Category : Hate Crime
Rutgers Basketball Coach Rice Fired for Shoving Players and Using Gay Slurs
On April 3, 2013, Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi and Athletic Director Tim Pernetti made a joint decision to fire Rutgers basketball Coach Rice after an ESPN videotape, made by a former Rutgers employee, was broadcast on Tuesday April 2, 2013 showing Coach Rice shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players and using gay slurs during incidents occurring during 2010 through last year. Athletic Director Tim Pernetti had previously notified President Barchi last fall of such incidents. The University sought the advice of internal and outside counsel and made the decision to suspend Coach Rice for three games, penalized him $75,000 in fines, which also included loss of salary, ordered him to undergo anger management counseling and put him on notice of the University’s zero tolerance policy of any additional infractions. The scandal broke in the midst of televised March Madness Basketball Playoffs.
Fired Coach Mike Rice admitted he was wrong and has made no excuses for his behavior. Tim Pernetti, the Athletic Directora top in house lawyer and an assistance coach, Jimmy Martelli also have resigned. The Associated Press details reveal Pernetti walks away with $1.2 million in salary plus car allowance, health insurance and more. Additionally, Rice’s firing was not for cause which allows his contract to demand just over $1 million or 75% of his remaining salary, plus a $100,000 bonus for staying on the job during the 2012-2013 season. Coach Rice’s behavior has received sharp criticism from Governor Chris Christie as well as some faculty members, alumni, students and from social media comments from the public.
Will Coach Rice Face Criminal Charges?
There are a wide range of opinions as to whether Coach Rice should be charged with any criminal charges. Whether Coach Rice committed a crime such as simple assault or a more serious hate crime offense has not been investigated or determined. Although State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver is calling for hearings regarding the incident.
New Jersey Simple Assault Offense
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a), the offense of attempted simple assault is “considered a disorderly persons offense unless committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense.”
New Jersey laws define simple assault as when an individual attempts to cause bodily injury to another person or puts that person in fear of imminent serious harm or engages in menacing conduct. Such conduct includes:
“(1) Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
(2) Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
(3) Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.”
Under the statute, “Bodily injury” and “serious bodily injury” are further defined as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. Sentencing and penalties include up to 6 months in jail or up to a maximum of 30 days in jail for petty disorderly offenses with fines ranging up to $1,000. The simple assault crime can be charged as a second, third or fourth degree offense depending on the level of assault and who the assault was committed against.
New Jersey Bias Intimidation Statute 2C:16-1
In addition to being charged with a simple assault offense, a person could also face a bias intimidation charge (hate crime) under New Jersey Bias Intimidation Statute 2C:16-1. Under such Statute, a person is considered guilty of the crime of bias intimidation if he or she commits or conspires with another with a purpose of intimidating an individual or group of individuals with regard to their race, color, religion, gender, handicap or sexual orientation or ethnicity. If convicted, a person can face up to a 30 year prison sentence for bias intimidation in New Jersey.
If you are facing an assault and/or bias intimidation charge in the State of New Jersey, you should consult with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges. Since New Jersey criminal laws are complex, a good New Jersey criminal defense attorney can help defend you and guide you through the criminal justice system making sure your rights are protected. If you’ve ever play organized sports, you know that there are a lot of coaches who’s coaching style is through violence and intimidation as a motivational technique. However, coaches rarely are arrested for such violence against their players. Players rarely have incentive to report such assaults. The situation is complicated as coaches have the power to revoke athletic scholarships. More work needs to be done to keep winning coaches, successful athletic departments and key college athletes all on the playing field. Success is more than just being good at your sport.
Domestic Violence not Hate Crime
Eight months of investigation regarding the beating death of Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi woman, led to the arrest of the victim’s husband, 48 year old Kassim Alhimidi on Friday November 9, 2012. Mr. Alhimidi has been charged with murder. El Cahon police say the slaying was the result of a domestic violence incident and not a hate crime. According to sources, Mrs. Alawadi was planning to divorce her husband and take the children to Texas and her husband was aware of her plans for quite some time.
