HR 1592

HR 1592 IH

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1592

To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and
Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 20, 2007

Mr. CONYERS (for himself, Mr. KIRK, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr.
SHAYS, Ms. BALDWIN, Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN, Mr. NADLER, Mrs. BONO, Mr.
ABERCROMBIE, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. ALLEN, Mr. ANDREWS, Mr. ARCURI, Mr.
BACA, Mr. BAIRD, Mr. BECERRA, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. BERMAN, Mrs. BIGGERT,
Mr. BISHOP of New York, Mr. BLUMENAUER, Ms. BORDALLO, Mr. BOSWELL, Mr.
BRADY of Pennsylvania, Mr. BRALEY of Iowa, Ms. CORRINE BROWN of
Florida, Mrs. CAPPS, Mr. CAPUANO, Mr. CARNAHAN, Ms. CARSON, Mr.
CASTLE, Mr. COHEN, Mr. COSTA, Mr. COURTNEY, Mr. CROWLEY, Mr. CUMMINGS,
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, Mrs. DAVIS of California, Mr. DEFAZIO, Ms.
DEGETTE, Mr. DELAHUNT, Ms. DELAURO, Mr. DINGELL, Mr. DOGGETT, Mr.
DOYLE, Mr. ELLISON, Mr. EMANUEL, Mr. ENGEL, Mr. FARR, Mr. FATTAH, Mr.
FILNER, Mr. GERLACH, Ms. GIFFORDS, Mr. GONZALEZ, Mr. GENE GREEN of
Texas, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Mr. HIGGINS, Mr.
HINCHEY, Ms. HIRONO, Mr. HODES, Mr. HOLT, Mr. HONDA, Ms. HOOLEY, Mr.
INSLEE, Mr. ISRAEL, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Ms. EDDIE BERNICE
JOHNSON of Texas, Mr. KAGEN, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. KILDEE, Mr. KIND, Mr.
KLEIN of Florida, Mr. KUCINICH, Mr. KUHL of New York, Mr. LANGEVIN,
Mr. LARSON of Connecticut, Ms. LEE, Mr. LEVIN, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia,
Mr. LOEBSACK, Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California, Mrs. LOWEY, Mr. LYNCH,
Mrs. MALONEY of New York, Mr. MARKEY, Ms. MATSUI, Ms. MCCOLLUM of
Minnesota, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. MCNULTY, Mr. MEEHAN, Mr.
MICHAUD, Mr. MILLER of North Carolina, Mr. GEORGE MILLER of
California, Ms. MOORE of Wisconsin, Mr. MOORE of Kansas, Mr. MORAN of
Virginia, Mr. MURPHY of Connecticut, Mr. PATRICK J. MURPHY of
Pennsylvania, Mrs. NAPOLITANO, Ms. NORTON, Mr. OLVER, Mr. PALLONE, Mr.
PASCRELL, Mr. PASTOR, Mr. PAYNE, Mr. ROTHMAN, Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD, Ms.
LINDA T. SANCHEZ of California, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Mr. SCHIFF, Ms.
SCHWARTZ, Mr. SCOTT of Virginia, Mr. SERRANO, Ms. SHEA-PORTER, Mr.
SHERMAN, Mr. SIRES, Mr. SKELTON, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Mr. SMITH of
Washington, Mr. STARK, Ms. SUTTON, Mrs. TAUSCHER, Mr. THOMPSON of
California, Mr. TIERNEY, Mrs. JONES of Ohio, Mr. UDALL of Colorado,
Mr. UDALL of New Mexico, Mr. VAN HOLLEN, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Ms.
WATSON, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. WEINER, Mr. WEXLER, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. WU, and
Mr. WYNN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and
Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes
Prevention Act of 2007′.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The incidence of violence motivated by the actual or
perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual
orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim poses a
serious national problem.

(2) Such violence disrupts the tranquility and safety of
communities and is deeply divisive.

(3) State and local authorities are now and will continue
to be responsible for prosecuting the overwhelming majority of violent
crimes in the United States, including violent crimes motivated by
bias. These authorities can carry out their responsibilities more
effectively with greater Federal assistance.

(4) Existing Federal law is inadequate to address this problem.

(5) A prominent characteristic of a violent crime
motivated by bias is that it devastates not just the actual victim and
the family and friends of the victim, but frequently savages the
community sharing the traits that caused the victim to be selected.

(6) Such violence substantially affects interstate
commerce in many ways, including the following:

(A) The movement of members of targeted groups is
impeded, and members of such groups are forced to move across State
lines to escape the incidence or risk of such violence.

(B) Members of targeted groups are prevented from
purchasing goods and services, obtaining or sustaining employment, or
participating in other commercial activity.

(C) Perpetrators cross State lines to commit such violence.

(D) Channels, facilities, and instrumentalities of
interstate commerce are used to facilitate the commission of such
violence.

(E) Such violence is committed using articles that
have traveled in interstate commerce.

