Hate crime laws in the United States
protect against hate crimes
(also known as bias crimes
) motivated by enmity or animus against a protected class. Although state laws vary, current statutes permit federal prosecution of hate crimes committed on the basis of a person's protected characteristics of race
, sexual orientation
, gender identity
, and disability
. The U.S. Department of Justice
, as well as campus security authorities, are required to collect and publish hate crime statistics.
Federal prosecution of hate crimes
1964 Federal Civil Rights Law
The 1964 Federal Civil Rights Law, (b)(2), permits federal prosecution of anyone who "willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person's race, color, religion or national origin" because of the victim's attempt to engage in one of six types of federally protected activities, such as attending school, patronizing a public place/facility, applying for employment, acting as a juror in a state court or voting.
Persons violating the 1969 Federal Hate Crimes Law face a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both. If bodily injury results or if such acts of intimidation involve the use of firearms, explosives or fire, individuals can receive prison terms of up to 10 years, while crimes involving kidnapping, sexual assault, or murder can be punishable by life in prison or the death......