Senator Ellis' letter to Lt.Governor Dewhurst regarding hate crimes
May 26, 2006
The Honorable David Dewhurst
Texas Capitol, 2E.13
Dear Governor Dewhurst:
The recent attack on a Houston Hispanic youth is a sobering reminder that criminal attacks based on unfounded prejudice and hate continue to plague our society.
Unfortunately, the current Texas hate crime law will not apply to this case, and is rarely used to prosecute hate-motivated crimes. Although 1617 hate crimes have been documented in Texas since 2001 only 7 have been prosecuted under the hate crimes statute. The fact that our Hate Crimes statute is inapplicable to precisely the type of behavior we want to deter clearly signifies the need to reevaluate the effectiveness of the current law and make the necessary improvements to ensure justice for the victims of these horrific acts.
I hope you will consider adding this issue to the interim charges being considered by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
Senator Rodney Ellis