Dealing with Hate Crimes in America

A murder trial from the state of Iowa that had attracted the attention of Attorney General Jess Sessions has concluded with a guilty verdict. The trial involved the murder of a popular teenager from the state. The defendant had been accused of first-degree murder. Jorge Sanders-Galvez was found guilty of killing Kedarie Johnson. This is a teenager who was described by his mother as gender fluid as he even dressed in women’s clothing. The trial began two weeks ago, and it helped revive the debate of what should be considered as a hate crime. According to the mother of the deceased, he believed that his son’s case was as a result of a hate crime. Public prosecutors in Keokuk, Iowa said that the defendants, alongside another man, pursued the deceased as they believed that he was a girl. The teenager was 16 years at that time. When they discovered that he was a boy during the sex act, the two men were enraged. However, the two cases have been based on murder and not hate crime. The trial for the second man is yet to begin. It’s worth to note that the statute of hate crimes in Iowa have no provision for gender identity. Efforts to add this provision was thwarted last year by the state’s legislature.

The Iowa hate crime, however, saw the intervention of the Justice Department under the request of the attorney general. Seen as a highly unusual step, the justice department sent an experienced hate crimes prosecutor in the state. He was supposed to work with the state’s prosecutors to show that the death was caused by hate crime. The decision was quite stunning for people who advocate for transgender people and gay. The attorney general has been known as a conservative who has distanced himself from transgender people. He even advocated doing away with policies that encourage the issue in schools such as bathrooms. As for Sander-Galvez, he will possibly receive a life sentence, and the Justice Department will most likely not file hate crime charges after the verdict. Earlier on, the Justice Department decided to file hate crime charges against Dylann S. Roof, the man who killed nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The federal government wants to send a message that it will not tolerate these crimes. The body of Mr. Kederie was discovered on 2nd March 2016. He was a liked kid in school, and people respected his decision.

Source: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/civil-rights/hate-crimes

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