(7) For generations, the institutions of slavery and
involuntary servitude were defined by the race, color, and ancestry of
those held in bondage. Slavery and involuntary servitude were
enforced, both prior to and after the adoption of the 13th amendment
to the Constitution of the United States, through widespread public
and private violence directed at persons because of their race, color,
or ancestry, or perceived race, color, or ancestry. Accordingly,
eliminating racially motivated violence is an important means of
eliminating, to the extent possible, the badges, incidents, and relics
of slavery and involuntary servitude.

(8) Both at the time when the 13th, 14th, and 15th
amendments to the Constitution of the United States were adopted, and
continuing to date, members of certain religious and national origin
groups were and are perceived to be distinct `races’. Thus, in order
to eliminate, to the extent possible, the badges, incidents, and
relics of slavery, it is necessary to prohibit assaults on the basis
of real or perceived religions or national origins, at least to the
extent such religions or national origins were regarded as races at
the time of the adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the
Constitution of the United States.

(9) Federal jurisdiction over certain violent crimes
motivated by bias enables Federal, State, and local authorities to
work together as partners in the investigation and prosecution of such
crimes.

(10) The problem of crimes motivated by bias is
sufficiently serious, widespread, and interstate in nature as to
warrant Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian
tribes.

SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF HATE CRIME.

In this Act–

(1) the term `crime of violence’ has the meaning given
that term in section 16, title 18, United States Code;

(2) the term `hate crime’ has the meaning given such term
in section 280003(a) of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement
Act of 1994 (28 U.S.C. 994 note); and

(3) the term `local’ means a county, city, town, township,
parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a
State.

SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS BY STATE,
LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS.

(a) Assistance Other Than Financial Assistance-

(1) IN GENERAL- At the request of State, local, or Tribal
law enforcement agency, the Attorney General may provide technical,
forensic, prosecutorial, or any other form of assistance in the
criminal investigation or prosecution of any crime that–

(A) constitutes a crime of violence;

(B) constitutes a felony under the State, local, or
Tribal laws; and

(C) is motivated by prejudice based on the actual or
perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual
orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a
violation of the State, local, or Tribal hate crime laws.

(2) PRIORITY- In providing assistance under paragraph (1),
the Attorney General shall give priority to crimes committed by
offenders who have committed crimes in more than one State and to
rural jurisdictions that have difficulty covering the extraordinary
expenses relating to the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

(b) Grants-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Attorney General may award grants to
State, local, and Indian law enforcement agencies for extraordinary
expenses associated with the investigation and prosecution of hate
crimes.

(2) OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS- In implementing the grant
program under this subsection, the Office of Justice Programs shall
work closely with grantees to ensure that the concerns and needs of
all affected parties, including community groups and schools,
colleges, and universities, are addressed through the local
infrastructure developed under the grants.

(3) APPLICATION-

(A) IN GENERAL- Each State, local, and Indian law
enforcement agency that desires a grant under this subsection shall
submit an application to the Attorney General at such time, in such
manner, and accompanied by or containing such information as the
Attorney General shall reasonably require.

(B) DATE FOR SUBMISSION- Applications submitted
pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall be submitted during the 60-day
period beginning on a date that the Attorney General shall prescribe.

(C) REQUIREMENTS- A State, local, and Indian law
enforcement agency applying for a grant under this subsection shall–

(i) describe the extraordinary purposes for
which the grant is needed;

(ii) certify that the State, local government,
or Indian tribe lacks the resources necessary to investigate or
prosecute the hate crime;

(iii) demonstrate that, in developing a plan
to implement the grant, the State, local, and Indian law enforcement
agency has consulted and coordinated with nonprofit, nongovernmental
victim services programs that have experience in providing services to
victims of hate crimes; and

(iv) certify that any Federal funds received
under this subsection will be used to supplement, not supplant,
non-Federal funds that would otherwise be available for activities
funded under this subsection.

(4) DEADLINE- An application for a grant under this
subsection shall be approved or denied by the Attorney General not
later than 30 business days after the date on which the Attorney
General receives the application.

(5) GRANT AMOUNT- A grant under this subsection shall not
exceed $100,000 for any single jurisdiction in any 1-year period.

(6) REPORT- Not later than December 31, 2008, the Attorney
General shall submit to Congress a report describing the applications
submitted for grants under this subsection, the award of such grants,
and the purposes for which the grant amounts were expended.

(7) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized
to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $5,000,000 for each of
fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

SEC. 5. GRANT PROGRAM.

(a) Authority To Award Grants- The Office of Justice Programs of
the Department of Justice may award grants, in accordance with such
regulations as the Attorney General may prescribe, to State, local, or
Tribal programs designed to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles,
including programs to train local law enforcement officers in
identifying, investigating, prosecuting, and preventing hate crimes.

(b) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be
appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION FOR ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL TO ASSIST STATE, LOCAL,
AND TRIBAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of the
Treasury and the Department of Justice, including the Community
Relations Service, for fiscal years 2008, 2009, and 2010 such sums as
are necessary to increase the number of personnel to prevent and
respond to alleged violations of section 249 of title 18, United
States Code, as added by section 7 of this Act.

