Comments about ‘Sikhs, Mormons, Buddhists, others added to hate crime stats’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 4 2013 12:15 a.m. MDT

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LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

What about the Amish?

BYR
Woods Cross, UT

Are not all crimes hate crimes?

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ BYR: All crimes are not hate crimes anymore than all TV shows are murder mysteries.

Most crimes are crimes of convenience - crimes of dispassion for the most part.

The man who picks your pockets doesn't know or care about you enough to hate you. The kids who vandalize your car just see the car, they know nothing about who owns it - nor do they care.

A hate crime is special type of crime where the victim is chosen specifically because of a characteristic they possess or their membership in a specific group. It is meant to harm not only the direct target, but all individuals who share that specific characteristic or group membership.

If I use a key to scratch your car because I don't like the way you parked or I don't like BMWs, that is not a hate crime. If I use a key to scratch slurs and threats into your car because you are a Mormon, that is a hate crime.

coreypaul
BOSTON, MA

I wonder if these people are the same kinds that complain when gays get attacked and its called a hate crime? Seems there are many gay hating Christians who want gays to get the death penalty in some countries of Africa (many in the USA support this in the USA and travel the world to I inspire, motivate, and assist leaders in pushing laws making being gay illegal in their own countries even using the USA, their own country, as a negative example of what happens when gays get equal rights or just the right to not be punished for living their lives. In fact many of these people work in Washington, paid by US tax dollars and spend many hours taking about the evils of gays, while also calling on the world to protect Christians here in the US, where they claim they are terrorized and treated badly, and around the world ) who have recently whined to US government about being attacked my Muslims in their area, want the US gov to protect them while they pass laws that making stoning to death? or lynching the punishment for gays or 14 yrs in jail.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

@BYR

Punching a black man is not a hate crime

Punching a man because he is black is a hate crime...

See the difference? It's all about motive.

BYR
Woods Cross, UT

Darrel is correct. It is all about motive. That is why I believe all crimes are hate crimes, just as all crimes are truly theft. If I hate where I am at in live, my lack of what I need, I may resolve that lack through crime. I steal another persons life (murder) or I am satisfy my need (because I hate where I am at in life) by punching someone (regardless of race). It is all the same. If we define hate because it involves someone of a different race, so be it. But doing so misses the truth of the matter.

liberate
Sandy, UT

@BYR - I may not totally understand your comments but I do think it's important to distinguish motives in crime. For example, breaking the speed limit is a crime. But the motive completely changes the nature of the crime. Taking a pregnant wife to the hospital merits less of a punishment than joyriding or racing one's friend down the freeway. Breaking and entering and attacking a shop owner to steal food to feed a family is a crime. But it shouldn't be punished as harshly as breaking and entering and attacking a shop owner because the shop owner is of a particular faith. You say it is all the same but motive absolutely changes the nature of the crime.

CG
Orem, UT

liberate

Not only is motive often used to determine the severity of the punishment, motive can determine whether an act is or isn't a crime.

Self-defense, for example, hinges on motive.

mancan
HC, UT

Not that I have forgotten history, but isn't including Mormons in this list a little late- we already left Missouri and Illinois because of hate crimes. Since getting to Utah, its been over a hundred years since any major "hate crimes" have been committed against Mormons. So why bother now? The story certainly doesn't give any reason for including Mormons or even Jehovah's Witnesses.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

What crime is comitted out of love?

Thanks to the hate crime laws, we are developing a culture where the "thought police" are ensuring that no unsanctioned thought is ever used.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Redshirt1701 – “we are developing a culture where the "thought police" are ensuring that no unsanctioned thought is ever used.”

Ironic considering how many believe the Universe is structured such that our eternal happiness or misery all hinges on “thought crimes.”

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Tyler D" God knows the intent of our heart and mind, therefore he can judge us. In addition to actually knowing what we are thinking, he is perfect and his judgements are perfect. Name one judge on earth, living or dead, who can judge the way God judges.

