Hate Crimes by Thomas Streissguth

By Thomas Streissguth

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Although the Hate Crimes Statistics Act expired on December 31, 1994, Louis Freeh, then–FBI director, ordered that the data-collection efforts continue. In the meantime, through the 1990s, states were passing statutes that mandated hate-crimes data collection. In addition, the Justice Department instituted the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS), a more comprehensive crime-reporting system that integrates bias motivation as a factor. The new laws and procedures, as well as the growing awareness of hate crimes as an important law enforcement issue, brought the participation by 1999 to well over 90 percent.

The rampage continued on the next day, Saturday, July 3. Smith shot and wounded an African-American man in the state capital, Springfield, then shot a black minister in Decatur. He then drove to the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana, where he fired on a group of Asian-American students, injuring one of them. On Sunday, July 4, Smith arrived in Bloomington, Indiana, where he opened fire on a group of Korean Americans while they were leaving Sunday church services. One of the targets, an Indiana University student, was killed.

The Attorney General shall establish guidelines for the collection of such data including the necessary evidence and criteria that must be present for a finding of manifest prejudice and procedures for carrying out the purposes of this section. Nothing in this section creates a cause of action or a right to bring an action, including an action based on discrimination due to sexual orientation. As used in this section, the term “sexual orientation” means consensual homosexuality or heterosexuality.

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