By way of the federal Hate Crimes Act, Congress clearly intended to open the door to additional hate crimes prosecutions, and to address the problem of State law enforcement authorities not doing even to prosecute hate crimes. Nonetheless, Congress was also clearly mindful that federal prosecutors should not push out or usurp State law prosecutions for hate crimes. Thus, the statute has a unique requirement that not only requires that all federal hate crime prosecutions be undertaken pursuant to “Guidelines” issued the United States Attorney General’s Office, but that no prosecutions shall be undertaken under the Federal Hate Crimes Act unless and until the Attorney General’s Office certifies that State law enforcement does not have jurisdiction over the conduct at issue, and remarkably, that the State has requested federal prosecutors to assume jurisdiction and thus prosecute the defendant’s conduct under the Federal Hate Crimes Act.
Additional posts will address actual federal prosecutions that have employed the Federal Hate Crimes statute.
Written by Michael Leonard
Leonard Trial Lawyers
November 13, 2022