Guilty Plea In Federal Hate Crime Case

For the second time since the adoption of the Matthew Shepard Act, the federal government has won a conviction for an anti-gay hate crime. Via White House press release:

Everett Dwayne Avery, 36, of Detroit, Mich., pleaded guilty in federal court today to a federal hate crime, admitting that he assaulted a victim because he believed the victim was gay, the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Robert D. Foley, III announced today.

During the time of the plea, Avery admitted that on March 7, 2011, he struck the victim in the face while they were customers at a convenience store in Detroit because he believed that the victim was gay. The victim suffered a fractured eye socket and other facial injuries as a result.

“Hate-fueled incidents have no place in a civilized society,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to prosecute acts of violence motivated by hate.” Avery faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 28, 2012, before Judge John Corbett O’Meara.

Do you think the DOJ would aggressively pursue these cases under a Romney administration?