Since man is imperfect and we cannot know the intent of another's heart or mind, we now have to rely on unsubstantiated evidence. Evidence that can be cooked up to make a person racist. For example, if I have a neighbor who is Latino and has a dirty yard, dirty house, and is a very bad neighbor, am I a racist if I don't like that neighbor? Could my dislike of my neighbor be twisted to make me look like a racist?

That is what the "thought police" do. They take situations that are one thing, twist them, and make you a criminal simply because that is their charter.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Redshirt1701

It’s a fair point to an extent and certainly political correctness can move into Orwellian territory if people let it, but I have more faith in people (jury of our peers) deciding on the evidence presented.

Take the Zimmerman case – certain segments of the media did everything in their power to turn GZ into a racist (and conversely TM into a harmless child) but the jury did not buy it. GZ may have been motivated by a number of factors, but apparently race (hate) was not one of them.

To your point about God, if I believed such a (judging) being existed I would see the validity of your point, however…

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Redshirt1701

There’s some truth to what you’re saying and certainly political correctness can move into Orwellian territory if people let it, but I have more faith in people (jury of our peers) deciding on the evidence presented.

The Zimmerman case is informative here in terms of how the media (thought police?) tried to spin things vs. what the jury thought.

To your point about God, if I believed such a (judging) being existed I would see the validity of that contrasting point, however…

Mark B
Eureka, CA

Reminder: The jury in the Zimmerman trial was sequestered, which pretty much takes away the chanve of being influenced by news media once the trial begins.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

We had a lady in our ward when I was younger who stood up to plead with the ward not to hurt her baby (referring to her 12 year old son, who got on people's nerves and inspired a bit of bullying, I'm afraid). The result: Her son became an even bigger target for being picked on by other youth.

Is putting Mormons and others on this new list going to draw unwanted attention to us, or will it actually help solve the problem? Sometimes we create the very problem we are trying to solve. Just wondering.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Tyler D" the Zimmerman case is even more revealing at how the media and politicians tried to become the thought police. The FBI investigated Zimmerman in an attempt to prove that he is a racist. Their findings showed that Zimmerman was not a racist, yet the political figures and the media kept the spin that Zimmerman was a racist.

So the question is still there are you for or against these laws that move us closer to the "thought police"?

SCfan
clearfield, UT

I can't believe that those now included groups were not already on the list in the first place. However, as I think BYR is trying to point out, there is a big problem with the idea of a hate crime in the first place. To somehow assertain that a person was thinking a certain thing while committing a crime is coming close to "thought crime". Whatever motivates a person to commit crime, particularly one that hurts or kills a person, is already hateful enough for me. I don't care what race or religion or sexual orientation the person is. Being maimed, shot, abused, assaulted, robbed, ect. should exact equal justice for all. Not more justice because you are in some particular group.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@ SCfan: "Being maimed, shot, abused, assaulted, robbed, ect. should exact equal justice for all."

So, if I shoot someone who's trying to rob me, I should be treated the same as someone who, while robbing a convenience store, shoots a convenience store employee?

The same act is treated differently depending on the thoughts - the intentions - of the actor.

In order to prove a hate crime, you look at the actions - including verbal - of the actor during the crime. If someone smashes the windows of an LDS meetinghouse and spray paints anti-Mormon verbiage on the meetinghouse, that is a hate crime. If someone smashes the windows of a church or a bunch of churches and doesn't make any anti statements, not a hate crime.

The reason hate crimes have a higher level of punishment is because they have a higher number of victims - they target and intimidate all members of a particular group instead of just one individual.

Terrorism is a hate crime. That is why terrorists are treated differently than other mass-murderers. Do you really think there is no difference between flying a plane into a building and driving your car up onto the sidewalk?

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "spring street" you example does not change anything. Crime is crime, and is never comitted out of love. The vandalism on a church does not have to include any anti-mormon verbiage for it to be a hate crime. All it takes is for the thought police to determine that you are an anti-mormon, then you will be prosecuted for hate crimes.

Is a community any more terrorized if I cause mayhem while yelling slurs or hateful things than if I am just destroying things?

What we need to hear from you is if you believe that people should be tried based on their thoughts (thought police) or if their actions are what constitutes the crime. Please tell us.

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