On The Stupidity Of Hate Crimes Legislation

>> Sunday, May 10, 2009

This right here is an excellent article dealing with the ludicrous and unConstitutional notion of hate crimes laws. But as good as the article is, author James Simpson includes a link to an even better one by Jerry Kane, that shows how such laws turn out in practice. Now I can accept that those who support such laws, like our own Dan Trabue, have the best of intentions. But the case studies in the Kane piece illustrate the hell that will be paved by those intentions. What I can't accept is that anyone would ever believe that the terrible manifestations highlighted in the Kane article won't happen here, especially in light of the fact that we're already seeing examples of it to varying degrees throughout the nation.

I encourage everyone to contact your representatives on all levels of gov't to fight against these unConstitutional proposals whenever they rear their extremely ugly heads. We don't need them. It's unAmerican.


Mark May 11, 2009 at 9:04 AM  

Art. I just finished reading the actual bill in question. It says nothing about expressing one's opinion about some one's race or gender or sexual preference etc.

It does say, however, "IN GENERAL- At the request of a State, local, or tribal law enforcement agency, the Attorney General may provide technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or any other form of assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any crime that--

(A) constitutes a crime of violence;

(B) constitutes a felony under the State, local, or tribal laws; and

(C) is motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a violation of the State, local, or tribal hate crime laws.

I highlight the word, "percieved" because it establishes that no proof is required on whether a crime can be construed as a "hate Crime" other than one's perhaps misguided or even prejudicial perception that the accused may have committed a violent crime specifically because the victim is black or Hispanic or Muslim or a woman, or a homosexual, or any one of a number of so-called "oppressed minorities".

In other words, unless the accused actually says, "I killed him because he is a homo" or some similar admission, they can still prosecute the accused simply because some one "thinks the accused was motivated by hate for a certain specific oppressed minority group.

This, as I've mentioned before is prosecuting thought, which is impossible to ascertain without the use of some heretofore not-yet-invented mind reading contraption.

It is superfluous and unecessary legislation. It is making it illegal to think. It is prosecuting motive, which, as I've pointed out previously, isn't (so far)even necessary to obtain a conviction in a criminal court.

Beyond that, I contend that such legislation is unnecessary because violent crimes committed against anyone is already unlawful. I see no point in increasing the penalty based on what the accusers "think" might be the motive.

You know, it is possible that an offender offends merely because he isn't thinking at all. Which, in the case of so-called "hate crimes" is probably exactly why.

Mark May 11, 2009 at 9:06 AM  

I may post on this tomorrow, if I feel so inclined. ;)

Marshall Art May 11, 2009 at 9:20 AM  


While I think the distinction I'm about to submit doesn't change the fact that thought control is the underlying problem, I believe the word you highlighted is meant to suggest that the perpetrator "perceives" the victim to be, say, homosexual. In otherwords, the victim doesn't have to be an actual homosexual or Muslim or whatever, if the perp attacks because he believes the victim to be, say, a Muslim, that's enough. Not that the victim or law enforcement believes they know the perp's motivation. So point "c" should be understood as "perceived by the perpetrator". At least that's how it reads to me.

Otherwise, I agree with your sentiments.

Mark May 11, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

Re: "So point "c" should be understood as "perceived by the perpetrator". At least that's how it reads to me."

Either way, it punishes motivation, and that isn't possible without knowing one's mind.

Mark May 11, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

In fact that's even worse, because how could anyone possibly know what a perpetrator's perception of something is? That means, one thinks someone else thinks something, and neither of them could possibly know for sure.

Marshall Art May 11, 2009 at 12:11 PM  

"In fact that's even worse, because how could anyone possibly know what a perpetrator's perception of something is?"

By asking. What I'm trying to say is that if the judge asks the perp, "why did you kick his ass?" and the perps responds, "cuz he's a fag!" but the judge says, "well, he's not a homosexual, he's a married straight man and a Baptist minister who likes pink shirts. But since you admit you thought he was a homosexual, your sentence will be increased, because your admission of intent to kick a fag's ass makes it now a hate crime."

That's what I believe is meant by "perceived" in the bill. In other words, if I kicked your ass because I thought you were a homosexual, which you are clearly not, yet never told that to the arresting officer or judge my sentence would be lighter than if I did tell them what I thought. So not only would you get punished harder for beating up a homosexual, if you admitted his orientation was the reason, but you'd get punished harder for beating up a heterosexual you mistook for a homosexual if admitted orientation was the reason.

Like you say, in either case, they're punishing for the intention, not just the action. Which of course means that if you're not among those listed as protected groups, it's not as bad for someone to beat you up. You're just not special enough to warrant the perpetrator being punished as hard as if you were. Totally unConstitutional, unethical and immoral.

