On the one hand, Harrington argued, Byrd's murder reflects the prevalence of hate violence nationwide, violence that could be blunted with stronger laws. But Dershowitz, who voices mixed feelings about hate crime laws, said Jasper may have made the case for such law less compelling. After all, Americans needed no prompting to be outraged, and the killers were sentenced to severe punishments under the law as it stands, he noted.
For the children of Jasper, the case was especially troubling. "This has disturbed these children, and believe me, some of them will never get over this," said Claudia Colter, a receptionist at the Boys' and Girls' Club. "They are afraid, some of these children, of Caucasians. Some Caucasians are real sweet, they say. But they're trying to find out who the mean ones are. Some of them feel some Caucasian is going to drag them too."