All crimes are horrible,To believe one crime VICTIM feels less
terror, or MORE terror, than another crime victim is silly as it is
preposterous.SAY NO to the hate crime legislation.The
crimnal code already punishes criminals according to the level of their
crimnality,we do need to make thought a crime as well.As all law, it will have unintended uses and consequences,it will be used to punish those indivdiduals or organzations that are
NOT DEEMED POLITICALLY CORRECT.Let's NOT go down that road.
"Equal treatment under the law is all that we ask."Congratulations.
You've got what you asked for. If you reread, the statute addresses harm caused
because of:" actual or perceived race, color, religion, national
origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any
person."So unless you have no race, color, national origin, gender
or sexual orientation etc. (which would be a neat trick), you are protected
from being attacked ON THAT BASIS to the same degree as anyone else. If you
belong to a group that is less likely to be targeted for hate crimes based on
those categories, it doesn't mean that you're less protected should you be
targeted. Alternatively, if you belong to a group that is more likely to be
targeted, and someone throws a rock at you because you cut them off in traffic,
you are not provided special protection.If you can find a person
who has none of the characteristics mentioned in the statute, your argument that
they are not receiving equal treatment under the law may be valid. Until then,
your argument is either poorly thought out, or based on willful
Linguist,Your examples about Mormon missionaries are falling on deaf
ears. Study our history and you'll see that although, as a Church, that we were
subject to an extermination order, that our homes and our lands were stripped
from us, that we were driven in the worst conditions possible from place to
place, that even though many, many, many died from exposure and from the wounds
that they received from the mobs, WE DID NOT consider ourselves "special". We
did not demand "special protection". All that we asked is that we be treated
with the same dignity and the same respect as every other human being on the
planet.Today, Mormon missionaries choose to serve God - regardless
of the dangers that may await. The testimony of Jesus Christ and the desire to
share that testimony is the driving force, not some law that might make it
easier.No, you have the wrong audience if you want to draw
parallels. There is nothing in Mormon culture that would make us stoop to a
level where we would demand special treatment or special consideration because
of our religion.Equal treatment under the law is all that we ask.
What difference does it make if hate crimes passes unless you are the ones
guilty of the hate? Why are mormons and republicans against hate crime
Linguist,"My apologies in advance for the violent example I use to
make my point below.Two scenarios:1. A man is driving
down the street. Two LDS missionaries are crossing. The driver doesn't see them,
and hits them.2. A man is driving down the street. Two LDS
missionaries are crossing. The driver sees them, and begins shouting anti-Mormon
obscenities, and hits them.Should the driver's intentions be taken
into consideration at his trial?"Absolutely. Since every Mormon is
the victim of that crime. There should be a more serious punishment for a person
who targets someone because of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation,
disability, national origin or any other factor. Hate crimes are meant to
intimidate and have a negative impact on the ability of a group to feel safe.
Imagine how many Mormons would want to serve as missionaries if they
knew that there were a string of beatings, lynchings and murders of missionaries
in a specific town. How many would want to stay in that town or move to that
town?That is what hate crimes laws are intended to prevent. The
punishment must fit the crime and its victims.
Here is a summary of part of H.R.1913 as quote from the Library of Congress -
Thomas:"(Sec. 6) Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit
willfully causing bodily injury to any person through the use of fire, a
firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device because of the
actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual
orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person."-----That seems pretty straight forward, but don't we already have laws on
the books that prohibit bodily injury by use of fire, firearms, weapons,
explosives and incendiary devices? Do the various police departments in America
refuse to prosecute those types of crimes? If not, why then do we need more
laws on the books that prohibit bodily injury? The wording of the
bill shows that the intent of this bill is to facilitate prosecution of those
who target a certain segment of society. It does nothing to protect anyone
outside that certain segment, those who also are common targets and receive
bodily injury, i.e. women, children, husbands, wives, and the aged. 97% of
America is left out of this bill.
Hear Hear wrote, "The main agenda is to make "sexual orientation" a protected
class so that the homosexual lobby can push its agenda to redefine the family
and continue subverting the moral fiber of our nation."I don't see
how Hate Crime legislation does anything to push any agenda.It's
about crime prevention and prosecution.I see nothing there even
remotely about "redefining families" or "subverting moral fiber" in crime
prevention --even when the crime being prevented is one that targets gay people
explicitly. Maybe you do. If so, I'd appreciate
clarification.With respect, Linguist
Religion is a protected area in the Hate Crimes legislation. Sexual Orientation
(which includes hetero as well as homo) is not.
