Letter: A crime should be a crime

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  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 6, 2019 7:52 a.m.

    @EscherEnigma "I'd find these 'a crime is a crime!' and 'everyone should be equal before the law!' principles a lot more persuasive if our entire justice system wasn't based on considering intent and motivation and circumstances and so-on when considering both guilt and punishment."

    I'm not opposed to hate crime laws in principle, if the law is written in a way that gives equal protection to all. The law, as proposed, creates classes who receive more protection than others. Can it be re-written to make it generally applicable?

    @EscherEnigma "You only raise this ruckus when they include gay people."

    I love gay people. I raise this ruckus when basic principles are violated, such as equality before the law.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 5, 2019 5:56 p.m.


    You apparently don't understand the meaning of the word "mitigating". Planning a murder vs not planning a murder is a mitigating circumstance.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    March 5, 2019 1:04 p.m.

    I'd find these "a crime is a crime!" and "everyone should be equal before the law!" principles a lot more persuasive if our entire justice system wasn't based on considering intent and motivation and circumstances and so-on when considering both guilt and punishment. We have some strictly codified (gun enhancement penalties, the umpteen variations on "you killed a person, and that's a crime", that sometimes killing a person *isnt* a crime, structuring, incitement, libel, slander, etc. and so-on), others aren't (juries are notorious for allowing sympathy to get in the way of a verdict, and judges often get holistic in sentencing). Heck, the whole reality of a "plea bargain" is that the same crime can, legally, be described in a variety of ways allowing the prosecutor to seek the appropriate level based on cooperation and such.

    Simply put, the legal system y'all pretend we have doesn't exist. And y'all never bother actually trying to move our legal system in that direction, either. For that matter, most non-discrimination and hate crime laws aren't that controversial either.

    You only raise this ruckus when they include gay people.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 5, 2019 9:07 a.m.

    "Please, let's not get so carried away and place unnecessary and damaging laws to our society. Let the punishment fit the crime. Murder is murder. Beating someone is beating someone. Period."
    And, a little discrimination in the name of religion...that can slip under the radar. Am I right?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 5, 2019 8:31 a.m.

    Mitigating factors already may be taken into account, and we already have laws against terrorism. Why create classes of individuals who receive more legal protection than others? We should all be equal before the law.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    March 5, 2019 7:54 a.m.

    To "Thomas Jefferson" why is it that the Democrats who claim they want equality and justice for all, are so intent on creating a system that eliminates equality and justice for all?

    To "Ranch" you are wrong in your understanding of 1st and 2nd degree murder charges. The difference is planning. If you planned out the murder ahead of time that is 1st degree. If you killed somebody in a drunken rage that is 2nd degree. There are no mitigating circumstances.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 4, 2019 6:46 p.m.

    "If a man kills someone intentionally, it's called murder, and the man should be punished. If a man kills someone intentionally because he hates the person for any reason, it's still called murder."

    -- No, there are differences (i.e., mitigating factors) and the one is 2nd degree murder or manslaughter (voluntary/involuntary) and 1st degree murder - with differing punishments.

    The key factor the author missed is "mitigating factors" - like targeting a group of people when targeting a specific victim.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2019 4:55 p.m.

    Why are todays conservatives always so worried that they will be prosecuted under these crime enhancement laws?

    I have no fear of these laws at all.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    March 4, 2019 4:03 p.m.

    To "unrepentant progressive" if there is very little difference between terrorism laws and hate crime laws, why do we need hate crime laws? Do more laws make you more safe? How about we enforce the laws that we have before making up new laws to solve problems that have already been solved.

    Tell us what do you call it when your biased thoughts can convict you of a crime, or increase the punishment for your crime? Isn't that the definition of "Thought Police"?

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2019 3:50 p.m.

    We should forgive people for being uninformed. We shouldnt forgive them for being intentionally misinformed.
    The answers to all his 'questions' have been put forth thousands of times. They are easy to understand. If you are truly this misinformed at this point then perhaps you shouldnt be voting at all.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 4, 2019 3:30 p.m.

    Red Shirt

    I reiterate: "He/she often says and sometimes do things that denigrate all those with that given characteristic. " How does that involve the scare concept: "Thought Police"?

    And we all know the difference between wanton violence and wanton prejudice. Are you being difficult for some particular purpose or point?

    Lastly, if the intent is to terrorize a population in this country, maybe "Terrorism" laws ought to be invoked. I am no expert in that field, but it might be arguable. Yet what exactly is the difference between invoking a "terrorist" claim and hate crime law intent? I'd bet very little.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    March 4, 2019 11:52 a.m.

    To "unrepentant progressive" so you want to have the Thought Police. Why should motivation be included?

    Explain how planning to harm somebody because they are different than you is any worse than just planning on harming somebody? If the intent is terrorize a community, then shouldn't the charges be Terrorism related?

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 4, 2019 11:33 a.m.


    So a given person has a strong dislike for another person's characteristics. He/she often says and sometimes do things that denigrate all those with that given characteristic.

    So that when that perpetrator actually commits an assault on the person with characteristics they don't like, there is no motivation? Or that they did not plan the assault? And a history of angry words and deeds does not come into play in sentencing?

    I am sorry, but I don't see your point at all. IMHO, it is an excuse to invalidate the thinking around circumstances, motive and intent. And lack of compassion for those who have been victimized by the majority in the past.

  • stochra Holladay, UT
    March 4, 2019 11:31 a.m.

    If I beat up someone, I've hurt that person and that's it. If I beat up someone because they are black, gay, or whatever, and I make that known, I'm terrorizing an entire community. It is for that latter harm that stiffer punishments are needed.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    March 4, 2019 9:23 a.m.

    To "unrepentant progressive" but that is different. With Murder it comes down to did you plan it out or were you just stupid in your actions. Motives and intents do not come into play.

    All that is looked at in murder cases is was it planned out, not planned, or was it justified.

    To "Happy Valley Heretic" if binary thinking is so bad, then why have the hate crimes? That is binary thinking. Is it possible to hate a different racial group, commit a crime against that group, and have it be acceptable. If you believe that things are not binary, then you must agree with that.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 4, 2019 7:23 a.m.

    Awe, the binary thinking of radio conservatives.

    Nearly any law can have enhanced charges, this is a fact.

    I can't help but wonder why someone would fear hate crime laws, it never even crosses my mind that it would ever used against me, but I've never done anything that might be considered a hate crimes, either.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    March 4, 2019 4:10 a.m.

    “How could our Founding Fathers have foreseen the need to add more to their list of rights?”

    Many of them owned slaves.

  • old cuss 101 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2019 9:15 p.m.

    When it starts making detailed lists of things representing shades of intensity, it makes the list the arbiter. Rather to recognize that there will be a spectrum and let the jury and judge work through it, given some guidelines to channel consistency.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 3, 2019 8:30 p.m.

    We shade murder convictions with motives and intents. Pre-meditated murder is not the same as involuntary homicide. Are you suggesting that we send all murderers to prison for life? Or is there some mitigating factor? Or do you even bother to consider circumstances in any of life's events/