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Response to Hate Crimes (Research Paper Sample)


-Your paper ought to be five pages minimum of content and include a “Works Cited” page (a total of six pages minimum). -It must be formatted according to MLA style. -All quotes and paraphrase must be cited, in-text, using MLA format. You will be using a “Works Cited” page at the end of the paper, so make sure that you are citing quotes throughout. Example: “Had Othello not been a Moor, the play would not have ended as it does” (Smith 3). All outside sources must be cited. Turnitin, a plagiarism detector, will be used. -You must locate and integrate at least eight outside sources. The quality of your sources will be evaluated and will be part of your grade for this assignment. Movies and plays are sources, as is the book itself, so do include these as well as part of your minimum eight sources. -You need a thesis statement. Your thesis statement needs to be underlined.

Response to Hate Crimes
Hate crimes are common offenses or criminal activities such as murder, vandalism, assault or arson committed with an element of biasness. The US Congress defined hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated wholly or partly by the offender's bias against a certain race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation" (The FBI). Notably important, hate is not a crime according to criminal justice system until it motivates an individual to commit such offenses as mentioned.
Over the years, the US has witnessed a series of hate crimes in various states motivated by individual's or group's position towards a particular issue, usually socially controversial issues. Sexual orientation and racial differences have been some of the major issues fuelling hate crimes in the US with a number of individuals being killed or assaulted due to their sexual orientation. However, incidences of hate crimes in different states have led to formulation of stringent laws at state and federal level to put certain social issues under control and lay a proper legal framework for prosecuting perpetrators in subsequent cases. This paper investigates the murder of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas and the legal and social implications of the killing on hate crimes.
James Byrd Murder, 1998
James Byrd, an African American, was murdered by three individuals two of whom were known white supremacists. White supremacy is a unique form of racial discrimination where persons holding this belief view white persons as superior in various aspects compared to people from different racial backgrounds such Spanish and African American. In this regard, they believe that white people should dominate non-white people in political, economic and social circles (Fox News). According to investigative reports, Byrd was dragged by three men identified as Shawn Berry, Russell Lawrence and John King over a distance of three miles on tarmac road behind a pick-up. As a result, Byrd's right arm, head and legs were severed as they perpetrators drove through the three miles before dumping his body at an African American cemetery in the town of Jasper. The murder incident sparked numerous divergent opinions over racial hatred and this was reflected by headlines on various local and international newspapers. The New York Times stated that "a black man was dragged to death from the back of pickup truck in a rural section of Texas known for racist and Klan activity and three white me were charged with the murder" (New York Times 1998). This excerpt indicates that Byrd killing was not the usual murder case but was motivated by racial difference between the victim and the perpetrators. Investigations showed that two of the perpetrators, Brewer and King had racist tattoos on their bodies and were supporters of the Ku Klux Klan (The Klan) which was known to fuel violence against the African American community (Marie, New York Times).
Racial hatred has been a source of divergent opinions and numerous debates in the US and legal analysts noted that Byrd murder case would aggravate the already shaky situation in Jasper, Texas. Following the murder, the Black Panthers and the Klan planned demonstrations across the town which would have triggered more violence in the area. As the NBC News reported at the time, community's response was unexpected as "the murder forced the people of Jasper to confront their prejudices;. The victim's family's response, as some authors note, was inspiring and served to quell feelings of racial hatred. The family stated that "we are not hating, we are hurting;, a statement that indicated the family was calling for healing in the area to stop more racial killings in the town, where black and whites were almost equally divided (NBC News 2008)...
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