A threatening note that called the family terrorists and telling them to go back to where they came from was found near Mrs. Alawadi’s body. The family confirmed that a similar note had been left at their door several weeks earlier, but the incident had not been reported to the police nor did they keep the note.
The crime sparked international intention, especially among the Muslim community, when earlier reports indicated that it might be a hate crime. In a tearful interview with media after the incident, Mr. Alhimidi’s claimed to the Arabic Al Arabiya News that: “My wife was a victim of xenophobia.” However, evidence police found in Alawadi’s Ford Explorer revealed that she was in the process of filing divorce papers, which were partially completed in her own handwriting.
Alhimidi has denied the murder charges and insists that it was a hate crime. Police advised him that pings from his cell phone place him near the home at the time of the homicide. The couple’s four youngest children are currently in protective custody. Hanif Mohebi, the executive director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on Islamic-American Relations said, “Since the beginning our ultimate goal was to get justice for Sister Shaima Alawadi.”He also referred to the case as “a family tragedy,” and said that domestic violence “has no place in our faith.”
California Domestic Violence Offenses
A domestic violence incident involves an assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any physical injury or death committed by a person against a current spouse, former spouse, girlfriend, fiancée, a person involved in a dating relationship or other family member. You could be charged with a felony domestic violence crime or a misdemeanor battery in San Diego if you commit domestic violence or with murder if you kill the victim. Threatening to harm the victim is also considered domestic violence under California Penal Code Section 422.
Sentencing and Penalties
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense, you could face a minimum jail time of 30 days and/or community service as well as mandatory attendance of a 52 week batter’s class. For a felony domestic violence conviction, you could receive one year in county jail or two to four years in state prison and/or a fine up to $6,000.
Hiring a San Diego Domestic Violence Attorney
If you have been arrested for a domestic violence offense or murder in San Diego or the surrounding areas, it is important that you hire a San Diego domestic violence attorney immediately to defend you.
Although data shows that violent crimes are declining in America, this is really nothing new–the real story is that the rate of decline has slowed. In many regions, the numbers of violent events are lower, but by a smaller margin than previous years — and the ultimate violent crime is skyrocketing in some locales. Get the real facts below.
If you know you are a suspect or have been charged with a violent criminal offense, you do need a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Learn about Imhoff & Associates here and more about related DUI/DWI information.
Murder is a horrible, heinous crime. All agree to that. Prior to this week, 28 states had laws on their books that mandated to sentencing juvenile offenders to life in prison without parole.
The issue is that the justice system views juvenile offenders as too young and tender to appreciate the consequences of these crimes. In other words they cannot fully understand and comprehend their actions and the resulting circumstances that they have made because of their actions. Justice Elena Kagan, who wrote the opinion for the Supreme Court, stated “Children are different” then adult offenders when it comes to crime and punishment. The cases before the court concerned two 14-year-old boys one from Alabama and one from Arkansas.
On Mondy, June 25th, in the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision (Kagan, Bader-Ginsburg, Breyer, Kennedy & Sotomayor for the Majority and CJ Roberts, Alito, Scalia & Thomas for the Dissent), the court struck down the mandatory life sentence scheme for juvenile offenders. The Majority’s opinion shows that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are cruel and unusual punishment even if it occurred to over 2,000 US citizens (which doesn’t seem unusual) nor does it forbid life terms for youths convicted of homicide. This opinion will not release any one person from prison, or automatically grant anyone a new parole hearing. However, it does create a need to resentence a lot of juvenile offenders.
The Supreme Court followed the reasoning of Mary Barthelme whose work was instrumental in establishing the USA’s first Juvenile Court system in 1899 in Cook County, Illinois (Chicago) and other early advocates for juvenile justice. These proponents of juvenile justice come at crime and punishment for children from the angle of rehabilitation and not punishment. Punishment is still meted out for juvenile offenders; however, the focus is on making the child offender into a productive citizen and not to simply remove them from civilized society. The basic premise is that these offenders are immature and less deserving of the country’s harshest punishment.
