Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Angel Heart, Aug 9, 2007.
Just declare that any crime against another human being has elements of hate and treat them all the same, disregard their color, sexuality, gender. Any crime committed by one person upon another person has to have some inherent level of hate.
Then why should it be just in cases of homosexuals and nonwhites? Shouldn't it be in all murder cases? Heck why even bother adding to it, when murder in and of itself should be enough.
That's exactly my point. Murder, rape, assault, any violent crime committed by one person upon another, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, there has to be an element of hate to make a person or people act violently towards others.
Then why are we bothering with all this 'hate crime' laws. Sounds like a big waste of time. Make the laws on murder, rape, etc extremely harsh. Regardless of color of skin, sexual orientation, faith or any other factor.
I have no answer to that question. This is an issue that I have often found myself pondering. I long ago determined that the "hate crime" designation should be abandoned and be applied to the definition of all violent crimes against all people.
Can I hop in?
I have thought about this legal phenomenon a lot. I support the concept of hate crimes but it hasn't always been that way. Strangely enough it was discussing the issue with opponents of the concept of "hate crimes" that helped me understand why hate crimes are needed and the reason was right in front of me but because I was looking at it the wrong way I couldn't see it.
It's about prevention.
Criminal law is primarily about stopping certain behaviours. That's a very basic idea which we sometimes forget. I was looking at it from the punishment point of view. I thought, why should someone who, for example, assaults a gay man get a heavier sentence than someone who beats up a man unaware and uncaring about his sexual persuasion?
It's simple. If there are two men, A and B, in a public place (just for this example) then they both have an equal chance of being assaulted by a group of men we'll call C, D and E.
But let's say that C, D and E are gay-bashers. They see A and B in the street. They know B is gay because he's wearing a tee shirt with gay symbology on it. B is therefore more likely to be assaulted then A simply because B is gay.
That's what the law's about, it's about preventing the likelihood of assault by providing heavier sentences and - theoretically - a greater deterrence.
It's why in my jurisdiction the sentence for assaulting a family member is heavier than the sentence for common assault. The physical proximity and the relationship means that the assault of a close family member should be strongly deterred.
I hope that makes sense.
But does stronger penalties for "hate crimes" actually deter anything? I thought that the death penalty didn't deter crime...is this going to be any different?
Looking at it from a personal standpoint...if I am raped while walking to my car - I don't care if the person doing it is white and calls me a "bitch," or is black and calls me a "white bitch." And I certainly don't want the white guy to get an easier sentence because he had the presence of mind to choose a white victim instead of a black one. The crime is heinous...whoever commits it...
I guess the question I have is, Do we really NEED "hate crime legislation?" Does it truly deter anything? And is it correct to tell a woman (or man)..."gee, we could have put him away for another 5 years...too bad you're not the right color."
It makes perfect sense, and I understand and have understood the concept. I'm advocating upping all sentences for violent crimes to the level of the sentences for hate crimes and doing away with the hate crime designation. I just can't help but feel that, at some level, all violent crimes contain a certain amount of hate.
I think this makes much more sense.
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