MALDEF Urges the Department of Justice to Bring Hate Crime Charges against Shenandoah Teenagers
May 20, 2009 - Posted by Cathy Montoya
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund has launched a petition calling for the Department of Justice to file federal hate crime charges against the teenagers responsible for the brutal murder of Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, Pa.
On July 14, 2008, Ramirez died of injuries he suffered during an attack by a group of teenagers. The teenagers reportedly yelled racial epithets at Ramirez as they beat him. On May 1, 2009, a jury found two of the defendants accused of beating Ramirez guilty of simple assault, but acquitted the defendants of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation, despite evidence showing that the attack was racially motivated.
Under current law, the Department of Justice has the authority to bring federal charges on hate crimes motivated by the victim's race, color, religion, and national origin.