SEC. 7. PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN HATE CRIME ACTS.

(a) In General- Chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is
amended by adding at the end the following:

`Sec. 249. Hate crime acts

`(a) In General-

`(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR,
RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN- Whoever, whether or not acting under
color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through
the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device,
attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual
or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person–

`(A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years,
fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

`(B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or
for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if–

`(i) death results from the offense; or

`(ii) the offense includes kidnaping or an
attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit
aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

`(2) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RELIGION,
NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR
DISABILITY-

`(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting
under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B),
willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of
fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to
cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived
religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity
or disability of any person–

`(i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10
years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

`(ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of
years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if–

`(I) death results from the offense; or

`(II) the offense includes kidnaping or
an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit
aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

`(B) CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED- For purposes of
subparagraph (A), the circumstances described in this subparagraph are
that–

`(i) the conduct described in subparagraph (A)
occurs during the course of, or as the result of, the travel of the
defendant or the victim–

`(I) across a State line or national border; or

`(II) using a channel, facility, or
instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce;

`(ii) the defendant uses a channel, facility,
or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in connection
with the conduct described in subparagraph (A);

`(iii) in connection with the conduct
described in subparagraph (A), the defendant employs a firearm,
explosive or incendiary device, or other weapon that has traveled in
interstate or foreign commerce; or

`(iv) the conduct described in subparagraph (A)–

`(I) interferes with commercial or other
economic activity in which the victim is engaged at the time of the
conduct; or

`(II) otherwise affects interstate or
foreign commerce.

`(b) Certification Requirement- No prosecution of any offense
described in this subsection may be undertaken by the United States,
except under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, the
Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or any
Assistant Attorney General specially designated by the Attorney
General that–

`(1) such certifying individual has reasonable cause to
believe that the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national
origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of
any person was a motivating factor underlying the alleged conduct of
the defendant; and

`(2) such certifying individual has consulted with State
or local law enforcement officials regarding the prosecution and
determined that–

`(A) the State does not have jurisdiction or does
not intend to exercise jurisdiction;

`(B) the State has requested that the Federal
Government assume jurisdiction;

`(C) the State does not object to the Federal
Government assuming jurisdiction; or

`(D) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to
State charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest
in eradicating bias-motivated violence.

`(c) Definitions- In this section–

`(1) the term `explosive or incendiary device’ has the
meaning given such term in section 232 of this title;

`(2) the term `firearm’ has the meaning given such term in
section 921(a) of this title; and

`(3) the term `gender identity’ for the purposes of this
chapter means actual or perceived gender-related characteristics.

`(d) Rule of Evidence- In a prosecution for an offense under
this section, evidence of expression or associations of the defendant
may not be introduced as substantive evidence at trial, unless the
evidence specifically relates to that offense. However, nothing in
this section affects the rules of evidence governing impeachment of a
witness.’.

(b) Technical and Conforming Amendment- The analysis for chapter
13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end
the following:

`249. Hate crime acts.’.

SEC. 8. STATISTICS.

(a) In General- Subsection (b)(1) of the first section of the
Hate Crimes Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. 534 note) is amended by
inserting `gender and gender identity,’ after `race,’.

(b) Data- Subsection (b)(5) of the first section of the Hate
Crimes Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. 534 note) is amended by inserting `,
including data about crimes committed by, and crimes directed against,
juveniles’ after `data acquired under this section’.

SEC. 9. SEVERABILITY.

If any provision of this Act, an amendment made by this Act, or
the application of such provision or amendment to any person or
circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this
Act, the amendments made by this Act, and the application of the
provisions of such to any person or circumstance shall not be affected
thereby.

48 Comments

  1. John Lovrovich April 18, 2007
  2. John Lovrovich April 18, 2007
  3. J Jackson April 19, 2007
  4. J Jackson April 19, 2007
  5. Marti Abernathey April 20, 2007
  6. Marti Abernathey April 20, 2007
  7. sabrina Star April 20, 2007
  8. little light April 21, 2007
  9. little light April 20, 2007
  10. Eric Jacobson April 25, 2007
  11. Eric Jacobson April 25, 2007
  12. Marti Abernathey April 25, 2007
  13. Sabrina Star April 25, 2007
  14. Eric Jacobson April 25, 2007
  15. Eric Jacobson April 25, 2007
  16. Eric Jacobson April 25, 2007
  17. Sabrina Star April 25, 2007
  18. Marti Abernathey April 25, 2007
  19. Marti Abernathey April 25, 2007
  20. Robert Rogers May 1, 2007
  21. sabrina Star May 1, 2007
  22. Betsy Knight May 1, 2007
  23. Betsy Knight May 1, 2007
  24. Marti Abernathey May 1, 2007
  25. Marti Abernathey May 1, 2007
  26. Betsy Knight May 2, 2007
  27. sabrina Star May 2, 2007
  28. Betsy Knight May 2, 2007
  29. Marti Abernathey May 2, 2007
  30. Marti Abernathey May 2, 2007
  31. Marti Abernathey May 2, 2007
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