Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity Politics.

Author:Ferrall, Bard R.
Position::Review
 
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JAMES B. JACOBS & KIMBERLY POTTER, HATE CRIMES: CRIMINAL LAW AND IDENTITY POLITICS (NY: Oxford University Press, 1998) 212 pp.

Recently enacted state and federal laws targeting hate crimes are examined. The authors find inconsistency on various elements, including the definition of "prejudice," the kinds of prejudices to be sanctioned, and the nexus between the perpetrator's prejudice and the predicate criminal act. The authors assert that ambiguities in the various definitions of a "hate crime" undermine consistency in the compilations of hate crime statistics. The authors question whether the data supports claims of a drastic rise in hate crimes in the 1990s. The authors also question whether the...

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