Hear Hear! wrote, "The law already takes into account whether or not a crime was
premeditated. (See Linguist's faulty parallelism.) There is no need to add a
"hate crimes" component on top of that..."With respect, I don't see
"faulty parallelism" in my post. I was responding to a letter to the editor
that said we shouldn't take "intentions" into account. Clearly, we do. You
acknowledge that as well. That was my point.All that said, I am not
convinced of the effectiveness of Hate Crimes legislation (misnamed, in my
opinion) in helping prosecutors make their case. Maybe we don't need it as a
category-- we have lots of categories already that take intention into account
to varying degrees, as you suggest. But there's nothing particularly startling
about "Hate Crime" legislation.Its objective, as I understand it, is
to make it easier to pursue some cases. Sounds like a good goal. But it's not
about the victims. They've already been attacked. It's not about "special
rights." There's no "special right" not to be terrorized. It's for
the law enforcement community and the legal system.
Oh those poor whites!Those poor, poor whites!The world has turned
against them!What can we do?What can we do?LOL!
You said "Because right now a gay person can beat up a Mormon because he's a
Mormon, and it's a hate crime. A Mormon can beat up a gay because he's gay, and
it's not."Flip that comment around the other way and you would be totally
What is the issue here? When is a crime not a crime? When is a crime more than
a crime? What is a crime? Is shouting something a crime? I
believe we have assault laws that deal with the shouting and arm waving and
spitting in your eye type of conduct. Are those laws enforced? Check the jails
and see how many are there on charges of assault.Is striking
somehone a crime? I believe there are laws against battery. Again, the jails
are full of those arrested for battery.Put those two together and
what do you have? Assault and Battery. Those are already against the law. Where do we stop? Who is the first that is going to force a list of
words on us that are prohibited? Who will be the first to "protect" us from
ourselves for the things that we think, not for the things that we do? This is not about hate crimes. This is not about equality. This is
simply an agenda item that some would use to promote their cause using the force
of Government to squelch all dissent.
Why do Conservatives hate everybody?And why is it that when
conservatives run out of groups, races, political parties, genders, lifestyles,
religions, etc. to hate - they turn on each other and hate them too?
The F.B.I. keeps statistics on hate crimes--inluding crimes against Whites.
Things will stay exactly the same until the day when the obvious racist
ideology of "white and delightsome" dies.Until then the Mormon-lade
state legislature of Utah will continue to dishonor black people on Martin
Luther King Day by refusing to take the day off like the rest of the country
believing this is "God's Way."LOL!
The actus reus, or action taken in violation of the law, and the mens rea, or
mental state that motivates the action. That's how the degrees of a crime are
determined (for example -- 1st degree murder is premedicated while 2nd degree
murder is not). The hate crime bill merely addresses the mens rea of crimes.
There's nothing bad about it, and it should be passed.
hate crime legislation not one way? fact, a iniation (sp) into a black gang
required that person to rape a white female, really happened, and it was not
treated as a hate crime because she was white.
@michaelh | 7:21 a.m. Hate knows no color, ethnicity, nationality,
social order, sexual orientation, political philosophy, or any number of other
factors that make us different from one another.A crime that
derrives from hate is far different from a crime that comes with no association
with hateful behavior. Because of this view, your statement that
hate-based black-on-white crime is seen as less than hate-based white-on-black
crime under identical conditions (as an example) is disingenuous. There is no
place for hate in our world regardless of its origins. Hate-filled
crimes require a separate level of consideration simply because of the possible
motivation of the crime. As an earlier poster commented, there is a difference
between premeditation and unintentional behavior that results in a particular
criminal act. But insert the motivator of hate and a entirely new factor is
introduced into the mix.
Hate crime laws have existed since 1969. This is merely a provision to expand
that to include gays. Hate crimes against gays increased in 2007,
up 6% from 2006 even though the overall number of hate crimes dropped slightly,
according to the F.B.I. There were 7,624 hate crimes reported in 2007, down 1%
from 2006. Crimes based on sexual orientation – 1,265 in 2007 – have
been rising since 2005. (in comparison, the number of hate crimes committed
against Blacks were 3,725 in 2007).
The modern American conservative movement has become so politically bizarre that
they are now freaking out and demanding the right to hate anybody they want
citing their "Constitutional rights."And this violent action is supposed
to rally America to join in their twisted ideology and incentivize them to take
to the streets and revolt against America.
