Hate Crimes pp 179-203 | Cite as

The Law

  • Jack Levin
  • Jack McDevitt

Abstract

When the police are fortunate enough to make an arrest in a hate crime case, the next decision concerns how the offender will be charged. This judgment is most often made by the prosecutor with jurisdiction over the crime, the United States Attorney for violations of federal law, and the local prosecutor for violations of state law. The decision about which criminal violation to charge can drastically affect the processing of a case by increasing the potential penalties and thus raising the stakes for the offender. The decision to charge a crime as a hate offense will also raise the interest of local advocacy groups and the media. For example, if a fight occurs between two groups of teenagers in a local community, the crime—assault—is generally not considered newsworthy. If however, the two groups are different races, one white and the other black, the decision about whether to charge the crime as a hate offense is news and will involve not only the prosecutor and the victims but the local office of the NAACP and other area human rights groups as well. What is more, the crime will likely be reported as the lead story on the eleven o’clock news.

Keywords

Burning Fatigue Transportation Beach Resi 

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Levin
  • Jack McDevitt

There are no affiliations available

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