history. The term “hate crime” was made popular in the 1980s for crimes motivated by race. The KKK, Skinheads, and other White Supremacists were the leading cause in the documented race motivated crimes (“Hate Crime Laws”). Before the term was made popular, the idea of a hate crime was emerging quickly. In 1955, two white men, Ray Bryant and J.W. Milam, brutally beat Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy, over rumors of the boy whistling at one of the offender’s girlfriends. After beating the boy, they gouged out his eye, shot him in the head, and threw his body into the Tallahatchie River tied to a 75-pound cotton gin. The same outcome wouldn’t have happened had it been a white boy. The men who committed the crime…

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