The Murder of Vincent Chin: How Far Have We Come?
Vincent Chin was murdered in Detroit on June 19, 1982 because of his race. Twenty-seven years later, the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section will bring Chin’s case—and its aftermath—to life.
Two autoworkers beat Chin to death after an encounter in a bar where one said, “It’s because of your kind that we’re out of work.” Witnesses recall name-calling, and derogatory slurs directed at Chin before he was killed. Prosecuted in state court in Michigan, the two pled guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to three years probation and a fine. The leniency of the sentence outraged Americans both in Detroit and around the country, and the Asian-American community was galvanized into organizing to seek justice. The seminal case led to the formation of a new civil rights group in Michigan that persuaded the federal government to bring federal criminal civil rights charges against the two men.
In a special program, TIPS will re-enact portions of the judicial proceedings. Panelists will discuss what, if anything, lawyers have learned in light of the Vincent Chin case and how far we have—or have not—come in more than a quarter of a century since Chin’s death. What are the ramifications of this case on more recent incidents, such as the Matthew Shepherd case? Is such a murder, and the results, commonplace today? Through demonstration and analysis, panelists will discuss the state of the law, and how hate crimes continue to plague our country.
Speakers in this program include Frank Wu, George Washington University Law School; Judge Al Wong, State Court of DeKalb County Georgia; Ivan Fong, Cardinal Health, Dublin, Ohio; Michele Coleman Mayes, Allstate Insurance, Northbrook, Ill.; Ann Courtney, Unum, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Kim D. Hogrefe, Chubb & Son, Warren, N.J.; and Arlene Zalayet, Liberty Mutual Group Legal Department, Boston.
“The Murder of Vincent Chin” takes place on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 8:30 a.m. in the CLE Center, Hyatt Regency Chicago.