All Agencies, Latest Month All Agencies, Previous FY Geographic Distribution
of Convictions for
All Agencies, FY 2013
10,265 Prosecutions
in January 2014
172,842 Prosecutions
in Fiscal Year 2013
10,830 Convictions
in January 2014
151,372 Convictions
in Fiscal Year 2013

CITE

    18 USC Sec. 249                                             02/01/2010

EXPCITE

    TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I - CRIMES
    CHAPTER 13 - CIVIL RIGHTS

HEAD

    Sec. 249. Hate crime acts

STATUTE

      (a) In General. -
        (1) Offenses involving actual or perceived race, color,
      religion, or national origin. - Whoever, whether or not acting
      under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person
      or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an
      explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury
      to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color,
      religion, or national origin of any person -
          (A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in
        accordance with this title, or both; and
          (B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life,
        fined in accordance with this title, or both, if -
            (i) death results from the offense; or
            (ii) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to
          kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit
          aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.
        (2) Offenses involving actual or perceived religion, national
      origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or
      disability. -
          (A) In general. - Whoever, whether or not acting under color
        of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B) or
        paragraph (3), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or,
        through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an
        explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury
        to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion,
        national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity,
        or disability of any person -
            (i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in
          accordance with this title, or both; and
            (ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life,
          fined in accordance with this title, or both, if -
              (I) death results from the offense; or
              (II) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to
            kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit
            aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.
          (B) Circumstances described. - For purposes of subparagraph
        (A), the circumstances described in this subparagraph are that -
            (i) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) occurs during
          the course of, or as the result of, the travel of the
          defendant or the victim -
              (I) across a State line or national border; or
              (II) using a channel, facility, or instrumentality of
            interstate or foreign commerce;
            (ii) the defendant uses a channel, facility, or
          instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in
          connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A);
            (iii) in connection with the conduct described in
          subparagraph (A), the defendant employs a firearm, dangerous
          weapon, explosive or incendiary device, or other weapon that
          has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce; or
            (iv) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) -
              (I) interferes with commercial or other economic activity
            in which the victim is engaged at the time of the conduct;
            or
              (II) otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.
        (3) Offenses occurring in the special maritime or territorial
      jurisdiction of the united states. - Whoever, within the special
      maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States,
      engages in conduct described in paragraph (1) or in paragraph
      (2)(A) (without regard to whether that conduct occurred in a
      circumstance described in paragraph (2)(B)) shall be subject to
      the same penalties as prescribed in those paragraphs.
        (4) Guidelines. - All prosecutions conducted by the United
      States under this section shall be undertaken pursuant to
      guidelines issued by the Attorney General, or the designee of the
      Attorney General, to be included in the United States Attorneys'
      Manual that shall establish neutral and objective criteria for
      determining whether a crime was committed because of the actual
      or perceived status of any person.
      (b) Certification Requirement. -
        (1) In general. - No prosecution of any offense described in
      this subsection may be undertaken by the United States, except
      under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, or a
      designee, that -
          (A) the State does not have jurisdiction;
          (B) the State has requested that the Federal Government
        assume jurisdiction;
          (C) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State
        charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest
        in eradicating bias-motivated violence; or
          (D) a prosecution by the United States is in the public
        interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.
        (2) Rule of construction. - Nothing in this subsection shall be
      construed to limit the authority of Federal officers, or a
      Federal grand jury, to investigate possible violations of this
      section.
      (c) Definitions. - In this section -
        (1) the term "bodily injury" has the meaning given such term in
      section 1365(h)(4) of this title, but does not include solely
      emotional or psychological harm to the victim;
        (2) the term "explosive or incendiary device" has the meaning
      given such term in section 232 of this title;
        (3) the term "firearm" has the meaning given such term in
      section 921(a) of this title;
        (4) the term "gender identity" means actual or perceived gender-
      related characteristics; and
        (5) the term "State" includes the District of Columbia, Puerto
      Rico, and any other territory or possession of the United States.
      (d) Statute of Limitations. -
        (1) Offenses not resulting in death. - Except as provided in
      paragraph (2), no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished
      for any offense under this section unless the indictment for such
      offense is found, or the information for such offense is
      instituted, not later than 7 years after the date on which the
      offense was committed.
        (2) Death resulting offenses. - An indictment or information
      alleging that an offense under this section resulted in death may
      be found or instituted at any time without limitation.

SOURCE

    (Added and amended Pub. L. 111-84, div. E, Secs. 4707(a), 4711,
    Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2838, 2842.)

