Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hate Crimes in Texas

"Since Texas Hate-Crime Legislation Was Enacted, 1,700 Hate Crimes Have Been Reported, Eight Cases Have Been Prosecuted as Hate Crimes"
The Beaumont Enterprise

Ten years after the killing of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, prosecutors say the state hate-crime law that bears his name is unwieldy and rarely used. The law, which allows some crimes motivated by prejudice to be punished more severely, was enacted in September 2001. However, through July 2006, prosecutors in Texas used the law only eight times, according to the latest available data from the Texas Office of Court Administration. No prosecutions under the hate-crime law were reported from Southeast Texas.


"Record Foreclosures Won't Ease Soon"
USA Today

With homes entering foreclosure at a record rate, economists see no letup in the surge of homeowners who are losing their properties for failure to pay their mortgage. For the first quarter of the year, the rate of new foreclosures hit 0.99%, the highest point since record-keeping began in 1979, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday. And the delinquency rate - reflecting those at least 30 days behind on their bills and at risk of sinking into foreclosure - reached 6.35%.

"Homeless Make Themselves Visible"
The Washington Post

Asking for spare change is easier. Bumming a smoke is less gut-wrenching. Standing in traffic, trying to catch the gaze of drivers who fiddle with their radio buttons to avoid looking into the eyes of a homeless person, is less intimidating than standing up for yourself. Which is what Xavier J. Bannister was doing yesterday in asking for a place in a neighborhood he considers his own as much as those who own property there.


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