Showing posts with label Mathew Shepard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mathew Shepard. Show all posts


Federal Sentencing Guidelines Amended to Include Gender Identity

Changes to will go into effect November 1, unless Congress disaproves.

source the Leadership Confrence: The U.S. Sentencing Commission recently adopted changes to the federal sentencing guidelines to permit crimes in which the victim is intentionally selected on the basis of gender identity to be eligible for sentencing enhancements.

The federal sentencing guidelines are rules that set out a uniform policy for sentencing people convicted of felonies and Class A misdemeanors in federal courts. The new rule will apply to every federal crime and is designed to align federal guidelines with the recently enacted hate crime law, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which authorizes the federal government to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated crimes based on the victim's actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

Many civil and human rights organizations supported the proposed changes, including Human Rights Campaign, the Anti-Defamation League, and The Leadership Conference. "This is the first time gender identity has been included in the sentencing guidelines – and another ancillary benefit of enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act," said Michael Lieberman, Washington counsel for the Anti-Defamation League.

The commission has submitted the changes to Congress and if Congress doesn't disapprove them before November 1, they will go into effect. Source The Leadership Confrence, May 14, 2010

Also from HRC:

Source HRC Back Story: "The U.S. Sentencing Commission has promulgated amendments [PDF] to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines after receiving public comment, including comment submitted in March by the Human Rights Campaign, along with the Anti-Defamation League, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the National Council for Jewish Women. In our public comment, we wrote to ensure that amendments were promulgated to make the Guidelines conform with the recently enacted Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act."

"The amendments promulgated by the Commission broaden the Guidelines to include the new hate crime offense in the criminal division of the Guidelines that applies to “offenses involving individual rights.” The Commission’s amendments also expanded the definition of a hate crime in its penalty enhancement provision to include victims who were targeted because of their gender identity (the penalty enhancement provision of the Guidelines already accounted for hate crimes based on sexual orientation). These amendments are an important step towards fully implementing the federal hate crimes law passed last year, and HRC remains committed to seeing that the federal hate crimes law is well-implemented and firmly enforced."

"The Commission submitted these amendments to Congress on April 29th and they will be enacted if they are not disapproved by Congress before November 1st." Source HRC Back Story may 11, 2010

Great work HRC. Thank you!


Republican Congresswoman Foxx (NC) calls Matthew Shepard's brutal murder "a hoax."

Republican Congresswoman Foxx(R)NC said continuing to name a hate crimes bill "The Mathew Shepard Act" is a hoax becuse she said everyone knows he was robbed.

Mathew Shepard's mother was reported to be in the gallery.

Source You Tube Comentary:

"The House Republican chosen to lead the charge against including women, people with disabilities, and gays in America's already-existing hate crimes law - existing law already counts violent crime based on the race, religion or national origin of the victim as a "hate crime" - just referred on the US House floor to Matthew Shepard's murder as "a hoax." Her name is Virginia Foxx, and she's from, of course, North Carolina. At what point will Republicans stop letting their party be lead by bigots and extremists?"


Urge Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia to Support a National Hate Crimes Bill

Contact Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and urge him to support the Mathew Shepard Hate Crime Legislation.

The below correspondence was received in response to a request made to Sen. Chambliss that he support national hate crimes legislation.

"Thank you for contacting me regarding your thoughts on hate crime legislation. I appreciate hearing your concerns on this matter."

"There is little evidence that indicates that violent crimes motivated by "hate" go unpunished in the United States. Most states already have criminal laws that prohibit the anti-social behavior addressed by hate crime legislation - including laws against murder, rape, arson, assault, and battery."

"I oppose the creation of Federal hate crime legislation for a variety of reasons. First, I do not believe the Federal government should interfere with the criminal laws already on the books in our states. Second, many hate crime bills attempt to establish a "protected class" of crime victims who would receive special protection under the law. And finally, we already have laws to prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes. Those people guilty of violent crimes against anyone should be prosecuted under existing law."

Some back ground information

A sample Letter

I hope you will support a Senate hate crimes bill.
The LGBT community has long unjustly suffered from violent crime targeted directly against Transgender, Bisexual, Queer, Gay and Lesbian people, law enforcements inability to identify hate crimes against LGBT people and the judicial systems inability to enforce harsher sentencing for hate crimes against LGBT people.

Sen Sen. Chambliss contact page