This article focuses on political crimes, specifically terrorism and hate crime. Both terrorism and hate crime are criminal activities that are often committed to further a political objective, as opposed to typical or regular crimes that are usually committed for personal reasons such as greed, revenge, or other personal motivations. Political motivations encompass ideological, social, and religious objectives. Several works (e.g., Bruce Hoffman’s Inside Terrorism; see Hoffman 2006, cited under Defining Terrorism and Hate Crime) examine the evolution of terrorism from ancient to modern times. While bias-motivated violence and hate crimes are just as old as terrorism, the United States did not formally adopt hate crime legislation, through the passage of a variety of substantive penalty enhancement and data collection laws, until the late 20th century. Making Hate a Crime (Jenness and Grattet 2004, cited under Defining Terrorism and Hate Crime) explores the history of hate crime legislation, highlighting how various civil rights and victims’ rights movements played a role in the passage of hate crime legislation. In the classic text Hate Crimes Revisited, Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt outline the history of hate crimes, explain why some persons are motivated to commit these crimes, and discuss efforts to combat them (Levin and McDevitt 2002, cited under Defining Terrorism and Hate Crime).

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