hate crimes

Topics: Crime, Hate crime, Assault Pages: 7 (2525 words) Published: December 15, 2013
Social & Political Violence

Hate Crimes

A hate crime can be defined in two ways, by the legal definition and the criminological definition. The legal definition of a hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias, a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. The criminological definition of a hate crime is a crime committed as an act of prejudice, or any hate incident which constitutes a criminal offence perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by hate or prejudice.

Hate crime typologies consists of 4 types of categories: Thrill, reactive/defensive, mission, and retaliatory. Thrill crimes were described as criminal behavior set off by a desire for excitement and power and to have some fun and to stir up a little excitement at someone else’s expense. The goal of thrill crimes is plainly the want to seek some sort of thrill, but it also may be sadistic, usually committed by a group of peers seeing as they are very influential. The targeted victims tend to be interchangeable or at utter randomness. The typical location where thrill crimes take place is at a location where the victims congregate. Reactive crimes or defensive crimes are crimes committed by those in which the offender feels threatened by outsiders encroaching on their community, means of livelihood, or way of life. The goal of defensive crimes is to protect homes, schools, neighborhoods under attack by outsiders; the offenders feel threatened and as a result feel the need to become defensive. As in thrill crimes, defensive crimes are usually committed by a group of influential peers. Offenders tend to target individual or set of individuals where the victims are aware that their particular situation precipitated the attack and that they could be easily attacked again. Defensive crimes typically occur in the offenders own neighborhood or work place. Mission crimes can be described as those in which the offender believed the victim was evil and needed to be destroyed. This often involved allegiance to a particular bias-related group or ideology. The goal of mission crimes is to rid world of evil. The offender may be psychotic or the member of a hate group. Peers are influential but offender may also be loosely associated with the group. The targeted victims of mission crimes tend to be directed toward the elimination of an entire group of people. The typical location of mission crimes is where ever the targeted group members are located. Retaliatory crimes were said to be sparked by the desire to avenge a perceived degradation or assault on one’s group. Retaliatory crimes referred specifically to incidents in which offenders act in response to a real or perceived hate crime. The goals of retaliatory crimes are to get even for some previous crime against members of their own group. These crimes tend to be committed by a single offender and the victims targeted typically are interchangeable. To commit these crimes offenders seek a location where the victims congregate.

In the instrumental aspect of hate crimes the offender wants to hurt someone in order to gain something for themselves. This is the result of the offender acting out of sheer randomness or just flat out having a dislike or hatred for the victim. Not necessarily to gain something from their victim or victims, but to gain the fact and satisfaction that they have hurt the victim both mentally and physically or to even have killed the victim or have wiped out an entire group of people. Hate crimes are message crimes, according to Dr. Jack McDevitt, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston. They are different from other crimes in that the offender is sending a message to members of a certain group that they are unwelcome in a particular neighborhood, community, school, or workplace....
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