COM156week9FINAL - HATE CRIME: SUPPORTING CALIFORNIAS HATE...

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HATE CRIME: SUPPORTING CALIFORNIA’S HATE CRIME LAWS Supporting California’s Hate Crime Laws Jessica Blocker COM/156 15 January 2012 Pamela Talley Word Count: 1750 1
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2 Martin Luther King Jr. said it best in a sermon, “Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true” (McCarthy, 2011, para 8). With the quote in mind, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1992) defines a hate crime as a criminal offense perpetrated against property or a person, which is motivated by the perpetrators’ bias against the victim’s religion, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity or national origin, or disability. Likewise, California penal code 190.03 states: (a)A person who commits first-degree murder that is a hate crime shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole. (b)The term authorized by subdivision (a) shall not apply unless the allegation is charged in the accusatory pleading and admitted by the defendant or found true by the trier of fact. The court shall not strike the allegation, except in the interest of justice, in which case the court shall state its reasons in writing for striking the allegation. (c)For the purpose of this section, "hate crime" has the same meaning as in Section 422.55. (d)Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent punishment instead pursuant to any other provision of law that imposes a greater or more severe punishment.
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HATE CRIME: SUPPORTING CALIFORNIA’S HATE CRIME LAWS Not all victims of hate crimes belong to the race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or national origin, or disability the perpetrator perceives the victim belongs to. In 1999, California made the right choice approving a penal code that establishes harsher sentencing for hate crimes that result in first-degree murder. In addition to the direct impact on its victims, hate crimes have pervasive secondary and tertiary effects on the victims group. For instance, June 7, 1998 James Byrd Jr., nearly 15 year-old African American man, was dragged approximately two kilometers along a dirt road. His body was dragged until it torn apart by accused perpetrator John King, a White supremacist man, and two others. . The random brutality of James Byrd’s murder seemed to give a sense of responsibility and strike fear in numerous African American leaders, some of whom articulated any member of the African American community could have been similarity violated. The day of Byrd’s funeral around 15 African American men in uniforms and armed marched into Byrd’s neighborhood, advocating fellow African Americans to take up arms. A group of African
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COM156week9FINAL - HATE CRIME: SUPPORTING CALIFORNIAS HATE...

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