We examined blame attribution as a moderator of perceptions of hate crimes against gay, African American, and transgender victims. Participants were 510 Texas jury panel members. Results of vignette-based crime scenarios showed that victim blame displayed significant negative, and perpetrator blame significant positive, effects on sentencing recommendations. Also as hypothesized, victim and perpetrator blame moderated the effect of support for hate crime legislation. Interaction patterns suggested that both types of blame attribution influence sentencing recommendations, but only for participants disagreeing with hate crime legislation. Three-way interactions with victim type also emerged, indicating that the effects of both types of blame attribution show particular influences when the victim is gay, as opposed to transgender or African American. Implications for attribution theory, hate crime policy, and jury selection are discussed.

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