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Colorado Jury Convicts On Hate Crime Charge In Zapata Murder, Federal Bill Awaits Passage

On April 22, a Colorado jury found Allen Andrade guilty on four counts, including first-degree murder and hate-crime charges in the murder case of Angie Zapata. Zapata was a transgender woman living in Greeley, Colorado; she was beaten to death in 2008 by Andrade, 31, a sex partner who discovered that Zapata was transgender.

In 2005, the Colorado legislature added sexual orientation, including transgender status, to Colorado’s hate-crime law. The case marks the first time the enhanced law has been applied to the murder of a transgender victim.

Federally, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act was approved by the House Judiciary Committee in late April, with a vote in the full House expected to follow. The bill, also known as the Mat thew Shepard Act, enhances federal involvement against hate crimes where necessary and authorizes the prosecution of hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability, in addition to race, color, religion, or national origin.

“After 10 years, and tens of thousands more victims, this critical legislation combating hate violence is long overdue,” said Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign president. “We urge Congress not to delay in sending this bill to the President’s desk where he has stated he will sign it into law. We must not miss this opportunity to provide local police and sheriffs’ departments with the tools and resources they need to ensure that entire communities are not terrorized by hate violence.” – by Nancy Ford


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