Uncovering Hate Crimes in America

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  • Matthew Shepard
  • James Byrd Jr.
  • FBI
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Matthew Shepard

The act was named for the high profile murder cases of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. In 1998, Shepard, a 21-year-old college student at the University of Wyoming, was abducted from a local bar and taken to a remote field near Laramie, Wyoming, where he was tied to a fence, tortured, pistol-whipped and left to die. During trial, prosecutors alleged the men targeted Shepard because he was gay and the men pretended to be gay so they could gain Shepard's trust and rob him. Shepard's killers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, are both serving two consecutive life sentences. (Photo: Gary Caskey / Reuters) 

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