The Supreme Court has been moving in this direction since 2005 when they struck down the death penalty for juvenile offenders. Then, two years ago the Supreme Court invalidated laws that sentenced children to life without parole for crimes that were less serious than murder.
In a justice system that deals in mandatory life sentences, the “whys” of a crime’s occurrence are not dealt with by the court, only the “hows” of the crimes are presented to the trial judge or jury. Justice Kagan in a footnote stated that life sentences can still be handed down to the most heinous of the juvenile offenders, however those sentences cannot be mandatory. The justice system must make accommodations for the juvenile offenders to present mitigation for the circumstances surrounding their crimes. That means that they can explain why these crimes occurred and not merely dispute how these crimes occurred. Judges need to consider factors such as juveniles are less culpable, less responsible for their actions and they’re immature compared to adults. Judges also need to consider the context of their homes and the environment in which they grew up.
This reasoning is in agreement with the very first proponents’ view of juvenile offenders and their crimes. Children now have a better chance of receiving a sentence that is rehabilitative in scope and not merely punishment.
For more information on the criminal defense attorneys at Imhoff & Associates, visit http://www.CriminalAttorney.com. The criminal law firm attorneys practice in Juvenile Law as well as all other areas of criminal law. Interested parties may also contact a criminal lawyer at the firm by calling 1-888-726-0574.
Under Penal Code Section 422.55, California hate crimes are criminal acts or attempted criminal acts committed against an individual or group based upon race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or a disability. A hate crime in California can be charged as a felony under Penal Codes Sections 422.7, 594.3. 11412 or 11413 or a misdemeanor under Penal Code Sections 302, 422.6, 422.9, 538 (c), 640.2 or 11411. Under Penal Code Section 422.6 (a) or (b), any person convicted of violating this Section faces up to one year in county jail or a fine not to exceed $5,000 or both, and community service not to exceed 400 hours during 350 days during a time other than employment hours or school hours. No person may be convicted of a California hate crime for using hateful speech alone.
The death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole can be imposed under Penal Code Section 190.2(a)(16) if the victim was intentionally killed because of race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin. Life without the possibility of parole may be imposed under Penal Code 190.3, if the victim was intentionally killed because of sexual orientation, gender or disability. Under Penal Code 422.75, sentences may be enhanced for a felony crime committed as a result of a victim’s race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, ancestry, disability or sexual orientation an additional one, two or three years in prison if a person acts alone and two, three or four years in prison if a person acts with another.
A 53 year old women named Kim Rebar Henry of Fullerton, CA was arrested on arrested Friday February 11, 2011 on an unrelated warrant and booked on Monday, February 14, 2011, on suspicion of one count of felony vandalism and damage to property to violate civic rights. Henry is believed to be responsible for nine incidents that occurred in Anaheim, Irvine, Santa Ana and Brea. She is being held at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $67,500 bail. According to authorities, Henry allegedly spray-painted graffiti on two Catholic churches and several buildings in Orange County. A surveillance video that was released to the media resulted in a person calling Santa Ana Police department and identifying Henry. The graffiti found was painted in black paint and threatened to kill African Americans and Asians. Graffiti was also discovered on a walkway next to the Saint Thomas More Catholic Parish by Irvine Police on January 11, 2011with the words painted “Kill Cathlicks”. Irvine police also found graffiti at the Chase Bank on the 500 block of North Euclid that said kill and two specific ethnicities. Anaheim police responded to a graffiti incident also on January 11, 2011 at the St. Boniface Catholic Church where the words “Kill the Cathlicks” was painted at a wall near the entrance of the church. Investigations by Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine and Brea police are ongoing.
If you are arrested and charged with a California hate crime, you should contact a California criminal defense attorney to represent you. The attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed by arguing such legal defenses as aggravated battery, mistaken identity, self defense or false accusations depending upon the circumstances surrounding your case.
Texas Hate Crime and Felony Statutes
Forty-five states have hate crime statutes, including Texas. The FBI’s definition of a hate crime is “a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.” The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported that there are 31 states that have criminalized violence based upon sexual orientation, including Texas.
