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Photo: Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Justice Department declined to prosecute 82% of hate crime suspects between 2005 and 2019, according to a department report released this week.

State of play: Prosecutors declined to prosecute the 1,548 cases for different reasons, but more than 55% of the decisions came down to insufficient evidence, which means that a case could not be proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • The second most cited reason to decline cases was for the prioritization of federal resources.
  • Prosecutors conducted investigations into 1,878 suspects in potential hate crime cases, but only 17% were prosecuted. Another 1% of cases were dismissed by U.S. magistrates.

Yes, but: The report also said that of those crimes that were reported, the conviction rate increased from 83% between 2005 and 2009 to 94% between 2015 and 2019. About 85% of defendants convicted were sent to prison for an average term of 7.5 years.

The big picture: The report comes weeks after Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a six-step plan to combat hate crimes in the country. He said he would direct the Justice Department to increase resources and coordination to state, local and tribal partners.

  • The plan would also designate an officer to facilitate the expedited review of hate crimes, as well as increase the department's language access capabilities to make it easier to report these types of crimes.

Worth noting: Reports of hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community have increased during the pandemic. Stop AAPI Hate received more than 6,600 self-reported incidents from the beginning of the pandemic until March this year.

  • President Biden in May signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which would direct the Justice Department to expedite the review of coronavirus-related hate crimes.

Go deeper

Dallas violent crime numbers declining

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Dallas crime numbers are declining slightly, which police officials say is linked to the chief’s violent crime reduction plan that has focused on hot spot policing.

Why it matters: Violent crimes increased in Dallas and nationwide in 2020, but police officials locally believe that numbers this year show the increase won’t continue.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Celebrities are America's new politicians

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Launching gubernatorial bids, making presidential endorsements, founding schools: Celebrities are getting increasingly involved in U.S. public and political life.

Why it matters: As we've reported, politics is no longer just the purview of career politicians, as companies and their CEOs throw their weight around to affect policies. Now, movie stars, famous musicians and professional athletes also are using their influence in politics.

Updated 12 mins ago - Sports

Baseball's minor leaguers get a major win

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players.

Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.