Yet Holder testified that he does not think "that there is a trend among the states or local jurisdictions in failing to go after these kinds of crimes."
So why change the federal law? After all, district attorneys are free to present bigotry as a motive at trial. When three white supremacists dragged James Byrd, 49, to death because he was a black man, Texas prosecutors won two death sentences and a life sentence for the 1998 crime.
Criminal Justice Legal Foundation President Michael Rushford noted that the problem with hate-crime laws is that they're "subjective." He believes prosecutors have a better chance prosecuting the crime -- not the motive. And these crimes are horrific enough.