FBI Reports Increase in Hate Crimes

There were 7,489 reports of hate crimes in 2003, including 14 homicides, according to the FBI.

Fifty-two percent of the 9,100 alleged hate-crime victims whose cases were reported to the FBI were targeted because of their race. Religion and sexual orientation ranked second as motivations for hate crimes -- at 16 percent each.

Crimes based on sexual orientation formed the motivation for crimes against 1,479 victims in 2003, including 783 against male homosexuals. That included six homicides.

According to the FBI, vandalism and property destruction are the most common types of attack.

Forty-five states have laws to address hate crimes. All states except Hawaii reported at least one hate crime last year. California reported the most hate crimes, citing 1,701 hate-motivated incidents in 2003.

Civil rights advocates and supporters of hate-crimes statutes have called for increased assistance from the Justice Department to assist local law enforcement agencies in prosecuting such crimes. Congress failed to pass final legislation to step up federal assistance before the end of its last session.

Hate Crime Laws -- State by State

States with laws addressing hate or bias crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity:

California

Connecticut

The District of Columbia

Hawaii

New Mexico

Minnesota

Missouri

Pennsylvania

Vermont

States with laws addressing hate or bias crimes based on sexual orientation:

Arizona

Delaware

Florida

Illinois

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Massachusetts

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

Oregon

Rhode Island

Tennessee

Texas

Washington

Wisconsin

The following states have laws addressing hate or bias crimes, but the statutes do not include crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity:

Alabama

Alaska

Colorado

Idaho

Maryland

Michigan

Mississippi

Montana

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

South Dakota

Virginia

West Virginia

The following states have laws addressing hate or bias crimes, but the laws do not list any specific categories:

Utah

These states have no statutes addressing hate or bias crimes:

Arkansas

Georgia*

Indiana

South Carolina

Wyoming

*A statute adopted by Georgia in 2000 was overturned as "unconstitutionally vague" by the state Supreme Court in October.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...