What is Wisconsin V. Mitchell mostly about?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Basically it concerned what classifies a hate-crime in relation to a person not falling in one of the protected classes (that's a minority or female). Specifically, can a state classify a crime as a hate-crime and add additional punishment for that reason when 'any' person targets another person for prejudicial reasons.

    Here let me get some details from wiki:

    Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 508 U.S. 476 (1993), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court. It is an important and noteworthy precedent pertaining to First Amendment free speech arguments against hate crime legislation. In effect, the Court ruled that a state may consider whether a crime was committed or initially considered due to an intended victim's status in a protected class.

    The respondent, Todd Mitchell, was with a group of other black individuals in an apartment complex in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Members of this group were discussing the film Mississippi Burning; in particular, a scene in which a white man beat a young black boy who was praying. According to the facts, undisputed by the respondent, in the briefs filed in lower courts, the group had discussed the scene indoors while drinking, and later moved outside the apartment complex. Outside they were joined by Mitchell and further discussed the scene. Seeing that everyone is enraged, Mitchell asked the group, "Do you all feel hyped up to move on some white people?"

    Looking across the street, Mitchell and the group spot Gregory Reddick, a white fourteen-year old, walking home from a nearby pizza parlor. Mitchell reportedly turned to the group and remarked, "You all want to **** somebody up? There goes a white boy; go get him." Mitchell counted to three and then pointed left and right, signaling that they should encricle him. Ten of them then took off after Reddick, most running directly at him. One person in the group kicked Reddick, knocking him to the ground. Several attackers then surrounded Reddick. They kicked, punched, and stomped on him for over five minutes. The beating leaves Reddick unconscious on the ground, and one of the attackers remarked that they had killed him. Another then took Reddick's British Kight sneakers and showed them off later at his apartment complex with Mitchell. The police find Reddick unconscious a short while later. He remained in a coma for four days in the hospital; the record indicates he suffered extensive injuries and permanent brain damage.

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  • 3 years ago

    Wisconsin V Mitchell

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