BenT - the unbeliever,  May 11, 2009 at 1:28 PM  

We already have other laws where intention to commit a crime is an illegal act. Conspiracy charges, solicitation charges, fraud charges. All prosecute the intention to commit a crime rather than the actual commitance of said crime. And in our drug laws we have additive charges prosecutors can bring to increase penalties - "possession of drug paraphernalia" being one example.

Yes it's awful if you're the majority and don't get special treatment. But by 2050 white protestants will be a minority in the united states, so you can look forward to hate crimes protecting you then.

Marshall Art May 11, 2009 at 3:18 PM  

Sorry Ben, but you miss the point entirely. It's the impact on the victims that's of concern here. Hate crimes legislation, no matter what the inention of creating such, results in one group of people being considered more special than another. As in my example my last comment illustrates, the law says that it's worse to beat up a homosexual than a heterosexual or it's worse to beat up a black man than a white man.

In your examples, the intention IS the crime, but only because it is known by virtue of involving more than one person. That is, one can conspire alone, but there needs to be evidence of the conspiracy, such as recorded plans that indicate someone is in the process of committing the crime, though they haven't quite gotten there yet. Otherwise, multiple people are required to make it a conspiracy, in that the people discussing the planning of the crime is part of committing the crime. In each case, the crime is in process. Until a move is made to carry out a crime, thinking about it alone means nothing. Tens of thousands can be jailed for thinking of committing a crime at any given moment. A tiny percentage will ever move toward doing it.

Solicitation can't take place without someone to whom an offer can be made. You must act to defraud. Just thinking of defrauding won't buy you any trouble.

You can actually get popped for just having drug paraphrenalia in some states, but I'd wager if all your equipment is brand new, it would be harder for them to convict you of anything. When they add paraphernalia, it's having been used proves a crime was committed. Otherwise, all the pipes and papers can be used for tobacco.

Hate crimes, however, have the added distinction of giving priority to one class of citizen over another. One class becomes more special by virtue of the added sentence for the crime. I could be beaten in a manner exactly equal to a black man, but his attacker will be punished more severely if it is thought that his attacker acted out of racial prejudice. Why? Does he hurt more as a result of the prejudice? Do I hurt less by the lack of it? Not at all. We are equally bloodied and bruised by the commission of the exact same crime.

Al-Ozarka May 11, 2009 at 3:27 PM  

"so you can look forward to hate crimes protecting you then." -BenT

That's all right, BenT. I'll make sure my grandkids know how to shoot...that'll protect them better than any "hate-crime" legislation enacted by a godless government..

Besides...the way things are going under your Messiah, I'd be willing to bet it will be the government committing the hate crimes against those who depend on God rather than government.

I'm sure your revisionist historians will make sure we followers of Christ are demonized enough to make crimes against us not crimes at all.

BenT - the unbeliever,  May 11, 2009 at 4:52 PM  

Our laws are already filled with preferential treatments.

We already set those that perpetrate crimes against minors aside for special harsher punishments. Some crimes we feel need a special/extra disincentive.

"For nearly a quarter century, a person selling crack cocaine received the same mandatory minimum sentence as someone selling 100 times as much powdered cocaine. Congress originally feared crack was far more addictive than powder, thus spawning far more violence. Medical and crime data debunked those notions by the early 1990s.

But fear of looking soft on crime permanently paralyzed Washington, even as the so-called war on drugs disproportionately filled jails with nonviolent street offenders while letting the kingpins slip by. And, though different racial groups consume illegal drugs roughly in proportion to their share of the population, the sentencing disparities - combined with other inequities such as the relative difficulty of arresting suburban cocaine users buffered by lawns and fences - resulted in African-Americans making up 82 percent of those convicted in 2006 for federal crack offenses."
In another thread discussing the Supreme Court nominee you said "Empathy is for sentencing or recommendations after the ruling is made." is that not the line of thought that leads to harsher punishment for minorities?

Marshall Art May 11, 2009 at 11:07 PM  

"We already set those that perpetrate crimes against minors aside for special harsher punishments. Some crimes we feel need a special/extra disincentive."

I'm glad you brought that up, Ben, because I had meant to. I totally favor harsher penalties for crimes against kids, but those harsher penalties are the same whether the kid is black, white, Christian, Muslim, or even (as if it's possible) homosexual kids. We could add cops to the list. Penalties for assaulting or killing a cop are harsher, and rightfully so considering their purpose, but again, the harsher penalties are equal for all cops regardless of the varyious criteria listed above.

