Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Hate Crimes, Law Enforcement Response To
Christopher D. Maxwell
Crimes motivated by one's hatred toward another's race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or other innate characteristics are unilaterally condemned by Western societies as unjustified attacks. Although such crimes have existed for centuries, it was not until the 1980s that they gained recognition as a special type of criminal offense. Today, these crimes are labeled in federal and state statutes, and in local law enforcement policies, as hate- or bias-motivated crimes. James Garofalo and Susan Martin identify three reasons that there is special focus on hate crimes. First, because hate crime offenders target innate characteristics of a group, victims may have greater difficulty in coming to terms with their victimization. Second, some hate crimes appear to have contagious effects on the victim's community. Third, although several racially motivated crimes received national attention, most hate crimes are not serious in terms of penal law and therefore receive only modest police ...