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Hate crimes are on the rise all over the United States because there are so many different cultures which do not get along The majority of these crimes are occurring mostly in the states where there are no hate crime laws or where the laws are not strict enough which is why all states should have some type of law to prevent such crimes along with federal intervention to stiffen the penalties Laws against hate crimes should exist in every state because these laws would deter people from committing crimes punish those who committed the crime and they would also give people a feeling of security Chained to the back of a pickup truck by the ankles and dragged to death one mans life ended in a heinous murder and the publics conscience awoke to the horrifying headlines describing the mutilated remains of a black man scattered along a road The slaying last summer of 49-year-old James Byrd Jr in Jasper Texas a harsh reminder to all Americans that violent crimes motivated by prejudice continue to disrupt our nations sense of racial harmony The nation was made aware once again of the reality of hate crimes in October 1998 by the fatal beating of Matthew Shepard in Laramie Wyoming The 21-year-old college student suffered sever head injuries after being beaten and tied to a wooden fence in near-freezing temperatures While the Byrd murder was motivated by views of white supremacy the Shepard murder was triggered because of the victims sexual orientation These savage attacks among many others not reported or covered by the media have prompted nationwide outrage and have renewed the hate crime debate Grigera 68 According to the FBIs most recent Hate Crimes Statistics Act HCSA report for the 1997 there were 8049 hate crimes reported by 11211 participating law enforcement agencies in the 48 states and the District of Columbia Hawaii and New Hampshire did not participate The FBI report indicated
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