Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law by Frederick M. Lawrence
Bias crimes are a scourge on society. Is there a more terrifying image in the mind's eye than that of the burning cross? This text examines the nature of bias-motivated violence and provides a foundation for understanding bias crimes and their treatment under the US legal system. Frederick Lawrence poses the question: should bias crimes be punished more harshly than similar crimes that are not motivated by bias? He answers strongly in the affirmative, and provides a theoretical grounding and a detailed model for a bias crime statute based on the theory. The book also acts as a strong corrective to claims that concern about hate crimes is overblown. Lawrence, a former prosecutor, argues that hte enhanced punishment of bias crimes, with a substantial federal law enforcement role, is not only permitted by doctrines of criminal and constitutional law but also mandated by our societal commitment to equality.