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Race and law

1994

Criminal Law

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The Punishment Of Hate: Toward A Normative Theory Of Bias-Motivated Crimes, Frederick M. Lawrence Nov 1994

The Punishment Of Hate: Toward A Normative Theory Of Bias-Motivated Crimes, Frederick M. Lawrence

Michigan Law Review

This article explores how bias crimes differ from parallel crimes and why this distinction makes a crucial difference in our criminal law. Bias crimes differ from parallel crimes as a matter of both the resulting harm and the mental state of the offender. The nature of the injury sustained by the immediate victim of a bias crime exceeds the harm caused by a parallel crime. Moreover, bias crimes inflict a palpable harm on the broader target community of the crime as well as on society at large, while parallel crimes do not generally cause such widespread injury.

The distinction between …