Hate crime is a violation of the law and is represented by the affiliation of the victim with a particular social group related to the different ethnicity, sexual orientation, or race (Gernstenfeld, 2013). The presence of hate crimes in the legislation is linked to the Civil Rights Movement and prosecutes the cases, which do not comply with principles of tolerance and equality (Gernstenfeld, 2013).
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In the past, the United States of America proposed various Codes such as Acts 241 and 242 to minimize the occurrence of hate crimes and ensure that all social groups can be engaged freely in everyday activities (Gernstenfeld, 2013). Nonetheless, these laws were modified. Nowadays, they clearly differentiate the main features of hate crimes and affect the ability of the prosecutor to go to court. Consequently, the primary goal of this paper is to highlight the aspects, which affect the law enforcement’s response and district attorney’s understanding of hate crimes.
Discussion and the ability of the prosecutor to participate in the lawsuits
In the first place, the legal authorities tend to have distinct categories, which can be reported as hate crimes such as racial or gender discrimination (Gernstenfeld, 2013). At the same time, the modern law has a clear definition of hate crime to ease the decision-making process (Gernstenfeld, 2013). As it was mentioned earlier, a hate crime is a conflict of interests associated with prejudice and people’s belonging to the particular social groups (Hall, Corb, & Gianassi, 2014). In this case, the crime pertains to the intergroup clash of interests and usually involves a high level of violence.
The correspondence with any features of the hate crime identified above determines the ability of the prosecutor to report the detected violation to the court. Consequently, it could be said that law enforcement’s response and defining the nature of the crimes determines the prosecutor’s participation in the proceedings. Despite the vitality of the legal definition of hate crime, the desire of the victim to participate in the lawsuits also affects the prosecutor’s involvement. In this case, the feelings such as shame for being victimized might be another determinant of the victim’s and prosecutor’s actions.
Issues and the victim
On the contrary, there is a plethora of issues, which affect the involvement of the prosecutor in the investigation process of the hate crime. Discovering the actual motives of the crime might impact the overall process and define the typology of the incident (Gernstenfeld, 2013). In turn, the victim’s race or sexual orientation may also influence the decision-making and display whether the violation complies with any categories of hate crime.
Furthermore, the victim’s ability to persuade the prosecutor and develop sympathetic feelings can be viewed as another factor, which has an impact on the investigation process (Gernstenfeld, 2013). A combination of these aspects pertains to the fact that the viewpoint of the prosecutor can be biased by the individual preferences and social opinions. In this case, improving the law enforcement strategies and clearly defining the core features of hate crimes will help avoid misconceptions and ease the decision-making process.
In the end, the analysis conducted above displays that it is challenging to differentiate hate crime from other violations and criminal acts. Nonetheless, the modern legislation tends to ease the decision-making process and defines the key characteristics of the crime. Nevertheless, despite the vitality of the law enforcement, the victim’s ability to report the details and continue the process in the court also affects the prosecutor’s actions. Thus, individual opinions, social viewpoints, and the compliance of the identified crime with the law can be viewed as the definers of the flow of subsequent investigation.
Gernstenfeld, P. (2013). Crimes: Causes, controls, and controversies. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Hall, N., Corb, A., & Gianassi, P. (2014). The Routledge international handbook on hate crime. New York, NY: Routledge.