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Hate Crime legislation(13 posts)

Hate Crime legislationSpoiler
May 22, 2003 12:41 PM
Section 280003 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 says that as a part of the 1994 Crime Act, the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act provides for longer sentences where the offense is determined to be a hate crime. A longer sentence may be imposed if it is proven that a crime against person or property was motivated by "race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.

Example- A black man and a white man get killed in a store by two black robbers. The incident is caught on the store's surveillance tape.
The first robber says to the white man man, "I'm shooting you because I hate whitey."
The second robber says to the black man, "I'm killing you because you're a witness and could testify against me."

They get caught and the first robber gets the harsher sentence? The white man's life is worth more than the black man's life?

What if you just hate old people, or kids and you go out on a killing spree? You escape the hate crime sentence as long as you hate both black and white old people equally, or hate male and female children equally?
What if I hate the New York Yankees and kill all of them? As long as I kill both Clemens and Rivera with equal hate, it's not a hate crime?
re: Hate Crime legislationpurplepaul
May 22, 2003 4:13 PM
Hate crime legislation sounds like a good idea but upon closer inspection makes my skin crawl. All it does, as far as I can see, is devalue good old fashioned violent crime. What? You didn't hate that old man you beat over the head with a bat? Okay. Reduced sentence.

Who cares what the criminal's prejudices are. What should matter is the crime. Does anyone really think it's substantially worse to hear a racial slur before you're killed than not?

Plus, hatred exists in one's conscience. This is state sponsored thought control. Think what you want but watch what you do should be all the gov. is concerned with.
Alway seemed redundant to meSilverback
May 22, 2003 4:24 PM
Murder, assault, whatever, are already against the law. I never really saw a reason to make them double-against the law. But no jury on earth would convict you if you killed George Steinbrenner.
A real bad panty waste idea.OldEdScott
May 23, 2003 5:47 AM
Edges close to Thought Police. "Hmmmm. And what were you THINKING when you committed that crime, Mr EdScott? Ah! So you admit you were having illegal thoughts! We shall throw the book at you!"

I hate hate crimes laws.
re: Hate Crime legislationBikeViking
May 23, 2003 7:14 AM
The murder of Matthew Shephard was a "hate" crime, yet the homosexual rape/murder of Jesse Dirkhising by two gay men was not?

The brutal dragging death of a black man by two white guys was a hate crime, but the shooting of four / murder of three white people by two black guys is not a hate crime?

It is a selectively applied thought crime which NEVER should have been made into law.

Talk about feel-good, do-nothing hor$se$hit.

false analogyjtolleson
May 23, 2003 9:47 AM
Believe me, I understand the concerns about hate crimes laws (especially certain statutory models that may trod on the First Amendment) but these kinds of false analogies do not carry the day.

Matthew Shepherd was targeted because he was gay. Because of their contempt for his homosexuality, two thugs lured him into their truck and beat him to death. Maybe you need to be a GLBT person in the Rocky Mountains to understand how a crime like that psychologically affects a community. In contrast, the murder of Dirkhising was deplorable, but no one has EVER suggested that he was targeted because he was straight (or white, or male, or whatever). To say that it must be a "hate crime" because gay men committed it makes me merely question your attitudes about homosexuality. It does not, however, make me think you have a persuasive position on hate crimes legislation.
false analogyBikeViking
May 23, 2003 10:31 AM
Duly noted, I think my real problem (now that I THINK about it!) wa the way the media seemingly portrayed them. The Shepard case got a lot of attention because he was a gay man killed becaue he was gay. However when gay men commit hideous crimes, (Dirkhising murder) it was not to be found in the national media. I only heard about it through mildly right-wing news sites. Anecdotal evidence, but interesting...

The concept of hate crimes is still interesting. The Reginald Denny assault would be a "hate crime", but does anyone honestly think a black man would ever stand trial for a hate crime against a white? I don't think so... The double standards alone would make any hate crime law invalid. More importantly, trying to divine the REASON for someone's atrocious behavior and punish it is ludicrous. People need to be punished for what they do, not why they did it.

My ire was this case the soft pedaling in the media of "minorities" committing crimes is what was TRULY the "bee in my bonnett"

false analogyjtolleson
May 25, 2003 8:55 PM
If crimes by minorities are underrepresented, then that is a relatively-recent phenomenon (ever heard of the Scotsboro Boys, who by all accounts didn't do anything?) The claim that a crime by a black man against a white is chronically underreported is either fiction or very recent (and short lived). I don't know which and won't be preachy enough to say.

