Call haters to account

A case for bias-crime laws

The brutal murder last month of Matthew Shepard-the twenty-one-year-old gay college student in Wyoming who was beaten and tied to a cross-like fence to die-struck at the conscience of the nation. It was not only the sheer sadism and rancor of the crime that affected Americans, but the sense that Shepard’s rights had been violated simply for being who he was.

Hate-motivated crimes have their own pedigree, their own smell. They are...

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About the Author

Patrick Jordan is a former managing editor of Commonweal.