AMENDMENTS

      2009 - Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 111-84, Sec. 4711, added par. (4).
                               SEVERABILITY
      Pub. L. 111-84, div. E, Sec. 4709, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2841,
    provided that: "If any provision of this division [enacting this
    section and section 1389 of this title and sections 3716 and 3716a
    of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, amending this section,
    enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section
    3716 of Title 42, and amending provisions set out as a note under
    section 534 and provisions listed in a table relating to sentencing
    guidelines set out under section 994 of Title 28, Judiciary and
    Judicial Procedure], an amendment made by this division, or the
    application of such provision or amendment to any person or
    circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this
    division, the amendments made by this division, and the application
    of the provisions of such to any person or circumstance shall not
    be affected thereby."
                           RULE OF CONSTRUCTION
      Pub. L. 111-84, div. E, Sec. 4710, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2841,
    provided that: "For purposes of construing this division [see
    Severability note above] and the amendments made by this division
    the following shall apply:
        "(1) In general. - Nothing in this division shall be construed
      to allow a court, in any criminal trial for an offense described
      under this division or an amendment made by this division, in the
      absence of a stipulation by the parties, to admit evidence of
      speech, beliefs, association, group membership, or expressive
      conduct unless that evidence is relevant and admissible under the
      Federal Rules of Evidence. Nothing in this division is intended
      to affect the existing rules of evidence.
        "(2) Violent acts. - This division applies to violent acts
      motivated by actual or perceived race, color, religion, national
      origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or
      disability of a victim.
        "(3) Construction and application. - Nothing in this division,
      or an amendment made by this division, shall be construed or
      applied in a manner that infringes any rights under the first
      amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Nor shall
      anything in this division, or an amendment made by this division,
      be construed or applied in a manner that substantially burdens a
      person's exercise of religion (regardless of whether compelled
      by, or central to, a system of religious belief), speech,
      expression, or association, unless the Government demonstrates
      that application of the burden to the person is in furtherance of
      a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive
      means of furthering that compelling governmental interest, if
      such exercise of religion, speech, expression, or association was
      not intended to -
          "(A) plan or prepare for an act of physical violence; or
          "(B) incite an imminent act of physical violence against
        another.
        "(4) Free expression. - Nothing in this division shall be
      construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual's
      expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or
      solely upon an individual's membership in a group advocating or
      espousing such beliefs.
        "(5) First amendment. - Nothing in this division, or an
      amendment made by this division, shall be construed to diminish
      any rights under the first amendment to the Constitution of the
      United States.
        "(6) Constitutional protections. - Nothing in this division
      shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected
      speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether
      compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief),
      including the exercise of religion protected by the first
      amendment to the Constitution of the United States and peaceful
      picketing or demonstration. The Constitution of the United States
      does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of
      planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of
      violence."
                                 FINDINGS
      Pub. L. 111-84, div. E, Sec. 4702, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2835,
    provided that: "Congress makes the following findings:
        "(1) The incidence of violence motivated by the actual or
      perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual
      orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim poses a
      serious national problem.
        "(2) Such violence disrupts the tranquility and safety of
      communities and is deeply divisive.
        "(3) State and local authorities are now and will continue to
      be responsible for prosecuting the overwhelming majority of
      violent crimes in the United States, including violent crimes
      motivated by bias. These authorities can carry out their
      responsibilities more effectively with greater Federal
      assistance.
        "(4) Existing Federal law is inadequate to address this
      problem.
        "(5) A prominent characteristic of a violent crime motivated by
      bias is that it devastates not just the actual victim and the
      family and friends of the victim, but frequently savages the
      community sharing the traits that caused the victim to be
      selected.
        "(6) Such violence substantially affects interstate commerce in
      many ways, including the following:
          "(A) The movement of members of targeted groups is impeded,
        and members of such groups are forced to move across State
        lines to escape the incidence or risk of such violence.
          "(B) Members of targeted groups are prevented from purchasing
        goods and services, obtaining or sustaining employment, or
        participating in other commercial activity.
          "(C) Perpetrators cross State lines to commit such violence.
          "(D) Channels, facilities, and instrumentalities of
        interstate commerce are used to facilitate the commission of
        such violence.
          "(E) Such violence is committed using articles that have
        traveled in interstate commerce.
        "(7) For generations, the institutions of slavery and
      involuntary servitude were defined by the race, color, and
      ancestry of those held in bondage. Slavery and involuntary
      servitude were enforced, both prior to and after the adoption of
      the 13th amendment to the Constitution of the United States,
      through widespread public and private violence directed at
      persons because of their race, color, or ancestry, or perceived
      race, color, or ancestry. Accordingly, eliminating racially
      motivated violence is an important means of eliminating, to the
      extent possible, the badges, incidents, and relics of slavery and
      involuntary servitude.
        "(8) Both at the time when the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments
      to the Constitution of the United States were adopted, and
      continuing to date, members of certain religious and national
      origin groups were and are perceived to be distinct 'races'.
      Thus, in order to eliminate, to the extent possible, the badges,
      incidents, and relics of slavery, it is necessary to prohibit
      assaults on the basis of real or perceived religions or national
      origins, at least to the extent such religions or national
      origins were regarded as races at the time of the adoption of the
      13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution of the United
      States.
        "(9) Federal jurisdiction over certain violent crimes motivated
      by bias enables Federal, State, and local authorities to work
      together as partners in the investigation and prosecution of such
      crimes.
        "(10) The problem of crimes motivated by bias is sufficiently
      serious, widespread, and interstate in nature as to warrant
      Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian
      tribes."
      [For definitions of "State" and "local" used in section 4702 of
    Pub. L. 111-84, set out above, see section 4703(b) of Pub. L. 111-
    84, set out as a note under section 3716 of Title 42, The Public
    Health and Welfare.]
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