This is sad, but unfortunately a reality that we still deal with daily in America’s society…
According to Sacramento Bee:
Federal prosecutors in Sacramento are once again taking on what they describe as a particularly flagrant hate crime.
An indictment returned Jan. 16 by a grand jury and unsealed last week accuses three Yuba County men of an unprovoked attack on a couple because the man is white and the woman is black.
The indictment charges Perry Sylvester Jackson, 27, Billy James Hammett, 28, and Anthony Merrell Tyler, 32, all of Olivehurst, with one count of conspiracy and two counts of beating the couple in 2011. The charges are grounded in the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a 2009 amendment to a statute that criminalizes violence motivated by race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.
Jackson, Hammett and Tyler were arrested by FBI agents last week and pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd. Heading the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Steven Lapham, a supervisor in the U.S. attorney’s office and one of its top prosecutors.
At a hearing Friday, Lapham clashed with defense lawyer Mark Reichel over whether Jackson should be free on bail pending trial. After a protracted hearing, Drozd ordered Jackson held without bail to “ensure the safety of the community.” The strictures of the federal Bail Reform Act of 1984, juxtaposed with Jackson’s history of violence, made it “a difficult call,” the judge said. Hammett’s attorney did not challenge Lapham’s request for detention without bail, and Drozd granted it. He ordered Tyler released on a $150,000 unsecured appearance bond.
Hate crimes have been a priority of U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner going back to his days as a line prosecutor who handled a number of them and who was the office’s hate-crimes coordinator. Hate crimes, Wagner said Monday, “are intended to send a message of intolerance and instill fear in a larger community. Consequently, it is important that they be aggressively prosecuted and people in the community see that something is being done.”
As to the Yuba County case, Wagner said, “In our view this is a pretty egregious incident, and the district attorney up there agreed that a federal prosecution may have a greater impact.
“Depending on the circumstances, punishment is generally more severe in federal court,” he explained. In his bid to keep Jackson locked up, Lapham told the judge that a hate crime is random, spontaneous and often occurs so suddenly that a victim is overwhelmed without warning, the prosecutor said.
Hate crimes tend to be more violent, Lapham said, because they are not meant to temporarily incapacitate. More often than not, he said, they brutally inflict serious, sometimes lasting injuries.
SMH. We must stop this unnecessary violence.
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