Texas James Byrd Jr. Hates Crimes Act
The Texas James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act was enacted into law in 2001 to classify crimes motivated by the victim’s race, religion, color, sex, disability, sexual preference, age or national origin as hate crimes. The law was enacted after the hate crime of an East Texas black man named James Byrd, Jr. who was dragged to death by three white men in a pickup truck in 1998. Two of the men involved in the crime are on death row, and the third received a life sentence.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 12.47, the sentencing for a crime involving bias or prejudice, other than a First Degree Felony or a Class A Misdemeanor, is increased to the next highest category of offense, with a minimum increased term of 180 days of confinement. Under Article 42.014 of the Texas Penal Code, the judge may also require the defendant to attend an educational program on tolerance. Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code provides that a Texas First Degree Felony is punishable by life imprisonment for not more than 99 years or less than 5 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000. An individual found guilty of a capital felony crime where the state seeks the death penalty is punishable by life imprisonment without parole or by death.
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hates Crimes Prevent Act
In October of 2009, President Obama signed into law the The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (a.k.a.“Matthew Shepard Act”) as a rider to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 (H.R. 2647) to include crimes which are motivated by a victim’s “actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability” in response to the hate crime murders of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. This law is a supplement to the 1969 Federal Hate Crimes Act. The Shepard hate crime occurred in October 1998 when Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson took Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old political science student at the University of Wyoming, to a remote area east of Laramie, Wyoming where they tied him to a split-rail fence, assaulted him severely and left him to die in the cold evening temperatures. He was found 18 hours later by a bicyclist and died five days later of head injuries in a hospital in Colorado. His crime was classified as a sexually oriented hate crime. Both murderers were given life in prison sentences.
It should be noted that a different version of the case later was later reported on an ABC 20/20 episode in 2004 by reporter Elizabeth Vargas who reported that the crime was over a robbery by drug users who needed money for methamphetamine. The 20/20 show reported that both Shepherd and the two perpetrators were allegedly heavy methamphetamine users, and that Shepherd’s lifestyle caused him to visit places where he met the killers. In fact, according to the show, one of the killers used the defense at his trial to get a reduced sentence that Shepherd tried to proposition him at a bar and that he was not emotionally in control at the time of the murder. The defense failed. Whether the crime was a hate crime or a robbery, it was a terrible crime and it prompted lawmakers to enact the new federal law to recognize that crimes involving gender, sexual orientation and gender identity are hate crimes.
FBI Investigation of Texas Hate Crime
Currently, the FBI is investigating a Texas crime, which falls under the new Matthew Shepard Act regarding the kidnap and sexual assault of an 18-year-old high school student on December 6, 2009 by two suspects outside the Boathouse Bar and Restaurant Terlingua near Big Bend National Park and the Texas-Mexico border. The suspects kidnapped the victim and took him to a remote location, then burned his car and repeatedly sexually assaulted him. The victim was able to escape on foot across three miles of desert terrain where a Brewster County Sheriff’s Deputy found him. The victim is recovering at an undisclosed location. The FBI’s investigation could lead to federal hate crime charges being filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The FBI believes the attack was an anti-Gay hate crime based upon statements from eye witnesses regarding events that occurred at the bar prior to the incident. However, it is unclear whether the victim is in fact gay. The FBI spokesperson emphasized that the FBI will be focusing their investigation on the kidnapping and sexual assault aspect of the case and making recommendations to the U.S Attorney’s Office. It is up to the U.S. Attorney’s Office as to whether they will prosecute the crime under the new federal law.
With regard to the prosecution of the crime by the State of Texas, the two suspects, 46 year old Daniel Martinez and 27 year old Kristopher Buchanan were arrested and indicted by the Texas grand jury with charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and arson. Bond has been set at $275,000 each. Suspect Buchanan is also being held on two outstanding felony warrants from two other Texas counties. Martinez also has prior arrests and convictions. Since Texas does not have a penalty enhancement under the 2001 James Byrd Jr. Hates Crimes Act for these charges, the Texas district attorney is not prosecuting the case as a hate crime.
