Monday, July 23, 2007

Hate Crime Bill

If a person deliberately harms you because you are of a particular race,
it is considered a hate crime and they are prosecuted for a hate crime
in addition to whatever other crime they committed. No so if you are a
person with a disability. If your very existence pisses a person off and
they decide to harm you, it is still a crime, but only a crime for the
crime act, not the intent behind it. So a person might be willing to
risk the penalty for a simple assault, but not be willing to risk the
penalty for a simple assault AND a hate crime. It also demonstrates to
the community at large that this government is serious about protecting
people with disabilities - even if it doesn't always appear so by other
laws and regulations we enact or don't enact or enforce.


Urge your Senators to Enact the Hate Crimes Bill
Take Action!
Calls needed TODAY!!!!


Last week, Senators Edward M. Kennedy(D-MA)& Gordon Smith(R-OR)
filed S.1105, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crime
Prevention Act of 2007 (LLEHCPA) as an amendment to the Dept.
of Defense (DOD)reauthorization bill currently being considered on
the Senate floor.

The LLEHCPA, already passed by the House of Representatives will,
for the first time, allow for the federal prosecution of hate crimes
based on disability, as well as gender, sexual orientation and gender
identity.It will also provide local police and sheriff's departments
with vital federal resources to address hate crimes on a larger, more
inclusive scale.

The DOD reauthorization bill vote could happen any time, most likely
this week after the Iraq war debate. Thus, it is imperative that we
communicate NOW with Senators urging them to move the K-S
Hate Crimes amendment on the DOD reauthorization bill. Without the
LLEHCPA, crimes committed against people w/ disabilities SIMPLY
BECAUSE THEY HAVE DISABILITIES may continue to go unrecognized,
unprosecuted, and unpunished.

Take Action

ACT NOW! Call your Senators TODAY at 202-224-3121 & urge
them to support S. 1105, the Matthew Shepard Local Law
Enforcement Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2007 (LLEHCPA)
and to ensure that the Kennedy-Smith Hate Crimes
Amendment is passed as part of the Department of Defense
reauthorization bill.

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