Kill hate-crimes bill

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  • the truth
    July 11, 2009 4:49 p.m.

    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.



  • re: 7:38 am
    July 11, 2009 11:50 a.m.

    "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 misinterpretation.

  • Mike Richards
    July 11, 2009 7:38 a.m.

    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.

  • Huh?
    July 11, 2009 2:05 a.m.

    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 legislation?

  • Yes it is a hate crime
    July 11, 2009 12:53 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards
    July 10, 2009 6:44 p.m.

    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.

  • Linguist
    July 10, 2009 3:50 p.m.

    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

  • @2:38
    July 10, 2009 3:49 p.m.

    Religion is a protected area in the Hate Crimes legislation. Sexual Orientation (which includes hetero as well as homo) is not.

  • Linguist
    July 10, 2009 3:43 p.m.

    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.

  • re: Cindy
    July 10, 2009 2:49 p.m.

    Oh those poor whites!
    Those poor, poor whites!
    The world has turned against them!
    What can we do?
    What can we do?

    LOL!

  • Re: Kevin
    July 10, 2009 2:38 p.m.

    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 correct.

  • Mike Richards
    July 10, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    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 the hatred neocons?
    July 10, 2009 2:20 p.m.

    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?

  • @Cindy
    July 10, 2009 2:18 p.m.

    The F.B.I. keeps statistics on hate crimes--inluding crimes against Whites.

  • no change in Utah
    July 10, 2009 2:13 p.m.


    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!

  • Crimes have two components
    July 10, 2009 1:59 p.m.

    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.

  • Cindy
    July 10, 2009 1:59 p.m.

    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.

  • Gus Talwynd
    July 10, 2009 1:43 p.m.

    @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.

  • re: Hear Hear
    July 10, 2009 1:13 p.m.

    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).

  • Anonymous
    July 10, 2009 1:05 p.m.

    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.

  • Hear Hear!
    July 10, 2009 12:58 p.m.

    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, then embrace."

  • @Mike Richards
    July 10, 2009 12:54 p.m.

    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.

  • Gimme a break
    July 10, 2009 12:54 p.m.

    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."

  • G
    July 10, 2009 12:11 p.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards
    July 10, 2009 12:10 p.m.

    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.

  • Question
    July 10, 2009 12:08 p.m.

    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?

  • The Facts
    July 10, 2009 11:55 a.m.

    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.

  • re: Idahoan
    July 10, 2009 11:51 a.m.

    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.

  • Idahoan
    July 10, 2009 11:33 a.m.

    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.

  • Hatuletoh
    July 10, 2009 11:24 a.m.

    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 Facts
    July 10, 2009 11:08 a.m.

    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.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz
    July 10, 2009 10:21 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards
    July 10, 2009 10:19 a.m.

    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?

  • liberals posting of hate
    July 10, 2009 10:17 a.m.

    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.

  • Seriously, folks...
    July 10, 2009 9:37 a.m.

    @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...

  • neocon wow's posting of hate
    July 10, 2009 9:32 a.m.

    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.

  • sutton
    July 10, 2009 9:01 a.m.

    "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*

  • Mike Richards
    July 10, 2009 8:50 a.m.

    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.

  • Think
    July 10, 2009 8:14 a.m.

    So Hitler was merely a murderer. The fact that he targeted specific ethnic groups shouldn't affect the way his crimes are viewed.

  • uncannygunman
    July 10, 2009 8:04 a.m.

    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.

  • wow
    July 10, 2009 7:46 a.m.

    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.

  • Albemar
    July 10, 2009 7:37 a.m.

    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.

  • Dear Linguist
    July 10, 2009 7:34 a.m.

    Either scenario works for me.
    Joe

  • Kevin
    July 10, 2009 7:24 a.m.

    @Linguist | 6:14 a.m. July 10, 2009

    The 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.

  • michaelh
    July 10, 2009 7:21 a.m.

    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 justice.

  • Mike Richards
    July 10, 2009 7:18 a.m.

    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.

  • nasty conservative philosophy
    July 10, 2009 7:04 a.m.

    As a liberal I am against the nasty conservative philosophy of a "God-given right to hate people."

  • Linguist
    July 10, 2009 6:14 a.m.

    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?

  • Linguist
    July 10, 2009 5:32 a.m.

    "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.