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What's Wrong with the Hate-Crimes Bill

 
 
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 05:26 pm
Viewpoint: What's Wrong with the Hate-Crimes Bill

Quote:
It's difficult to argue against hate-crimes laws because it seems like you're arguing for hate. But the term "hate crimes" didn't come into wide use until the early 1980s. The original 1968 law was part of its decade's civil rights legislation, but at the time, the law was not considered to be a law against "hate."

Hate-crimes laws feel great to enact, but they criminalize something vital in a democracy: the right to be wrong. Let's say you chop off my arm because I'm gay. I would hope you go to prison for a long time, but should your sentence be even longer just because I sleep with guys and you disapprove? Don't people have a First Amendment right to disapprove? When did the U.S. government get into the business of criminalizing people's thoughts?

Even if a violent criminal knows that a tough hate-crimes law exists, wouldn't that knowledge just keep him from saying "Faggot" while he chopped my arm off? I suppose that after the crime, I might take some solace in knowing that the criminal didn't utter that word as he maimed me. But I think I would care a lot more about my arm than about any thoughts crossing the attacker's mind as he committed the crime.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 3,954 • Replies: 30
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 05:30 pm
@Robert Gentel,
aren't "cop killer" crimes hate crimes? these go back much further than 1968. Is killing a cop any different than killing anyone else?
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 05:31 pm
the problem with eliminating hate crime.... is that hate defines America... and makes the world fear us... and then they respect us... and then of course, they love us.

God bless hate crimes and God bless America.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 05:37 pm
@dyslexia,
killing societies law enforcement agent can be taken as a transgression against society above and beyond killing a citizen. Additional penalty can be supported.

Additional penalty based upon a determination of the nature of the motive (hate vs other) should not alter the penalty. All that should matter is the extent of the premeditation. Hate crime laws are a violation of the Constitution, though the Supremes disagree with me.
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 06:58 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Hate-crimes laws feel great to enact

And that is why they are so difficult to change. They feel good, they make us feel as if we are making a difference, without even bothering to consider that they are unconstitutional.
Unless a person says something libelous about an individual, what you say generally and certainly what you think, cannot be deemed against the law, and for good cause.

IMhO.
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 07:05 pm
@Diane,
Quote:
without even bothering to consider that they are unconstitutional.

More importantly hate crime laws betray a lack of civility in this society. We do the expedient, what feels good, even when we must lower our standards in order to do so. With each assault civil society dies a little more.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 09:01 pm
Hate is a kind of thought; you're talking about punishing people for their thoughts.
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 10:55 pm
Yeah, the weird thing about laws like this, is that really racist people and very anti-racist people dislike them, while people who don't really care that much think they're obviously a good thing.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 11:19 pm
@Robert Gentel,
What can POSSIBLY be more telling,
be more indicative of unlimited despotism
than alleging jurisdiction for control over the citizens' emotions ??
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 12:11 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Well, as I understand it, "intent" has always been a component of criminal prosecutions (and defence) anyway.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 12:28 am
People can have whatever emotions they want. It's the ACTION on those emotions that's the crime. To use an example above, you can hate someone, but until you act on that hate and chop off their arm it's not a crime. And as someone else said (damn, how do you scroll back under this new setup to see who actually said it--I can't figure out how to do it once I start writing) intent has always figured in the determination of a crime (think murder 1, murder 2, manslaughter, etc.). We've just added another kind of intent.
Eorl
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 12:35 am
@MontereyJack,
I just don't get why it's worse if I kill someone because I hate his colour, than because I like to giggle at his blood flowing across the floor.
0 Replies
 
Deckland
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 12:44 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

Hate is a kind of thought; you're talking about punishing people for their thoughts.

You are on the right track gungasnake. Hate is a thought. Don't punish the thought, punish the deed if it is against the law.
Punishing thoughts is will put mankind back into the dark ages.

OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 06:35 am
@Deckland,
Quote:

Punishing thoughts is will put mankind back into the dark ages.

NO.
U don t have to go back further than the Korean War in the 1950s.
We found many notebooks in the pockets of killed or captured
commies (North Korean or Red Chinese)
in which their owners were required to keep their daily
thoughts in diaries, for inspection of the political officer.
If he suspected lack of candor, there was BIG TROUBLE
for the allegedly reticent commie soldier, so this is not unheard of in modern times.

One fellow from Red China who escaped therefrom
told us that it was against the commie law to think of sex.
Instead, u were supposed to think of the Communist Party.


Obama 'd love to import that here
and take the Red Chinese for our example.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 07:06 am
My major problem with "hate crimes" is semantic, not jurisprudential. It's a meaningless phrase. Aren't all homicides and other crimes of violence "hate crimes"? You on't kill or maim someone because you love them. Of course you hate them. So virtually all crime is hate crime. I see nothing wrong, however, in prosecuting someone for a civil rights violation. If your motive for killing someone was that person's ethnicity or sexual orientation, you have not only committed murder, you have violated that person's civil rights as surely as you would by refusing that person service at your place of business. So, prosecute the "hate crime" perp on two charges -- murder and violation of the victim's civil rights.
Eorl
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 09:22 pm
@Merry Andrew,
I can think of plenty of reasons to kill someone without hating them. Happens all the time. Greed,for example. Should murder for Greed Crimes be punished less than murder for Hate Crimes?
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 09:59 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Not surprisingly, I have a dissenting opinion.

Most violent crimes are not random acts of violence. Whether it be a beating, or a murder, there is generally some perception of provocation... some explanation of motive that is predictable to the victim and therefore offers some chance for the would-be victim to avoid the sights of the criminal. When the motive is hatred of homosexuals, blacks, etc... there is no way for the victim to take precaution... because the acts are largely random.

I think on some level, just as there are degrees of culpability on the aggressors part, so too are there degrees of innocence... so to speak ( I've worded that terribly, but try and understand the intent.) He who gets picked at random, just because he likes dudes, doesn't really have a chance to avoid the confrontation.= more innocent than the guy who hits on every chick in a seedy bar.

On the other side of the crime; he who is depraved enough to attack a total stranger based on nothing more than ignorant hate betrays a level of depravity that is further up the sliding scale than he who at least feels he's been provoked.

So in essence; I think a hate crime tends to have a more innocent victim AND a more dangerous perpetrator… and I find both of those good reasons for punishment enhancements.

(Needless to say: If the gayness or blackness is incidental to the crime, than obviously I don’t think the statutes should apply.)
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 11:16 am
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:

It's difficult to argue against hate-crimes laws because
it seems like you're arguing for hate.

U r arguing against your employee' s violation
of your right to hate, or to choose ANY emotion that u like.
A hate crimes law challenges
your sovereignty and autonomy between your ears
.

I agree with all of the libertarian sentiments
expressed in the quoted excerpt.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 11:20 am
@Eorl,
Quote:

while people who don't really care that much
think they're obviously a good thing

because thay are unAmerican,
to whom liberty means nothing
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 11:31 am
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:

Aren't all homicides and other crimes of violence "hate crimes"?

Thay are NOT.


Quote:

You on't kill or maim someone because you love them.
Of course you hate them.

Ill considered.
Homicide because of DWI,
or because victim of a burglary is calling police ?
or choosing which house to burglarize
he hates the homeowner whom he does not even know, never met ?

U think a bank robber hates the teller who delivers the cash,
or hates the President of the bank ?
0 Replies
 
 

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