The law already takes into account whether or not a crime was premeditated. (See
Linguist's faulty parallelism.) There is no need to add a "hate crimes"
component on top of that. In fact, given that the crime and intent components
are already covered under existing law, what the so-called "hate-crimes" bill
would do is punish beliefs.Moreover, the main agenda of the
so-called "hate-crimes" bill is not to deter "hate crimes." The main agenda is
to make "sexual orientation" a protected class so that the homosexual lobby can
push its agenda to redefine the family and continue subverting the moral fiber
of our nation.Well did Alexander Pope write:Vice is a
monster of so frightful mein, as, to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity,
Mike I think you proved a clear answer to 9:37 question you are incapable of
understanding the difference between how a crime meant to terrorize and
individual differs from a crime intended to terrorize a group of people. I
think they give you credit for being smarter then you really are. What special
groups are getting special rights by the way? if you are a white anglo sexton
Christian and it is proven in a court of law that the reason you where attacked
is because of these characteristics, it would be a hate crime. The only question
I have is why people continue to engage you in these pointless debates your
ignorance is clearly a choice at this point.
Re: G "hate" not easily definable? If someone writes "I hate Christians" and
then goes into a church and kills Christians we can't determine whether that was
hate or not? It is amazing what contortions you take to frame this
as a liberals want to punish "feelings."
If judges do not take motivation into consideration, there is no difference
between a three-year-old accidentally shooting someone and a serial killer
shooting someone. They both performed the same act. They shot someone. The
only difference is the motivation. The real problem with the
legislation is that “hate” is not so easily definable. It is not
necessarily controllable. It is just an emotion, usually based on a mix of
anger and fear. People do not set out to hate people. Hate does not inevitably
lead to criminal action.This legislation is just another example of
how little liberals understand human nature. They think such laws will
discourage people from feeling hatred. In reality, they have merely found a way
to increase the punishment on people who have such feelings (seems like a
hate-inspired desire to me). It will do nothing else.
11:24 said: "The idea of one group of victims being privileged over
another is completely wrong, and frankly, I support the defeat of this
particular legislation because the way it highlights victimization."(That's only part of the post, but it highlights my feelings exactly.)This is not a gay/straight argument. Some may see it that way. The
bill may have been promoted in that way, but it is a simple issue of equality.
Either we are equal under the law, or some of us are less than equal. If some
are less than equal, then who are they and why are they less than equal.If two different people loose an eye to a rock throwing criminal, one
who is a child and one who belongs to a group covered under hate legislation,
then why would the child not expect that the criminal be punished exactly the
same for putting out his eye as he would be punished for destroying the eye of a
protected group?Any group that demands "super equal" status, or
above equality, needs to tells us why everyone else should be treated as "less
than equal" under the law.
Hate Crime Law dates back to 1969 and permits federal prosecution of hate crimes
committed on the basis of a person's race, color, religion, or nation origin
when engaging in a federally protected activity. The current proposal is to add
crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation,
gender identity, or disability. So what is the problem? Why is
James Dobson worried about this legislation--is he planning on assaulting or
killing a gay person?
Germany has some of Europe's strongest hate-speech laws, banning Nazi symbols
and expressions of support for Adolf Hitler's beliefs. Those measures grow from
memories of Nazi rule in the 1930s and '40s. Similar laws are found in many
parts of Europe, reflecting social compacts that grant governments broad powers
to regulate daily life. Prosecutors regularly indict people for statements and
acts that would go unchallenged in the United States.
Ake Green was NOT convicted of a hate CRIME. He was convicted--(but then won on
appeal and was acquitted) on a violation of Sweden's law against hate SPEECH.
Big difference. The U.S. DOES NOT have laws regarding hate speech--it would
violate the First Amendment to the Constitution. This is all just
fear mongering on the part of the Republicans and Conservatives.
Chuck, you said that "the hate crimes statute has never been used against them
(Christians or Christian pastors." I think you are right, that at least in the
US that probably has not happened. It happened in Sweden, to a man name Ake
Green. He was a pastor who delivered a sermon against homosexuality. He was
charged with a hate crime and convicted. He did get that overturned on appeals.
Yet it is a valid example of potential problems with hate crimes legislation.
I'm beginning to think that what happens in Europe can/will happen
in the US. There have been US judges and justices looking at international laws
in deciding US cases. Might they try using European hate laws in their
decisions? I don't think that's too much of a reach in projecting the potential
for that to happen.
Mike Richards et al, I understand why you think as you do on this, because
everything is focused on the victims. The idea of one group of victims being
privileged over another is completely wrong, and frankly, I support the defeat
of this particular legislation because the way it highlights victimization.However, hate crime bills could be appropriate if they were to focus on
the perpetrators. Crimes committed in a manner designed to terrorize a
particular group deserve an enhanced penalty. For example, if one
white neighbor doesn't like his black neighbor next door and lights the black
neighbor's lawn on fire, that's arson at the very least. But if that same white
neighbor burns a cross on the black neighbor's law, that's arson with a whole
other kind of frightening message. And that type of crime, because of the
intend of it's perpetration, is more detrimental to society as a whole, and
therefore deserves a harsher penalty.
