Conceptualization of What Constitutes a Hate Crime
The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with an opportunity to think about hate crimes by trying to conceptualize what is meant by the term and whether or not definitions of hate crime should or should not include select provisions (e.g., race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, celebrity, political affiliation, etc.).
Find a recent hate crime case (from January 2015 until the present) in a reputable newspaper (New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, etc.) and link the article in the Works Cited of your paper. This case must be from the United States and must have ended: plea bargain, guilty verdict, found innocent, etc. No papers about cases without verdict, for example: Charlottesville.
Using the case you’ve found, consider the ideas and examples presented in class. Having considered this material (lecture and readings), summarize the case (max. 1-page summary) and then answer the following types of questions in an essay format:
1.What constitutes a hate crime?
2.Why is the case you find not simply a “parallel” crime?
3.How do we know a hate crime when we see one?
4.What evidence was present in your case?
5.What distinguishes a hate crime from, say, a merely malicious or hateful act?
6.Was your case an example of a symbolic or actuarial bias offense?
7.How does the law handle the issue of “motivation” or “intention” in respect to your case?
8.Do you believe the outcome of the case was fair? Why or why not? Use evidence.
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