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Criminal Law

Discrimination

2000

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Recognizing Opportunistic Bias Crimes, Lu-In Wang Jan 2000

Recognizing Opportunistic Bias Crimes, Lu-In Wang

Articles

The federal approach to punishing bias-motivated crimes is more limited than the state approach. Though the federal and state methods overlap in some respects, two features of the federal approach restrict its range of application. First, federal law prohibits a narrower range of conduct than do most state bias crimes laws. In order to be punishable under federal law, bias-motivated conduct must either constitute a federal crime or interfere with a federally protected right or activity-requirements that exclude racially motivated assault, property damage and many other common violent or destructive bias offenses. In most states, however, hate crimes encompass a …