If you commit a crime involving bias or prejudice under the Texas James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act or are charged with a First Degree Felony, capital punishment crime or Class A misdemeanor in Texas, you should hire a Texas criminal defense attorney to defend you. Article 27.02 of the Texas Penal Code gives the defendant the following options to plea guilty, not guilty, nolo contendere (which has the same affect as a guilty plea, except the plea cannot be used against the defendant in a civil lawsuit), applying for probation and electing to have the jury impose the punishment instead of the judge if the defendant is found guilty.
While you may not be charged with a hate crime under Texas law for committing a First Degree Felony or Class A Misdemeanor, you still may face the maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty for a capital punishment crime. You could also be charged and convicted under the new federal Matthew Shepard Act with a hate crime and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Your attorney understands the Texas hate crime statutes and felony laws and the Federal Hate Crime Act and laws and may be able to argue legal defenses such as aggravated battery and
lesser charges such as mistaken identity, self defense and false accusations to get the charges reduced or the case dismissed.
New Florida Bill Now Includes Crimes Against Homeless Persons as Hate Crimes
Under a new addition to Florida’s existing hate crime statute effective October 1, 2010, crimes against homeless persons are now also considered hate crimes. Last year, Maryland became the first state to actually classify the attacks as hate crimes, with Florida following this year. Florida has led the country in the number of attacks against homeless persons for the last four out of five years. Florida is also one of the largest states, together with the District of Columbia, to include these types of crimes as hate crimes.
Penalties and Case Examples
Penalties under the new Florida bill for any hate crime have been raised one degree from the previous penalties, except for the maximum penalty for a second-degree murder charge, which is already life in prison. These increased penalties follow after two years ago a homeless man was attacked in Pompano Beach by four people who played the attack on YouTube. The suspects pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery and received jail sentences ranging from a year of probation to 364 days in jail. The maximum sentence received was a year in jail. However, assailants committing similar crimes under the new law today would receive a jail sentence of up to five years.
Another hate crime involving a homeless person occurred on the West Coast of Florida last year when a homeless veteran, Daniel Case, was murdered by two gang members who beat him to death with a baseball bat and a golf club while he was sleeping behind a building in Bradenton, Florida. One of the suspects was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, and the other suspect is still awaiting trial. Mr. Case was one out of five homeless people who were murdered in hate crimes in Florida last year according an annual reported prepared by Donovan’s Washington, D.C. based coalition. The coalition report also reflected that a total of 16 homeless people were attacked in Florida last year.
It is too soon to see if the new law will reduce the number of hate crimes in Florida. The classification of what constitutes hate crimes in Florida has Tampa detectives looking into whether an incident that occurred on November 10, 2009 involving the arrest by Tampa police of a U.S. Marine Reservist Jasen D. Bruce for attacking alleged victim Alexios Marakis for being an Arabic terrorist could be classified as a hate crime. Besides attacks against homeless persons, Florida’s hate crimes statute classifies attacks motivated by race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, mental or physical disability and age as hate crimes.
The charges against Mr. Bruce were aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The victim was a visiting Greek Orthodox Priest from Crete, Greece who made a wrong turn off the 275 Freeway exit into Seaport Channelside Apartments on Twiggs Street. When Mr. Marakis left his car to ask the suspect for assistance, the suspect started beating him with a tire iron and hit him over the head, then chased him for three blocks to the corner of Madison Avenue and Meridian Avenue. The suspect called 911 during the chase and reported that an Arabic man tried to rob him and that he was trying to apprehend the suspect to take him into custody. When Tampa police arrived on the scene, the suspect changed his story and said the man was a terrorist. The victim was taken to Tampa General, interviewed by Tampa police through the hospital’s interpreter, treated and released. The Police then went to the suspect’s apartment where they tried to question him while his lawyer was present. The suspect was uncooperative according to the police.
If you are charged with a hate crime, you should seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney who may be able to argue other legal defenses such as aggravated battery, mistaken identity, self defense and false accusations depending upon the circumstances surrounding your case to get the charges reduced.
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