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Blog Post

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At the start of 2021, images of violent attacks on Asian individuals all across the nation began flooding social media timelines. Large protests shortly followed these attacks in support of the Asian Community to “Stop Asian Hate.” Since then, reports and images of such attacks have only become more and more common, with the Atlanta Spa Shootings at the forefront of the conversation. As a result, much of the public and the media have been referring to these attacks as “hate crimes.” Yet, prosecutors are not seeking hate-crime enhancements in many of these cases. Several high-profile cases demonstrate the evidentiary and ethical hurdles that prosecutors must consider when deciding whether to bring forward a hate crime charge. These considerations raise a critical question: When can prosecutors seek hate crime enhancements for attacks on the Asian Community?

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