Essay about Hate Crimes in America
May 18, 2014
Instructor Kristin Bradley Hate Crimes in America
Knowing how the criminal justice system deals with hate crimes can be determine if the history of these crimes is explained and we learn who are now targeted by these crimes. Hate crimes has been a part of the American culture for decades. Hatred and prejudice crimes including lynching, burning crosses, synagogues vandalism, killing, and other crimes committing against a group of people because of their race, religion, handicap, sexual preference, or beliefs are consider hate crimes. This paper will explain to readers the background history of these types of crimes, different types of hate crimes committed in America, targeted victims, …show more content…
There are four elements of hate crime laws: criminality, perception, protected statuses, and intent. Hate crime laws logic is based on the debate that these crimes are designed to cause fear in large groups of people, which is a form of terrorism. Hate crimes are targeted against people who are different because of their sexual preference, ethics, race, and religious beliefs (Cheng, Ickes, &Kenworthy, 2013). Law enforcement is usually the one responsible for determining if a crime is considered a hate crime. Over the last 15 years, criminologists and sociologists have work hard at trying to understand the case of hate crimes and the issues associated with laws for these crimes (Blazak, 2011).
Targeted Victims of Hate Crimes
There was a study conducted that explored the nature of hate crimes and attacks and a response from the victims of these crimes (Barnes & Ephross, 1994). In this study there were a total of 59 victims from different ethnical backgrounds whose individual interviews, group meeting, and questionnaires gave an insight on their experience. Over half of the victims reported that they received a series of attacks instead of a single attack and because of the crime committed against them, they have develop the emotional response of fear, sadness, and anger. According to Barnes and Ephross (1994), one-third of the victims have relocated or purchased a weapon for protection.
Based on the finding