Persuasive Essay On Hate Crime

1010 Words5 Pages
The United States FBI defines hate crimes as “a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias.” This type of bigotry-driven crime has been a huge issue in the area of politics and justice ever since history began. Such crimes have become increasingly visible over the years due to the advances in technology, and social networking sites that have given a new platform to these issues. As the visibility of hate crime conditions become commonplace, they also become easily identifiable in everyday life. The issue that then arises is that these conditions have not yet become illegal to the degree that they should be held to. Hate crimes should be held at a higher penalty, at the federal level, due to the nature and intent of the crime at hand.
There are currently laws in place in the United States that affect how hate crimes are punished. In 1981, Oregon and Washington became the first states to ratify a law preventing and penalizing hate crimes (Nat. Institute of Justice). The first act against hate crimes was put into action by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 (US Department of Justice). In 2009, the United States passed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which changed some of the laws previously put in place, so that they would cover additional minorities. This act also required data to be kept in regards to crimes committed and reported.
However, the majority of the laws that determine the legality of hate crimes, the federal government has left the states to decide. While, the constitution does give the states the power to legislate their own laws, issues such as hate crimes and marriage laws differing in each state have created rifts. Subsequently, under the current laws in place, the state must give up their jurisdiction on hate crimes willingly, in fact, they must specifically request that jurisdiction be taken away from them (Dept. of Justice). This poses a problem, to where the federal government could be powerless in stepping into a major situation, simply because a state is too stubborn to let them onto the case. One huge argument with outlawing hate crimes is that they are emotionally driven, and cause psychological damage. Thomas Brudholm wrote “Sometimes, the
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