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NCJ Number: 194299 Find in a Library
Title: Penalty Enhancement for Hate Crimes -- Editor's Introduction
Journal: Criminal Justice Ethics  Volume:11  Issue:2  Dated:Summer/Fall 1992  Pages:3-6
Author(s): John Kleinig
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 4
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the concept of penalty enhancement for hate crimes.
Abstract: In 1991, Susan Gellman, an Assistant Ohio Public defender, published an article in which she argued that penalty enhancement statutes violated First Amendment and other protections. She spoke of statutes that would enhance penalties for hate crimes as "ethnic intimidation" laws. She contended that such laws are unconstitutional, unwise, and likely to be ineffective. She considers them constitutionally defective, and identified four deficiencies: (1) they are vague in important respects; (2) they are substantially overbroad, and thus chill speech, thought, and discussion; (3) they criminalize thought; and (4) they deny equal protection. She also claimed that such statutes would exact significant costs from both society as a whole and the disempowered groups they were intended to protect, and would do so without commensurate benefits. Ms Gellman concluded that education and positive incentives might do much more to eradicate discriminatory attitudes than recourse to criminal law. Notes
Main Term(s): Bill of Rights
Index Term(s): Attitude change; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Discrimination; Hate Crimes; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Sentencing factors; Sentencing recommendations; Sentencing/Sanctions; State courts
Note: For additional discussion of Gellman's paper, see NCJ-194300.
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