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously found that penalty-enhancement hate crime
statutes do not conflict with free speech rights because they do not punish an
individual for exercising freedom of expression; rather, they allow courts to
consider motive when sentencing a criminal for conduct which is not protected by
the First Amendment. In 1992 and 1993, the United States Supreme
Court decided two cases addressing the constitutionality of statutes directed at
bias-motivated intimidation and violence: R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul4 and
Wisconsin v. Mitchell.5 4 505 U.S. 377 (1992).5 508 U.S. 476 (1993). These well-known cases have now substantially defined which hate crimes
statutes are, and which are not, acceptable under the First Amendment to the
United States Constitution.
DEAR JAMES CARLYLE GREEN ("Kill hate crimes bill"):Where exactly
have you been for the past 40 years? The hate crimes law has been on books since
1969! If your person or property is attacked because of your race or religion,
you are protected by the law as it currently stands. But NEVER over the past 40
years has someone been prosecuted just for for EXPRESSING prejudice against
members of a race or a religious group. Christian pastors have been invoking
Scripture against non-Christians for as long as there have been Christians, and
the hate crimes statute has never been used against them. This isn't going to
change if the law is expanded to include sexual orientation.Until
conservatives mount a concerted effort to repeal the federal hate crimes statute
that has been in effect for past 40 years, I’ll continue to see their
arguments against the legislation now being considered as pretty disingenuous.
To 9:37,What kind of convoluted thinking do you use when you want
special protection for ANY group? Were the Jews in Hitler's Germany
really sub-human so that they needed "special" laws passed just to protect them,
or were they every bit as human as every other living breathing being on this
planet and therefore had the right to expect EQUAL treatment under the law?Let's turn this question around. Why do YOU demand unequal treatment
under the law for ANY group? It is hard to imagine anyone throwing
a rock at someone he "loves", so, throwing a rock with the intent to hurt can
safely be called a "hate crime" no matter who the target is. You
want special laws for some special group and yet you want equal status for that
group in all other respects. Make up your mind. What do YOU really want -
equality or special rights and special protection?
My experience is the left-wing spreads hatred, division and intolerance every
time it opens its ugly mouth. Ever listen to Maher, Coombs or Malloy?Hatred and polarization all day long and the stupid libs eat it up. See u can change the names and the tune is the same. Partisan politics is
destroying america, mostly because of the vitriole of the left. No real
arguments, just accusations and insults.Hate crime legislation is
not necessary. All of the examples given above trying to point out the "hate"
just point to already standard aggravating circumstances in crimes. The
difference between Murder 1 and Manslaughter is the PLAN to kill, it does matter
if u planned to kill for money or love or fame or some sick perversion, it is
still first degree murder with "malice aforethought".It does not
matter why you chose to run those missionaries over, the difference is u did it
ON PURPOSE as opposed to an accident. It would not matter if they were black or
asian or mormon or purple, or if u did it cuz u did not like their color or
religion or their suits.We don't need this legislation.
@michaelh - you are wrong - whites being attacked by blacks has exactly the same
potential of being a hate crime as blacks being attacked by whites.@Mike Richards - I realize you are just trying to be inflammatory, but you
have proven yourself smarter than your statement that "a crime is only a crime
if it involves someone in their favorite group." We all know hate crimes
legislation does not say there are no crimes other than hate crimes.We already assign levels to crimes based on extenuating and aggravating
factors. Hate crimes legislation does not reinvent the wheel - it merely seeks
to add another level so justice can be more fully applied.Are you
all REALLY incapable of seeing the difference between a crime that targets a
single individual and a crime that targets multiple individuals? Do you really
see no difference between terrorizing one person and terrorizing 50 people?Skip the rhetoric and tell me what you really object to...
My experience is the right-wing spreads hatred, division and intolerance every
time it opens its ugly mouth. Ever listen to Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter?Hatred and polarization all day long and the stupid neocons eat it up.
