From Wikimedia Commons by Finetooth
Daniel Hutchens, 38, who was convicted of a second-degree bias crime for punching an unidentified Asian man at a MAX train stop in Portland, Ore. will participate in restorative justice rather than be sentenced to jail time, The Oregonian reports.
Prosecutors said that the victim asked the judge for a sentence that did not include jail time in addition to the time Hutchens spent in custody. Instead, he will write a letter of apology to the victim and join restorative justice dialogue that is facilitated by the Oregon Chinese Coalition, a local organization that advocates for Chinese American interests.
In December of 2020, Hutchens approached the victim at the train stop and asked him, “Are you Chinese?” before punching him in the face. He then proceeded to flee the scene.
Hutchens pleaded guilty to the charge of bias crime, admitting that he “intentionally and knowingly caus[ed] physical injury to the victim because of his perception of the victim’s national origin,” according to a statement by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
Hutchens has a history of prior convictions for crimes such as assaulting a public safety officer, burglary and driving under the influence. He is also part of an open case for fourth-degree assault from early March.
During the process of restorative justice, Hutchens will undergo “constructive dialogue” as well as undergo drug, alcohol and mental health evaluations and any recommended treatment. He will also be on probation for the next three years.
The Oregon Chinese Coalition said that it is optimistic about the path and end result of restorative justice. “Racially motivated violence will not be tolerated at any time, but education through accountability is one of the first steps we, as a city, can take towards resolving these injustices,” the organization said in a statement.
“We are not fearful of confrontation with any type of violence or hatred but we do not want individual persons to shoulder the social injustice which has a deeper roots in this nation,” Hongcheng Zhao, a board member of the coalition, said according to The Oregonian.
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