Nerdfighters

Update: Help needed to stop death penalty amendment for hate crime bill

Matthew Shepard was a young man killed for being gay. Now, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Prevention Act is coming to vote this week.

See email below for more info. This act would assist in protecting hate crime targetting persons of preceive sexual orientation.

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Act Now to Pass the Matthew Shepard Act

Tired of waiting for action? The time has come. The time is now.
The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (bill number S.909) is coming to a vote this week.

We need you to contact each of your Senators today.

This hate crimes legislation is long overdue—it makes clear that crimes against LGBT people motivated by bias and prejudice are against federal law and will give the Department of Justice authority to prosecute these crimes. Since this bill covering both sexual orientation and gender identity was introduced in 2007, hate-motivated crimes against LGBT people have continued to rise—federal statistics continuously show that crimes motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity are the third highest recorded bias crime in the country.

In June, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Obama administration strongly supported the bill, stating, "The President and I seek swift passage of this legislation because hate crimes victimize not only individuals, but entire communities."
Our opponents are flooding Capitol Hill with misleading phone calls and letters at a pace far beyond ours. For everyone who has been dispirited or disappointed by the pace of progress on LGBT issues in Washington, now is the time to pick up the phone and make our voices heard.
Please call now:

Call the Senate Switchboard: 202.224.3121 and tell the operator you would like to speak to the Senator from your state.
Tell the person who answers the phone that you are a constituent and are calling to urge the Senator to vote for the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (bill number S.909).
Repeat steps 1 and 2 to reach your other Senator.
Please take five minutes to make these two calls and then forward this email onto your friends and family and have them do the same. Congress needs to hear from us that passing hate crimes legislation is absolutely crucial.

Dialing the switchboard now.


Kate Kendell, Esq.
Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Decepticon asked a good question. And in the process of finding an answer. Do read the news articles about the Matthew Shepard Act.

Urge Your Senators to Support Matthew Shepard Act TODAY! (Examiner)

Senate Democrats Attach Hate Crimes Law to Defense Bill (New York Times)


Urgent update

Senate Adds Death Penalty Amendment to Kill Hate Crimes Legislation
July 20, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

"On Friday, the Senate passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment to the fiscal year 2010 Department of Defense authorization bill. But today, the Senate passed an amendment to the Act, offered by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R. Ala., that would allow the death penalty to be applied in hate crimes cases under some circumstances.

LCCR and other civil and human rights groups that are supporting the Act do not support the Sessions amendment. In a letter to the Senate, the groups said: "We strongly oppose this amendment...The death penalty is irreversible and highly controversial – with significant doubts about its deterrent effect and clear evidence of disproportionate application against poor people. Moreover, there are serious, well-documented concerns about unequal and racially biased application of the death penalty."

The Sessions amendment can still be removed from the bill by a House-Senate conference committee that will meet in September to reconcile the two versions of the legislation. The full House and Senate will vote on the final version of the bill before it is sent to President Obama.

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act will authorize the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute certain bias-motivated crimes based on the victim's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. Currently, the federal government can only investigate hate crimes motivated by the victim's race, color, religion, and national origin in limited cases.

It will also provide local authorities with more resources to combat hate crimes and give the federal government jurisdiction over prosecuting hate crimes in states where the current law is inadequate or when local authorities are unwilling or do not have the resources to do so themselves."

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Please help. We are against all forms of death penalty. We do not believe that those who act on hate crime or any crime deserve to be put to death, even if they kill. This is not helping the LGBT people, as they would not want anyone to die for the hate crime they committed.

Please call now:

Call the Senate Switchboard: 202.224.3121 and tell the operator you would like to speak to the Senator from your state.

Tell the person who answers the phone that you are a constituent and are calling to urge the Senator to vote against the death penalty amendments added to Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (bill number S.909).

Repeat steps 1 and 2 to reach your other Senator.

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Replies to This Discussion

"This hate crimes legislation is long overdue—it makes clear that crimes against LGBT people motivated by bias and prejudice are against federal law and will give the Department of Justice authority to prosecute these crimes."

Because... they can't prosecute people who murder and beat gays now?
I don't think that is what it meant. I think there is no existing legislation to prevent hate crime against perceive sexual orientation. I do not know much about hate crime act, but if it could buddle other legsilation together to assist in preventing hate crime, I'm all for it.
don't live in america. sorry.
How is this legislation going to "prevent" it? More than usual punishments for violent acts anyway?

Well for one, every year a hate crime offender spends in jail is another year he's not on the street assaulting minorities.
Currently The GLBT community is not covered under the 1969 federal hate-crime law this bill
would expand the law to include them.

Here is part of what Wikipedia says about the act...
>The Matthew Shepard Act (officially, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act
>or LLEHCPA), is a proposed bill in the United States Congress that would expand the 1969
>United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or
>perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
>
>The bill would also:
>
> * remove the current prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally-protected
>activity, like voting or going to school;
> * give federal authorities greater ability to engage in hate crimes investigations that local >authorities choose not to pursue;
> * provide $10 million in funding for 2008 and 2009 to help state and local agencies pay for >investigating and prosecuting hate crimes;
> * require the FBI to track statistics on hate crimes against transgender people (statistics for the >other groups are already tracked)

Full article here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard_Act
Thank you for providing information.

Some persons/groups who are more likely to act out in hate crime against LGBT people do feel threatend by the implementation of this Act. Paulsifer might belong to one of these groups.
Both of the senators from my state(Minnesota) already support the Matthew Shepard Act. In fact Amy Klobuchar
was one of the original sponsors and Al Franken has just become a Co-sponsor...

http://minnesotaindependent.com/39358/franken-backs-hate-crimes-bill

http://www.minnpost.com/politicalagenda/2009/07/15/10251/franken_si...
Wonderful!
update added.
You don't believe in the death penalty at all?
I'm just curious, because I don't believe I've ever spoken to someone who didn't want it in any case.
I'm generally against the death penalty, meaning that I don't believe it should be used except in extreme cases. It is, in fact, more expensive to sentence someone to death than to give them life in prison, because when someone is given the death penalty, they get two appeals. One is automatic; whether they want it or not, there is an appeal. Then they get another, should they choose to use it. The problem is that the judicial system is so backed up that a single appeal can take years and people can live for decades on death row. These appeals, in addition to the general cost of keeping them imprisoned, cost the public money. So I believe that it should only be sentenced in extreme situations. What I'm talking about are literally the extreme. I'm talking serial killers/rapists/etc. People who commit violent crimes over and over again with no intention of stopping and who are not repentant in any way. [[I'm thinking... Mansen, here.]]
But you don't even think that the Mansens should have been executed?
I was going to link to that post! I tweeted it a few days ago.

I can't really support hate crime legislation until we clear up the institutionalized bigotry within our criminal justice system. Until then, hate crime laws just provide more power to a government that will use them against those they were meant to protect.

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