The Vindication of Hate Violence Victims Via Criminal and Civil Adjudications
California State University, San Bernardino, US
Civil rights attorney Brian Levin is a professor of criminal justice at California State University, San Bernardino where he is the Director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism (www.fighthate.org).
Attempts by victims of hate violence to vindicate their claims through civil courts have a long history in the United States that predates the Civil War. The most notorious Supreme Court decision in American history commenced auspiciously in a St. Louis, Missouri county circuit court in two racially based tort actions on April 6, 1846. Slaves Dred and Harriet Scott petitioned Judge John Crum for permission to sue their owner and for “reasonable liberty” to effectively pursue their case. In an action remarkable for its time, Judge Crum granted the motions and stipulated that neither slave be removed from the jurisdiction or be subject to additional penalty as reprisal for their litigation.