Your crack cocaine example fails for the reasons you listed regarding what they thought about the effects of the drug and was later found to be true. That they haven't changed the law is an unrelated issue, but quite frankly, I don't really care if they ever do. It's an illegal drug. There are a lot of factors that enter into why more blacks are popped for the crime that have nothing to do with racism. So that angle doesn't work, either. At the same time, if there is an unbalanced application of the law, that is not a result of the law itself, but the people enforcing it, and thus irrelevant to this issue. Hate crimes establishes the disparity from the start. More blacks doing hard time than whites happened in the sentencing phase. In addition, drug trafficking isn't a crime against a victim like a mugging or robbery or murder.

You gotta face it Ben, hate crimes is a very superficial attempt at justice that really isn't just at all. It's a politically correct sham that says it's just not as bad if someone murders you if you don't belong to the groups unConstitutionally protected by this joke of a law.

Feodor May 12, 2009 at 8:11 AM  

Hate crime legislation takes it's cue from the effects of persecution and, in particular, of violence against members of minority groups simply because they are minority groups and, thus, has a violent effect on other members of that minority group and even those who are not members but members of some other minority and still feel they could be targeted by the same xenophobic motivations.

The extra sentencing is the recognition that a crime against a Jew because he is a Jew strikes fear and psychological damage in all Jews in a particularly damaging way not applicable to general crime.

Without additional redress, that part of the crime goes unpunished.

Mark May 12, 2009 at 9:19 AM  

Feodor: Captain Obvious.

It's still a direct violation of the fourteenth amendment, Dork.

It presumes to place more importance on the prosecution of crimes based on the minority status of the victim, than on other,"unprotected" groups.

Ever hear of equal protection under the law, Feo?

Anyway, it's already a crime to commit a violent crime. Any additional penalty based on anything is superfluous.

Feodor May 12, 2009 at 9:27 AM  

How does Mark throw around the epithets of stupidity when he presents opinions he casts as crystal clear but remain opposed to the considered legal and legislative actions in all fifty states and at the federal level for the last fifty years?

He's not opposing my opinion, he ignorantly writes as if the law does not exist.

When one casts off civil rights so glibly one should acknowledge that he is among only 20% of fellow thumb suckers.

That's called self-marginalization due to decreased ability to reason with that organ that sits on top of your body.

Feodor May 12, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

The child doesn't even guess at the fact that Equal Protection has to do with preserving the right to innocence and defense. It is a procedural article regarding rights.

Conviction and subsequent sentencing belong to just punishment.

You just can't confuse categories like they don't exist, f-wad. Sheer stupidity is not having an inkling of one's own limited powers.

Mark May 12, 2009 at 10:20 AM  

I cited the Constitution, Idiot. There is no higher law in this land than that.

You didn't cite anything other than your own confused opinion.

I win.

Feodor May 12, 2009 at 11:18 AM  

So if I said that the government is prohibited from using private homes as quarters for soldiers during peacetime without the consent of the owners, you'd find that relevant to hate crimes?

You win a bag of chips for its illustrative reference to the way you think.

Mark May 12, 2009 at 11:45 AM  

No but I'm sure you would, since the Constitution means nothing to you.

Feodor May 12, 2009 at 12:16 PM  

But, but, but... "I cited the Constitution, Idiot. There is no higher law in this land than that.

You didn't cite anything other than your own confused opinion.

I win."

Feodor May 12, 2009 at 12:31 PM  

As a matter of fact, gumdrop, the Constitution is not the highest law of the land.

But I gotta go, now.

Hint: they both start with "W."

Marshall Art May 12, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

Feo doesn't understand that if only1% saw the stupidity of hate crimes legislation, the intensity of the stupidity isn't lessened in the least. It just means that 99% of the population agree with a stupid law. This idiocy means that if two people were shot in the head, and one of them was a homosexual or a black man, the perpetrator's sentence would be increased if it was proven his motivation was the sexual deviancy of the former or the race of the latter. But the other man shot in the head is just as dead, just as murdered and may have been shot for a million other reasons such as the shooter perceived the victim had money. Motivation doesn't matter. All violent crime terrorizes more people than just the group to which the victim belonged.

Furthermore, and this isn't really pointed out in these discussions, is that hate crimes laws sharpen the differences between us rather than lessen them. It's divisive by giving extra punishment to the perpetrators of crimes against the listed groups, implying lesser worth in the people not among the listed groups. It's not unlike early in our nation's history when it was felt by some that killing a black man or an indian wasn't as bad as killing a white man. In fact it's exactly the same. And it's not surprising that liberals in general support such a thing.

Feodor May 12, 2009 at 3:59 PM  

"99% of the population agree with a stupid law."

Your legal society is so pristine, there's no people in it. So is your patriotism. So is your heaven.

