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Hate Crimes are criminal actions intended to harm or intimidate people because of their race ethnicity sexual orientation religion or other minority group status They are also referred to as bias crimes These crimes may include acts of physical assaults assaults with weapons harassment vandalism robbery rape verbal harassment attacks on peoples homes or places of worship various forms of vandalism and murder Hate crimes can occur anywhere in schools the workplace public places and in the home Those who commit hate crimes come from backgrounds and represent different age groups Since the 1980s the problem of hate crimes has attracted increasing research attention from criminologists and law enforcement personnel who have focused primarily on documenting the occurrences of the problem and formulating criminal justice responses to it Lawmakers have passed legislation to encourage data collection and attach enhanced penalties to hate crimes at both state and federal levels President Bill Clinton sponsored a White House Conference on Hate Crimes in 1997 at which he announced numerous ideas including his support for expanded coverage of hate crimes in federal legislation and his decision to include questions about hate crimes in the National Crime Victimization Survey In June 1993 the United States Supreme Court upheld a Wisconsin hate crime statute that was based on model legislation originally drafted by the Anti-Defamation League in 1981 The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights is reinforcing the importance of this legislation stating that hate crimes continue to plague and terrorize the United States and are on the increase in this post 911 era In 1996 the Anti-Defamation League added gender to its model hate crimes legislation The League chose to add gender after coming to the conclusion that gender-based hate crimes could not be easily distinguished from other forms of hate motivated violence Gender-based crimes like other hate crimes have a special impact that extends beyond the original victim The inclusion of gender is important because it sends
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