ADL has long been in the forefront of national and state efforts to deter and counteract hate-motivated criminal activity. ADL's model hate crimes statute provides for increased penalties for criminals who target their victims because of their personal characteristics, such as race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. Now, 45 states and the District of Columbia have enacted hate crimes laws based on (or similar to) ADL's model.
The tragic murder of African Americans at a church in Charleston, SC, on June 17, 2015 has highlighted the unfortunate fact that bias-motivated violence in our nation is still a sad reality. Learn more about ADL's new initiative to strengthen hate crimes laws and response around the country.
On September 19, 2012 the Senate conducted its first hearings on the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. In its statement to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, ADL hailed the Justice Department’s education and enforcement efforts on the HCPA, outlined the nature and magnitude of the threat posed by domestic extremist groups, and called for expanded, coordinated efforts to track and respond to domestic terrorism and improve hate crime data collection efforts.
On August 5, 2012 alleged gunman Wade Michael Page opened fire in as Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, killing six people and wounding four more. Page was a white supremacist who was well-known to the ADL and other hate-group monitors for his longtime involvement with the American racist skinhead movement.