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Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

An Aryan Brotherhood member and inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Seagoville, Texas, was sentenced today after pleading guilty to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

According to the Department of Justice, Hall assaulted a fellow inmate, whom he believed to be gay.

He is the fourth individual to be sentenced for a hate crime based on sexual orientation since the passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009.

The act gives the DOJ the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence in which a perpetrator has selected a victim because of the person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

“Brutality and violence based on sexual orientation has no place in a civilized society,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in a statement.

“The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to prosecute acts motivated by hate,” he said.

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