Lifeless bodies with slashed throats were found in the mountains of Virginia nearly six years ago. This is quite a disturbing image; the unfortunate result of a hate crime. What exactly is a hate crime? The American Psychological Association defines hate crimes as "violent acts against people, property, or organizations because of the group to which they belong or identify with" (1). The different groups usually involved include homosexuals, ethnic groups, and religion affiliations.
Dr. Jack McDevitt, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston, said hate crimes are forms of messages the offender wants to send to members of certain groups letting them know they are unwelcome in that neighborhood, community, school or workplace (APA, 1).
According to CNN.com, Darrell David Rice of Columbia, Maryland, was found guilty of committing the 1996 slayings of hikers Julianne Marie Williams and Laura "Lollie" Winans, who were the girls in the opening disturbing image. Rice is serving an 11-year sentence in federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia, for attempting to abduct and kill a female bicyclist in the same park in 1997. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft called the killings of Williams and Winans "hate crimes" and said Rice could also receive the death penalty, in addition to the present sentence (Frieden, 1).
- An Arguement that Children that Commit Murder and Other Violent Crimes Should Be Tried as Adults in Court
- Hate Crimes
- The Crimes of the Infamous Cali Drug Cartel
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