'Hate Crime' Laws: An Assault on Freedom

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by ScreamingEagle, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

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    "Hate crime" laws pose a danger to civil liberties in three ways:

    --They pave the way for suppression of the freedoms of speech, association and religion.
    --They violate the concept of equal protection under the law.
    --They introduce the un-American concept of "thought crime," in which someone's actions are "more" illegal based on their thoughts or beliefs.

    A grandmother walking down the street should have at least as much protection under the law as someone who is leaving a "gay" bar. But under "hate crimes" laws that include "sexual orientation," the same assault would be punished with greater penalties if the victim were perceived as homosexual.

    Per capita, the most vulnerable class of crime victims is young, black men who are assaulted and murdered by other young, black men. But "hate crimes" laws divide people into racial and other categories. The drive for "hate crime" laws diverts attention from the unfolding tragedy in our nation's cities.

    There is no evidence that victims of "hate crimes" are receiving any less protection than victims of other crimes. To suggest otherwise insults the men and women of the nation's law enforcement community.

    We deplore any act of violence against innocent victims (including homosexuals), but we strongly oppose as unjust and dangerous the entire concept of "hate crimes" legislation.

    Such laws:

    --violate the concept of equal protection under the law by designating special classes of victims, who get a higher level of government protection than others victimized by similar crimes.
    --politicize criminal law, leading to pressure on police and prosecutors to devote more of their limited resources to some cases, at the expense of other crime victims' cases.
    --vastly expand the power and jurisdiction of the federal government to intervene in local law enforcement matters, once a crime is called a "hate crime.
    --have a chilling effect on free speech by making unpopular ideas a basis for harsher treatment in criminal proceedings. More than half of the so-called "hate crimes" in the last U.S. Justice Department report were categorized as "intimidation" or "simple assault," which do not necessarily involve anything more than words. In terms of the proposed national hate crimes bill, this makes name-calling literally a federal case.
    --confuse law enforcers, because the definition of what constitutes a "hate crime" is clear in some instances but unclear in others. This burdens prosecutors and opens up endless opportunities for defense attorneys to invoke technicalities.
    --are not necessary. There is no evidence to substantiate the claim that "hate crime" victims are receiving less justice than other crime victims.

    Homosexual activists often exaggerate the incidence of "hate crimes," which make up less than 1 percent of all crimes. Over the past several years, even with more law enforcement agencies reporting, the number of "hate crimes" based on "sexual orientation" has dropped.

    In 2003, Americans were victimized by approximately 11 million "non-hate" crimes such as muggings, beatings, murders and property crime, such as burglaries, car theft and vandalism. Nearly 1.4 million of the crimes were classified as "violent crimes."

    By contrast, there were 7,489 "hate crime" incidents, of which 1,239 were attributed to "sexual orientation" bias. That's a drop of five from the 2002 total of 1,244, and down 154 from 1,393 in 2001.

    Meanwhile, homosexual activist groups and law enforcement agencies tracking "gay-on-gay" domestic violence reported 6,523 cases in 2003, up 13 percent from 5,718 in 2002. People involved in homosexual behavior are astronomically more likely to be assaulted by another homosexual than to become the victim of a "hate crime."

    More than 90,000 Non-"Hate Crime" Rapes

    What's more, the "hate crime" concept is profoundly subjective. According to FBI statistics, five forcible rapes in 2003 were classified as "hate crimes." Overall, 93,433 forcible rapes were reported in 2003, which means the other 93,428 rapes were not "hate crimes."

    Also in 2003, some 16,503 criminal homicides were reported, of which 14 were classified as "hate crimes." Six were said to be based on "sexual orientation," and five were said to be based on racial bias.

    From Crime to Speech

    Liberal activists increasingly invoke such phrases as "hostile speech" and a "climate of violence" to describe pro-family opinion on homosexual issues. The net effect is to reclassify legitimate opinion and free speech as "hate speech" that can be censored.

    Here's Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in a press release blaming conservative Christians for what Foreman claims is a "spike" in "hate crimes" against homosexuals in late 2003 and early 2004:

    The leaders of America's anti-gay industry are directly responsible for the continuing surge in hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. ... The right went into demonic, anti-gay hyperdrive following the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision in July of 2003. Since then, church pews have been awash in ugly, anti-gay rhetoric and fear-mongering. ... The literal blood of thousands of gay people physically wounded by hatred during 2004 is on the hands of Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Tony Perkins and so many others who spew hate for partisan gain and personal enrichment.[Emphasis added.]

    According to a study of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, which Mr. Foreman cites to document his charges, 744 incidents of physical violence against homosexuals were recorded in 2004. While any attack is deplorable, the facts don't match Mr. Foreman's rhetoric. The three categories that comprise physical attack - murder, assault and attempted assault, and rape/sexual assault, actually dropped in 2004 by 7 percent. Physical assault and simple assault combined dropped by 8 percent in 2004.

    Meanwhile, "hate crime" laws are being used to silence people who publicly oppose homosexuality.

    For example:

    --In Philadelphia, 11 Christians were arrested and jailed overnight in 2004 for singing and preaching in a public park at a homosexual street festival. Five of them were bound over and charged with five felonies and three misdemeanors, totaling a possible 47 years in jail. These charges, based on Pennsylvania's "hate crimes" law, hung over them for months until a judge finally dismissed them.
    --In Canada, a newspaper publisher and a man who placed a newspaper ad faced jail and were fined $4,500 each, merely for running an ad containing references to several Bible verses regarding homosexuality.
    --A pastor in New York saw his billboard with a Bible verse on it taken down under pressure from city officials, who cited "hate crime" rhetoric.
    --The San Francisco Board of Supervisors officially approved a resolution urging local media to decline to run advertisements by pro-family groups that offered hope for change to homosexuals. A liberal court then winked at this egregious violation of the First Amendment.

