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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 CNNcom 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 US 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 Examples of hate crimes provided by Stephen Wesslers Addressing Hate Crimes Six Initiatives include 3 the dragging death of African-American James Byrd Jr in Jasper Texas the deadly attack on Matthew Sheppard a gay student in Laramie Wyoming the shooting rampage targeting minority citizens in Chicago the shootings of children at a Jewish community center in Los Angeles the murder of Joseph Santos Ileto a Filipino-American mail carrier A report done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI states that 7947 hate crime incidents were reported In 1995 a comparison of states showed that California was at the top of the charts with 1751 incidents reported and Florida stood with 164 incidents 2 The total number
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