18 U.S.C. § 249 : US Code - Section 249: Hate crime acts

Search 18 U.S.C. § 249 : US Code - Section 249: Hate crime acts

      (a) In General. - 
        (1) Offenses involving actual or perceived race, color,
      religion, or national origin. - Whoever, whether or not acting
      under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person
      or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an
      explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury
      to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color,
      religion, or national origin of any person - 
          (A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in
        accordance with this title, or both; and
          (B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life,
        fined in accordance with this title, or both, if - 
            (i) death results from the offense; or
            (ii) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to
          kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit
          aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

        (2) Offenses involving actual or perceived religion, national
      origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or
      disability. - 
          (A) In general. - Whoever, whether or not acting under color
        of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B) or
        paragraph (3), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or,
        through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an
        explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury
        to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion,
        national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity,
        or disability of any person - 
            (i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in
          accordance with this title, or both; and
            (ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life,
          fined in accordance with this title, or both, if - 
              (I) death results from the offense; or
              (II) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to
            kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit
            aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

          (B) Circumstances described. - For purposes of subparagraph
        (A), the circumstances described in this subparagraph are that -
         
            (i) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) occurs during
          the course of, or as the result of, the travel of the
          defendant or the victim - 
              (I) across a State line or national border; or
              (II) using a channel, facility, or instrumentality of
            interstate or foreign commerce;

            (ii) the defendant uses a channel, facility, or
          instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in
          connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A);
            (iii) in connection with the conduct described in
          subparagraph (A), the defendant employs a firearm, dangerous
          weapon, explosive or incendiary device, or other weapon that
          has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce; or
            (iv) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) - 
              (I) interferes with commercial or other economic activity
            in which the victim is engaged at the time of the conduct;
            or
              (II) otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.

        (3) Offenses occurring in the special maritime or territorial
      jurisdiction of the united states. - Whoever, within the special
      maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States,
      engages in conduct described in paragraph (1) or in paragraph
      (2)(A) (without regard to whether that conduct occurred in a
      circumstance described in paragraph (2)(B)) shall be subject to
      the same penalties as prescribed in those paragraphs.
        (4) Guidelines. - All prosecutions conducted by the United
      States under this section shall be undertaken pursuant to
      guidelines issued by the Attorney General, or the designee of the
      Attorney General, to be included in the United States Attorneys'
      Manual that shall establish neutral and objective criteria for
      determining whether a crime was committed because of the actual
      or perceived status of any person.

      (b) Certification Requirement. - 
        (1) In general. - No prosecution of any offense described in
      this subsection may be undertaken by the United States, except
      under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, or a
      designee, that - 
          (A) the State does not have jurisdiction;
          (B) the State has requested that the Federal Government
        assume jurisdiction;
          (C) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State
        charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest
        in eradicating bias-motivated violence; or
          (D) a prosecution by the United States is in the public
        interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.

        (2) Rule of construction. - Nothing in this subsection shall be
      construed to limit the authority of Federal officers, or a
      Federal grand jury, to investigate possible violations of this
      section.

      (c) Definitions. - In this section - 
        (1) the term "bodily injury" has the meaning given such term in
      section 1365(h)(4) of this title, but does not include solely
      emotional or psychological harm to the victim;
        (2) the term "explosive or incendiary device" has the meaning
      given such term in section 232 of this title;
        (3) the term "firearm" has the meaning given such term in
      section 921(a) of this title;
        (4) the term "gender identity" means actual or perceived gender-
      related characteristics; and
        (5) the term "State" includes the District of Columbia, Puerto
      Rico, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

      (d) Statute of Limitations. - 
        (1) Offenses not resulting in death. - Except as provided in
      paragraph (2), no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished
      for any offense under this section unless the indictment for such
      offense is found, or the information for such offense is
      instituted, not later than 7 years after the date on which the
      offense was committed.
        (2) Death resulting offenses. - An indictment or information
      alleging that an offense under this section resulted in death may
      be found or instituted at any time without limitation.