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03/30/92

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

Panelists to discuss bias crime

STANFORD -- A panel that includes a bias-crime victim, an activist and a criminologist will participate in a Stanford Law School discussion on bias crime on Wednesday, April 8.

The panel will run from noon to 3:15 p.m. in room 290 of the Law School. It is being organized by third-year law student Brian Levin, a former New York City policeman.

Levin, a bias-crime researcher and consultant, last year suspended his studies to volunteer his services full time to various Bay Area anti-bias agencies and organizations. He is the author of a study used by the House Subcommittee on the Judiciary in its deliberations on the Federal Hate Crimes Statistics Act.

Some of the issues expected to be covered during the panel discussion are anti-gay violence, anti-Asian violence, police methods, prosecution, data collection and bias-crime laws.

Besides Levin, panelists are:

  • Shannon Hodges, Community United Against Violence. Hodges was the victim of a knife attack by "skinheads" in Los Angeles. He is now an activist in the fight against anti-gay crimes.
  • Dr. Gregory Herek, the University of California-Davis and UC-Berkeley. Herek is a social psychologist and expert on anti-gay violence. He has a new book out on anti-gay bias crimes and his work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals.
  • Prof. Jack McDevitt, Northeastern University. A sociologist and criminologist, McDevitt's extensive analysis of 453 bias-crime cases in Boston led to a groundbreaking comprehensive study on the subject. He advises the FBI and Boston Police Department on bias crimes.
  • Joseph McNamara, Hoover Institution. The former chief of police in San Jose is widely regarded as one of the most progressive and articulate police officials in the nation. He is known for his opposition to the gun lobby.
  • Ann Noel, general counsel for the California Fair Employment and Housing Department. Noel has helped shape California law and policy on bias crimes. She trains attorneys and local and state officials, has authored a handbook on bias crimes, and is a member of the Hate Crimes Investigators Association.
  • Anastasia Steinberg, director of the Hate Crimes Unit, Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. Steinberg is one of the few prosecutors in the country devoted exclusively to bias crimes. She is a frequent lecturer on the subject to police lawyers and public officials.
  • Joy Morimoto, public information director, Japanese American Citizens League. A former journalist, Morimoto is an expert on bias crimes against Asian Americans.
  • Jim Miller, Stanford Law School student. A conservative commentator and member of the Federalist Society, Millerbelieves that bias crimes should be addressed under standard criminal justice responses.

For more information, contact Levin at (415) 497-5963.

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