Mississippi Citizens for Austin's Law: Add Disabilities to the MS hate crimes statute
  • Petitioned Mississippi State Legislature

This petition was delivered to:

Mississippi State Legislature
Mississippi Governor
Mississippi State Senate
Mississippi State House

Mississippi Citizens for Austin's Law: Add Disabilities to the MS hate crimes statute

    1. Petition by

      Mississippi Citizens for Austin's Law

Mississippi Citizens for Austin’s Law

To Whom It May Concern:
MS Citizens for Austin’s Law was founded in response to the attack on Austin Stokes, a 14 year old boy with cerebral palsy in early 2012. Austin was a second semester freshman at George County High School when he was attacked by a senior who called him a “retard” prior to the attack
If Austin had been attacked because he was a racial minority, a member of a religion other than that of the attacker or from a different country, his attacker would have been charged with a Hate Crime with the possibility of a sentence enhancement. While we certainly agree that all of the protected classes are appropriate, we formally request that disability be added to that list of protected classes under the law.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 3,378,960 Americans with Disabilities were victims of violent crimes in 2010. While federal law 18 U.S.C. § 249 , and the laws in 30 states and the District of Columbia protect people with disabilities as a part of their hate crimes statutes Mississippi does not.
We respectfully submit that no Mississippian should fear attack because of hate.
We are asking that you support us in the effort to petition the MS State Legislature to protect people with disabilities by amending the current statute to add disability to the list of protected classes.

To:
Mississippi State Legislature
Mississippi Governor
Mississippi State Senate
Mississippi State House
Add Disabilities to the MS hate crimes statute

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

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    1. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Dustin Rittenhouse TUSCALOOSA, AL
      • 7 months ago

      What happened to this boy is wrong, and the penalties for the crime against him should reflect the weight of the crime. Future hate crimes would benefit from this decision as well, serving to punish criminals for their actions.

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    • Daniel Marcus GULFPORT, MS
      • about 1 year ago

      Disabled people are entitled to equal protection under the law.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Virginia Hemby MURFREESBORO, TN
      • about 1 year ago

      I have a traumatic brain injury (as a result of a vehicle-pedestrian accident). Due to my accident, I also have PTSD. I have a disability, but I am a fully engaged, working professor in Tennessee. I have NOT let my disability stop me. No one should have the right to treat people with disabilities as if they are second class citizens--calling us names or treating us as if we have some reason to be ashamed of who we are. Living with and working with a disability is hard enough, requiring more effort and concentration than the average person can possibly understand. The goal is to be productive citizens and to make a contribution to the world in which we live. Because people do not always understand disabilities, particularly those labeled as "invisible," we need laws to protect us. We have at least two generations of individuals (Gens Y and Z) who have been born into and raised as part of the narcissistic personality disorder generations. Individuals in those generations are more likely to have poor interpersonal communication skills, lower emotional intelligence, and greater "self" entitlement issues. They are not the only ones who create problems for disabled individuals but certainly are at the top of the list. More education, better laws aimed at reducing individuals' abilities to create problems for disabled individuals, those steps are important to ensuring the successful integration of the disabled into society and not isolating them. Parents need to do a better job of raising their children--stop texting and staring at their cell phones and spend more time talking to their children about successes and failures, about important issues such as empathy and understanding of others' differences. If they did so, perhaps we would not need laws such as the one that has been proposed because we would not have a bullying problem in our schools, our workplaces, or our lives.

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    • Allison Deal PLYMOUTH, MN
      • about 1 year ago

      My husband is in a wheelchair and people with disabilities have more than enough challenges to overcome...how dare anyone make thier lives harder.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • LeeAnn Herring EDGERTON, WI
      • about 1 year ago

      This makes me sick. Beating the defenseless.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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