Let me guess, you probably lose sleep over "reverse discrimination" in employment and higher education, too?
false analogyBikeViking
May 27, 2003 5:06 AM
No, I am not a fan of affirmative action at all for that very reason. Why is it OK to discriminate against Group A because of the past discriminations against Group B? Group A did nothing to deserve being lawfully discriminated against. Does discrimination still exist? Yes it does on both sides of the ball.

My solution would be to remove all indications of race/gender from college admissions. Every applicant is assigned a number and the application is considered on merit, not other factors. SOme states allow the top 10% of all high school graduating classes to attend the state colleges for free, which is a great idea. I think it was Texas where minority enrollments went up after the elimination of affirmative action.

Good points all but...jtolleson
May 23, 2003 9:43 AM
a true hate crime IS a different offense, substantively, than a crime against an individual.

True hate crimes target their victims because they represent a despised community (racial, religious, whatever). The goal is to make a symbolic attack on that community, and if done well can indeed impact, even make victims of, that community.

Lynching was the early and easy example -- publicly killing an African-American citizen specifically so the community-wide fear can sap the political power of all blacks in the area. Attacking a synagogue ... the firebombing of the lesbian couple during the Prop 9 campaign in Oregon in 1992 ... those kinds of crimes ARE different.

The question is how to structure a legal recognition of the concept of hate crime (which is designed to target MORE than the intended victim) without having the ill effects that you all have identified. I think it is possible.

I am opposed to sentence enhancement for hate crimes, because it creates the confusion the posters above have referenced. Here, our hate crimes statute merely creates a separate offense, that is additionally charged, where the motive of the crime is to intimidate through violence a person or group of persons based on their [fill in characteristic here].

Some of the other attacks are red herrings. Laws frequently distinguish between crimes based on the victim (for example, crimes against children, the elderly, and the disabled are treated differently by many states). That's a public policy determination rooted in the notion that some potential victims are simply more vulnerable. As for the fact that laws seek to establish "intent," well, duh. Crimes are distinguished by INTENT all the time. Assault with intent to kill is different than negligently dropping a brick from a scaffold.
I wrote tons of speeches in favor ofOldEdScott
May 23, 2003 10:21 AM
hate crimes legislation for a gay (in closet) Congressional candidate, whose district included a significant GLBT population. I understood the political necessity for him to take that position, and I understand the overall political statement being made by advocates. I'm sympathetic. But it really is just that -- a political statement.

As a practical matter, if you're found guilty of chaining and dragging someone down the street till all their skin flays off and they die, you're going to get the same severe sentence with out without a 'hate crimes' label or conviction tacked on.

Meanwhile, in the interest of making a symbolic political statement, we (the Left) edge close to the totalitarian 'thought police' tactics our enemies accuse us of. And in fact I see their point.

Meanwhile, we paternalistically label people as 'vulnerable' and 'victims,' which does them no good at all. Just perpetuates white/male/ruling class imperialist dominance. 'We're the powerful, and we'll take care of you, so be grateful.' It's the trap liberals fall in.
I wrote tons of speeches in favor ofjtolleson
May 23, 2003 10:35 AM
The trap liberals fall into? Maybe. I really am torn on the issue. As a lesbian, and having been raised in a very Jewish area (though I am not), I do think that certain kinds of offenses are designed to have MANY victims, and they succeed. It may be paternalistic to call certain communities vulnerable, but I can assure you that in the right hostile environment as a member of a minority group, intimidating vulnerability can and does exist.

Funny, I think that ethnic intimidation laws, hate crimes laws, etc. have their greatest impact when applied to minor crimes. For example, the group of thugs that yells "hey n*@&%# get out of our neighborhood" and pushes the black kid off his bike. It is worth being able to charge more than the misdemeanor that might otherwise apply. Because as you note, once a murder has been committed, the penalties can't really get any harsher.
I wrote tons of speeches in favor ofrex_ss
May 28, 2003 10:50 PM
To bad your buddy Harlott ran off because she was not being able to defend the same meaningless bad social ideas as you. You got nobody left to help you misstate the facts on this. I think what gays in this country are doing to society is much worse than any gay ""HATE"" crime BS. It's not hate to view homosexuals as not a good way for this country to be the christian country it needs to be.