Informer: Hate crime statute applies to several offenses

By By Andrew Perzo / American Press

I find it interesting that the U.S. Wildlife Service won’t feed the animals because they will become dependent, but 48 million

people are on SNAP.

But my question is, what constitutes a hate crime? Do people actually murder people because they love them?

Under state law, a hate crime is any of

several offenses — not just murder — committed by people who act based

on their victims’

“actual or perceived race, age, gender, religion, color, creed,

disability, sexual orientation, national origin, or ancestry”

or on victims’ “actual or perceived membership or service in, or

employment with, an organization.”

The offenses include first- and

second-degree murder; manslaughter; battery; aggravated assault with a

firearm; rape; carnal

knowledge of a juvenile; molestation of a juvenile or a person

with a physical or mental disability; kidnapping; arson; property

damage; contaminating water supplies; burglary; armed robbery;

purse snatching; extortion; theft; grave desecration; institutional

vandalism; and drive-by shooting.

Incidentally, the proper name of the

agency is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. But the federal body

mentioned in the apparent

source of the “interesting” observation — a widely disseminated

email and message post titled “A Lesson in Irony” — is actually

the National Park Service.

Data, context

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2011 — the latest year for which data are available — 20.8 percent to 24.9 percent

of Calcasieu Parish children ages 5-17 living in families lived in poverty.

The determination is based on “poverty

thresholds,” which themselves are based on families’ income and size and

on the ages

of their members. For example, the poverty threshold for a family

of four, including two children, is $22,811. For a family

of two, including one child, it’s $15,504.

The range was the same for Beauregard and Vernon parishes, 20.8 percent to 24.9 percent. In Allen and Jeff Davis it was 25

percent to 31 percent. In Cameron Parish it was 13.6 percent to 20.7 percent.

The proportion of the total parish population that was living in poverty in 2011 ranged from 19.9 percent to 24.7 percent

for Allen and Jeff Davis, 15.9 percent to 19.8 percent for Calcasieu and Beauregard, and 11.4 percent to 15.8 percent for

Cameron and Vernon.

The population figures for each parish, as counted in the 2010 census: Allen, 25,764; Beauregard, 35,654; Calcasieu, 192,768;

Cameron, 6,839; Jeff Davis, 31,594; Vernon, 52,334.

The number of participants in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, for 2011, by parish, according to the U.S.

Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service:

Allen — 4,966.

Beauregard — 5,594.

Calcasieu — 35,231.

Cameron — 636.

Jeff Davis — 5,478.

Vernon — 6,821.

As of Feb. 8, the USDA’s Food and

Nutrition Service reported that 47.6 million people, or 22.98 million

households, were participating

in SNAP this fiscal year at a cost so far of $12.8 billion.

The average monthly benefit is $134.55 per person, or $278.83 per household.

Online: www.census.gov; www.fns.usda.gov.

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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com