Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-12-99

Shepard's Mom Makes Appeal for Hate Crimes Legislation

The mother of slain gay college student Matthew Shepard appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday in attempt to convince members to support the Hates Crimes Prevention Act, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.

The proposed bill would strengthen existing hate crimes legislation so that the federal government could prosecute individuals who commit violence crimes based on a person's race, religion, national origin, gender disability, or sexual orientation.

Judy Shepard told committee members, "My son Matthew was the victim of a brutal hate crime and I believe this legislation is necessary to make sure no family again has to suffer like mine."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Orrin Hatch indicated that he thought the bill might be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and urged revisions. Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar has suggested that hate crimes language be used to determine penalties, rather than to influence prosecution. Amar also suggested that the federal government might assist states in prosecuting offenders rather than trying them in separate courts.

Russell Henderson was convicted and sentenced to two life sentences for the murder of Matthew Shepard. His accomplice, Aaron McKinney, will be tried in August and could face the death penalty.

Media Resources: Reuters - May 12, 1999


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

9/17/2014 Despite an Overall Decline in the Poverty Rate, the Number of Women in Poverty Hasn't Changed in a Year - Last year, almost 18 million women lived in poverty in the US - and that number hasn't improved for women, despite the overall poverty rate declining. Analysis from the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) of recently released US Census Bureau data shows that the poverty rate for women is not only virtually unchanged, but - at 14.5 percent - it's the highest in two decades. . . .
 
9/16/2014 Senate Republicans Blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act Again - The Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) yesterday, marking the second time this year and the fourth time since 2012 legislators voted along party lines against the equal pay legislation. . . .
 
9/15/2014 The Economic Recovery Isn't Reaching Black Women in the Workforce - The economic recovery isn't making a difference for African American women this year, according to data analysis from the National Women's Law Center (NWLC). Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the NWLC found that the overall unemployment rate dropped 1.1 percentage points in the period between August 2013 and August 2014. . . .