Through a Lens of Genocide: A Different Approach for Hate Crimes Legislation

75 Rutgers U. L. Rev. 535 (2023)

36 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2023 Last revised: 28 Jul 2023

See all articles by Bruce Ching

Bruce Ching

University of the District of Columbia - David A. Clarke School of Law

Date Written: December 23, 2022

Abstract

Hate crimes perpetrators select their victims based on the victims’ identity groups. Policies underlying legislation against hate crimes recognize that such crimes inflict greater harm on society than do the same actions committed for non-biased motives. Genocide may be conceptualized as hate crimes writ large; conversely, a new model of hate crimes legislation might be patterned on legal concepts of genocide scaled down to state or local levels. This new recognition could successfully address criticisms from both liberal and conservative factions along the political spectrum, offering a model that state and local governments could invoke for dealing with bias-motivated incidents that feature the perpetrators’ systemic intent, without focusing on more marginal occurrences. Thus, the hybrid model of hate crime as genocide could appeal to the remaining legislatures that have refused to adopt hate crime statutes, as well as to prosecutors who have had reservations about charging suspects under existing hate crimes statutes. The conceptualization of hate crime as genocide on a state or local level could also encourage local authorities to take action when federal law enforcement is either unable or unwilling to do so.

Keywords: criminal law, hate crime, genocide

Suggested Citation

Ching, Bruce, Through a Lens of Genocide: A Different Approach for Hate Crimes Legislation (December 23, 2022). 75 Rutgers U. L. Rev. 535 (2023), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4520122

Bruce Ching (Contact Author)

University of the District of Columbia - David A. Clarke School of Law ( email )

4200 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20003
United States

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