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FBI shares hate crime statistics

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In late September 2010, as part of the FBI Citizen’s Academy in Indianapolis, agents passed around photos from a cross burning that took place four years earlier in Muncie.

Members of the class were appalled when they learned that not only did someone burn a cross as a way to intimidate a family – biracial children lived in the home – but they were also surprised that the offenders had taken photos of the cross burning and had shared those photos with family and friends.

It wasn’t until 2007 that someone who knew both the offenders and the victims gave those photos to law enforcement.

These and other types of hate crimes are regularly reported to the FBI, which annually compiles statistics. Statistics for 2009 were released in late 2010. Indiana ranked 27th, between Oklahoma at 26th and Wisconsin at 28th, in the number of hate crimes reported.

Kyle Shroyer ultimately pled guilty in November 2007 to the March 2006 cross burning, and in January 2008 he received a 15-month sentence, according to FBI reports. Kyle Milbourn was found guilty by a jury in May 2008, and was sentenced to 121 months.

In July 2008, another unrelated cross burning took place in Muncie, according to FBI reports. Three men involved with that incident pled guilty in September 2009, and each was sentenced to about a year in federal prison followed by two to three years of probation.

A number of other cross burnings have taken place around Indiana in the last few years, according to FBI reports. Other incidents include one in Mishawaka in September 2007, and another in Elkhart in May 2008.

Milbourn has since appealed, and the 7th Circuit affirmed his sentence in April 2010. In that decision, USA v. Kyle Milbourn, No. 08-2525, Judge Terence T. Evans gave a brief history of how cross burnings have symbolized racial hatred, and said that these kinds of acts will not be tolerated.

As hate crimes like these continue to make news, including a case in Bloomington in November where rocks were thrown at Chabad Jewish Student Center at Indiana University and other anti-Semitic acts took place near the student center in the course of a month, the FBI continues to collect this information and help local law enforcement when necessary.

While the FBI has released hate crime statistics since 1995, the bureau also cautions against using these numbers for statistical analysis.

The statistics likely don’t include every crime that could be considered motivated by discrimination, but it is the most comprehensive listing of its kind. It also serves as a reminder that crimes motivated by bias of a victim’s race, religion, sexual-orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or disability continue to occur.

In 2009, 2,034 law enforcement agencies reported 6,604 hate crime incidents involving 7,789 offenses, according to the FBI’s report. There were 6,598 single-bias incidents that involved 7,775 offenses, 8,322 victims, and 6,219 offenders.

The six multiple-bias incidents reported in 2009, what the FBI defines as “an incident in which more than one offense type occurs and at least two offense types are motivated by different biases,” involved 14 offenses, 14 victims, and six offenders.

California topped the list for number of hate crimes reported in 2009, with 1,015 incidents reported. It was followed by New York with 626 reported incidents, New Jersey with 549 reported incidents, Massachusetts with 322 reported incidents, and Michigan with 314 reported incidents. Ohio ranked sixth with 297 reported incidents, Kentucky ranked 14th with 150 reported incidents, and Illinois ranked 18th with 129 reported incidents.

hate crimeIn 2008, Indiana ranked 30th. The top five states were California with 1,381 reported incidents, followed by New Jersey with 744, New York with 570, Michigan with 560, and Ohio with 345. Illinois ranked 19th with 120 reported incidents, and Kentucky ranked 28th with 64 reported incidents.

In Indiana in 2009, 139 agencies participated in reporting. Of those, 17 reported a total of 55 hate crimes. The number of participating agencies has steadily increased in the last few years. In 2006, 124 agencies participated; in 2007, 127 agencies participated; and in 2008, 131 agencies participated.

The number of reported hate crimes in Indiana has also fluctuated. In 2006, 39 incidents involving bias were reported; in 2007, 40 incidents were reported; in 2008, 61 incidents were reported; and in 2009, 55 incidents were reported.

But it’s the number of agencies participating that really matters, said Andrew Northern, supervisory special agent for the Southern District of Indiana, based in Indianapolis.

“We caution people to take into account the fact that there’s different numbers of participating agencies from year to year,” which can also lead to varying interpretations of what fits the category, he said.

However, he added, “a larger number of agencies participated in 2009 – that number is growing. Those agencies provide the information voluntarily after it is brought to their attention. The primary objective is to generate reliable information.”

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law Oct. 28, 2009, and Northern said this act could affect the numbers reported in 2010 and future years.

The measure expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The bill also gives federal authorities greater ability to engage in hate crimes investigations that local authorities choose not to pursue.

“It would provide more opportunities for prosecutions than in the past,” Northern said. “The Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI work hard to make sure those who commit hate crimes are brought to justice.”

Indiana remains one of five states without its own hate crimes statute to protect victims. While Indiana law requires hate crimes to be reported, there is no law to affect sentencing in these cases. Hate crimes legislation has been introduced in recent sessions, but it has not ultimately passed.

It is unclear whether hate crimes legislation will be introduced in the 2011 session; no bill on this topic has been introduced as of Dec. 30. The latest bias crimes bill to be introduced in Indiana was in 2009.•

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  • other crimes not hateful enough?
    Are regular crimes not hateful? Hate crime counting and enhancement awards "privileged victim" status to some and not others. Moreover, it is the state punishing speech and though rather than conduct. From both perspectives, hate crimes smack of Orwellian Thought Crime. They are a tool of antagonistic characterization that is aimed not even at the perp but at whatever majority population the perp may come from and how that population may be in social conflict with another. Pure politics in other words and little to do with a just and ordered society.

    A study of differential racial statistics will also show that a disproportionate amount of crime happens cross-racially and that in itself is not "hate?" Look at the facts and tell me this is not something being used as propaganda.

    Finally about religious hate. There is so much religious discrimination and hate and war to go around in the middle east-- and not all of the aggression coming from Muslims, either, sorry folks; but there is so much to go around does the US really need to be in that business too?
  • Hate Crimes
    I must agree that we need better laws on hate crimes. So many things go unattended to, it is just sad.
  • hate crimes
    these article is so true we need better laws to help the people

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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