Does the Federal Government Prosecute Racial Violence Civil Rights Cases?


If the Federal Government were to charge George Zimmerman in a civil rights case would he ever be prosecuted? According to the latest available data from the Department of Justice, compiled by TRAC, a data organization based at Syracuse University, probably not.

As of May 2013 a total of 11 convictions for racial violence civil rights violations have been obtained by federal prosecutors so far for the year. Most cases–especially cases with racial violence– do not go forward for prosecution. The TRAC report found that during the current fiscal year, federal prosecutors have closed three-quarters (76%) of these referrals without taking any court action. By comparison, the turn-down rate for prosecutions of all civil rights cases in the current fiscal year is 81 percent.

However, compared to five years ago convictions of this type are up 6.3 percent. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are up 21.4 percent from the level of 14 reported in 2003.

To read the report click here.

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