There are several reasons why offenders commit hate crimes, they vary from case to case, however, one key element is fear which is caused by ignorance. The offenders fear the unknown and the competition they feel that exists, them vs. the ‘others’. When fear is accompanied by other factors it could potentially lead to a violent crime. “The
economic or social success some minorities have attained may result in increased feelings of resentment by members of the larger population. As Levin & McDevitt (1993:48) argue, resentment can be found to some extent in the personality of most hate crime offenders. It may be directed toward a part...
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..., or might serve as an entire defence.” and aggravating circumstance is defined as “Circumstances that make a crime more serious in the eyes if others; in hate crime, for example, racism makes an assault more serious, resulting in a harsher sentence.” (McCormick. Siegel, 2007, p.114) Involvement of organized hate groups or their members, absence of motive and existing patterns of similar incidents in a particular area are signs that a bias-motivated crime may have occurred, this warrants further investigation. Often times the individuals are unaware that they are victims of a hate crime. It is not uncommon to have victims and offenders be a part of the same gender, race, sexuality or religion, it is not always about the common differences but the perpetrator's perception of ‘difference’.
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