"The pro-hate-crime-bill advocates seem to be saying that a crime is only a
crime if it involves someone in their favorite group. Murder is not murder
unless one of their group is murdered. Throwing a rock at someone is not a crime
unless that rock is aimed at one of their friends."Yeah Richard...
that's exactly what we're sayin' *rolls eyes*
The pro-hate-crime-bill advocates seem to be saying that a crime is only a crime
if it involves someone in their favorite group. Murder is not murder unless one
of their group is murdered. Throwing a rock at someone is not a crime unless
that rock is aimed at one of their friends.What is the definition of
"crime"? If a law is properly written, does the definition of the "crime" not
fit all who are involved regardless of their gender or their gender
preference?Why is throwing a rock more of a crime if it is thrown at
a man than it would be if it were thrown at a woman? Why is it more of a crime
if it were thrown at a man than if it were thrown at a child?That is
exactly what those who support hate-crime legislation want. They what the law
to deal more severely if a rock is thrown at "their" man than if that rock is
thrown at "some" or "some" child.That is utter nonsense. The crime
is the fact that a rock was thrown, not the target of that rock.
So Hitler was merely a murderer. The fact that he targeted specific ethnic
groups shouldn't affect the way his crimes are viewed.
I can see where reasonable people can argue that hate crimes laws are
unnecessary or duplicative. What I don't get is the extreme opposition to them.
re:nasty conservative philosophy | 7:04 a.m. July 10, 2009 "As a liberal I
am against the nasty conservative philosophy of a "God-given right to hate
people." The irony of that statement is too blatant not to comment
on. Left-wing hatred in the name of tolerance is legenday. While
anti-discrimination laws are legitimate, it is also legitimate to be conerned
about thought police. My experience has been that the left is far more
intolerant of divergent opinions than the right - they merely dont realize it
and are therfore more dangerous.
Let's be honest the only reason this person objects is because it would
recognize/includes gays & lesbians.The current bill they are
referring to expands coverage to include gays & lesbians and those with
disabilities. The existing hate crimes bill protects many groups including the
owner of this news paper. No one ever calls for the repeal of our current hate
crimes law. They themselves just want to be protected and as long as they don't
have to treat gays & lesbians equally.By the way, hundreds of local,
state and federal governments laws and statutes provide increased penalties for
various groups. In Utah, vandalizing a mink farm by an animal rights activist
will land you in jail for an increased period of time. Police,
school teachers, legislators and basketball coaches have greater protections
than "Joe Public", so don't use that lame argument, there are too many examples
proving it wrong.
Either scenario works for me.Joe
@Linguist | 6:14 a.m. July 10, 2009The point should be that the
anti-Mormon obscenities reveal that the murderers were targeting a sub-group of
the population. That's not just murder, it's terrorism. When a crime
becomes a crime plus terrorism, that is a hate crime in my mind.I
assume the letter writer is upset about homosexuals' mention in the legislation.
He doesn't say if he's upset about religious practitioners already covered
under federal hate crime legislation.Because right now a gay person
can beat up a Mormon because he's a Mormon, and it's a hate crime. A Mormon
can beat up a gay because he's gay, and it's not.
How about this a gang of black youths attack a white family beating the father
while shouting "this is a black world". Hate crime? No way because the victim is
white and the perpetrators are black. Switch the colors and hate crime?
ABSOLUTELY!!! Hate crime legislation is racist, sexist, anti-conservative,
anti-religion (except Islam) and heterophobic. We are the new Jews in Obama's
fourth Reich. Only in the minds of the enlightened moonbat left could this be
Linguist,The crime determines the punishment. Under the law, all
people are equal. Under the law, justice is blind. If a crime has been
committed, the punishment affixed to that crime is not altered because that
person had green hair or brown hair. That punishment is not altered because of
the color of skin, or the gender, or political party, or any other factor.
Justice is blind. It does not care about "special factors". It only cares
whether a crime has been committed, and if so, that all parties are dealt with
justly.To argue that any person or group of people should be given
'special justice' because of their color, their political party, their personal
preferences, or any other politically correct agenda item, is to deny justice to
everyone outside that group. In other words, justice is no longer blind and
justice is not equal under the law.My life, under the law, is no
more special than your life, under the law. I deserve the same protection as
you and you deserve the same protection as I, not more and not less.
As a liberal I am against the nasty conservative philosophy of a "God-given
right to hate people."
My apologies in advance for the violent example I use to make my point below.Two scenarios:1. A man is driving down the street. Two LDS
missionaries are crossing. The driver doesn't see them, and hits them.2. A man is driving down the street. Two LDS missionaries are crossing.
The driver sees them, and begins shouting anti-Mormon obscenities, and hits
them.Should the driver's intentions be taken into consideration at
"The law must deal only with action – not what motivated the person to
commit an act."Is the writer suggesting that there should be no
difference in how we treat premeditated murder and manslaughter? After all, the
difference has to do with whether the person "intended" to kill someone. And
that means determining the person's motivations.Hate crime
legislation does only deal with action, just as all crime legislation does. No one is subject to any prosecution simply for thinking.