    As the definition of "hate crimes" expands, practitioners of traditional religion and those who support policies favoring the traditional family increasingly will face legal sanctions.

    In Holland, it is now "illegal for any employer and for any provider of goods or services, to distinguish between married and unmarried couples."

    Will recognition of marriage someday be a "hate crime" in America? Yes, if "hate crime" laws continue to be enacted by well-meaning but misinformed legislators.

    The proper response to "hate crimes" is to enforce the law impartially and firmly. Every citizen deserves equal protection under the law.

    By Robert H. Knight
    http://www.cwfa.org/printerfriendly.asp?id=2575&department=cfi&categoryid=papers
     
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  2. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    No they don't.

    --They pave the way for suppression of the freedoms of speech, association and religion.


    That's your claim. But you need to show some evidence for it. If you were so concerned about the suppression of freedoms you might want to check your country's Patriot Act rather than point the finger at very mild legislation.

    --They violate the concept of equal protection under the law.

    No they don't. Hate crime legislation doesn't reduce anyone's right to equal protection.

    --They introduce the un-American concept of "thought crime," in which someone's actions are "more" illegal based on their thoughts or beliefs

    Rubbish. Any crime still requires mens rea and actus reus to be a crime. People are still free to hate people based on their feelings towards their sexuality or ethnicity or sex, they just can't beat them up, that's all.

    Next?
     
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  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Hate crimes tend to focus more on the characteristics of the victim and perpetrator. It's the crime that should be prosecuted, not the state trying to mind read. There is enough flexibility in sentencing to cover obvious circumstances of such crimes for example as: lynchings, burning of churches, mosques, synagogs, and crimes such as Matthew Shepard. The only 'hate crimes' that seem to be prosecuted are those where the perp is a member of the 'majority class', as if those of minority status are incapable of hate, that's just wrong.
     
  4. Larkinn
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    Larkinn Senior Member

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    So all of you who are against 'thought crimes' think someone should be punished the same if they get into a car crash that is their fault and kill someone, as someone who walks up to a random person and shoots them in the face and kills them?

    After all, the only difference between the two is in the mind of the killer.
     
  5. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    Good Morning Larkinn,

    A person that killed a person in a car accident is charged with Involuntary or voluntary manslaughter in the 1st or 2nd degree.

    A person that shoots someone in the face is charged with Murder....premeditated 1st degree, 2nd degree.

    Our Laws on the books already distinguish the gravity of each crime and gives a Sentencing range, that is up to the judge hearing the case who has heard all the facts from both sides during the trial, to apply during sentencing.

    There is no need to add an additional crime, on top of the crimes they have already committed, in order to give these criminals more time than the next criminal that committed the exact same act, the Judge has this responsibility.

    As I have mention once before in one of these threads...

    If someone brutally murdered my sister...
    And someone murdered the Gay guy next door, or the Muslim guy next door or the Priest next door....

    WHY shouldn't my sister's murderer get the same harsh punishment/sentence as the person killing the guy next door?

    Did the murderer who brutally killed my sister HATE her LESS than the Murderer who killed the guy next door?

    Hate bCrime Legislation is inheriently unfair, to the victims of violent crimes that are not covered by this extra hate crime penalty....they have less protection than the guy or gal covered....yes, less protection because the penalty for hurting them is much less than the penalty for hurting a Priest.

    It flies in the face of equal protection and rights under the Law.
     
  6. Larkinn
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    Larkinn Senior Member

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    My only point was that those bitching about it being a "thought crime" don't know much about the law, as we already punish people for their thoughts.
     
  7. CockySOB
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    CockySOB VIP Member

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    We are in total agreement. "Hate" manifests itself either through premeditated actions, or through temporary insanity. There is no need to create a new definition of crime to pander to special interests when the existing criminal codes provide sufficient means to prosecute accused offenders.
     
  8. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    If the guy in the car is DUI, the charges would be upgraded. If the guy that shoots their victim in the face, had been threatened or physically harmed by the one shot, the court has it within its power to mitigate punishment or if justified, dismiss the charges all together.
     
  9. CockySOB
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    CockySOB VIP Member

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    Gee, and here I would imagine that the specific actions you detail would be the primary difference. A car crash is not the same action as shooting a person in the face. As to the mitigating circumstances, were the actions accidental, premeditated or impulsed? Such circumstances are already encompassed in our criminal codes, so adding a special class of crimes called "hate crimes" is superfluous, and only serves the political pandering of our wonderful politicians.
     
  10. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    I agree that most complaining about Hate Crime Legislation and most supporting it too, do not know exactly what this Federal Hate Crime Legislation really is....

    Hell, I did not know what it really was and what it really meant and I am still a little confused on parts of it and I have read the Bill! :(

    Many people act as though anyone that just intimidates through words one of these protected groups, they could be charged with a "hate Crime" but from all that I have read so far on it, ONLY if a person has committed a VIOLENT CRIME that is already on the books as a crime, can the person be given an additional charge, with additional penalties, (hate crime penalties) if the person the harm was done to, was part of one of these covered groups.

    To:

    Anyone on this board, am I wrong on this...?

    Care
     

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