Consistency is the hobgoblin of simple minds.

Your kind of consistency is the hobgoblin of shriveled hearts.

Marshall Art May 12, 2009 at 5:33 PM  

Blind justice is the foundation of our legal system. All are equal under it. It is the simple mind that can't grasp the necessity of such a thing in maintaining the best society available. I would even expect that a mugger get the same penalty for mugging you as anyone else, Feodor, and you're an idiot. That's because I believe the fundamental principles upon which the founders based our system of gov't is solid and no one, certainly not you, has been able to improve upon those principles. I don't find much heart in one who supposes that beating up one person is worse than beating up another no matter what motivated the beating. Each victims bleeds, each victim bruises, each victim suffers as much as the other in the eyes of a just legal system. That's as it should be, even if small minds and shriveled hearts like yours lack the competence to see and understand it. You fraudulently suppose you're support for this law is noble, yet to diminish the suffering of anyone at the hands of a criminal shows a fundamental lack of concern for "people", and more for the label under which a person my find himself.

Once again I point to your incredible lack of logic, common sense, and deep thought that one would rightly expect from someone who claims to be as educated as yourself. All that education and you're still stupid. What a waste of time and money.

Feodor May 12, 2009 at 6:31 PM  

"Blind justice" is an ideal locution and has been ideal poetic metaphor for justice since the time of Hammurabi, so it is not peculiarly the foundation of the American legal system.

The American legal system, in fact, has recognized that so called "blind" justice without regard to situation or circumstance can warp the very notion of justice.

That's why all white juries for accused minorities came to be seen (in a turnabout on blind justice) as skewed justice.

Too many people with skewed "empathies" were staking the deck.

Grow up Marshall and lose the "as American as apple pie" building blocks of thought.

Mark May 12, 2009 at 10:12 PM  

Feodor, you do realize, don't you, that under this legislation, should you ever be physically attacked, the fact that you are a white straight man makes you more of a target than (for instance) a black man? Criminals will take advantage of the fact that they can get away with attacking a white straight man before they could get away with attacking a minority.

Do you realize this could ultimately adversely affect you, don't you?

Or are you gay? Actually, since the majority of your arguments are predicated on the wussy touchy feely left's wimpy little ideology, perhaps you are.

Feodor May 12, 2009 at 10:56 PM  

Mark, you really shouldn't have left school after the fourth grade.

Mark May 13, 2009 at 2:41 AM  

You would have preferred I left school before the 4th grade, as you did?

Tell me, Feodork. How is it, with all your supposed education, you still don't know the difference between education and intelligence?

Marshall Art May 13, 2009 at 2:56 AM  

The possibility of some other culture employing the notion of blind justice first is irrelevant, as is most of your arguments. Every system previous to ours could have been based on it and it would still not matter. It is the basis of ours. That justice is applied according to how existing law is written, that everyone is judge by the same standards.

In addition, with that in mind, situation always figures into the determination of what is just, indeed it is necessary for that purpose. Without context, we cannot be sure if justice is being delivered. You example of the all white jury is one of our lacking of perfection which has since been corrected. But the idea of justice being blind is still the ideal to which we aspire.

YOU are the one in need of maturing. You're all too willing to throw in the towel and abide the notions of the politically correct that drag us away from the "apple pie" type of America that is worth doing the heavy lifting in order to attain. YOU are the child unwilling to do that heavy lifting and our society and culture suffers as a result. It is the moral laziness of those with your same prepubescent mentality that so harms this nation. Lose the "America as apple pie" mentality? Not a chance. It's even seditious to suggest such a thing.

Al-Ozarka May 13, 2009 at 8:17 AM  

"Grow up Marshall and lose the "as American as apple pie" building blocks of thought." - FeoDORK

Feodork in a nutshell, right there!

Think like a European, guys. Or a jihadist. Or a Soviet. Think like China, for crying out loud!

How DARE YOU think like an American!

Feodor May 13, 2009 at 9:47 AM  

Or an American past the teenage years.

Feodor May 13, 2009 at 1:46 PM  

For Mark, who can perhaps dig this out from all those innumerable volumes stacked to the ceilings in his house and about which we should kid ourselves:

"The opposition into which Abelard is thrown, which gives its colour to his career, which breaks his soul to pieces, is a no less subtle opposition than that between the merely professional, official, hireling ministers of that system, with their ignorant worship of system for its own sake, and the true child of light, the humanist, with reason and heart and senses quick, while theirs were almost dead. He reaches out towards, he attains, modes of ideal living, beyond the prescribed limits of that system, though in essential germ, it may be, contained within it. As always happens, the adherents of the poorer and narrower culture had no sympathy with, because no understanding of, a culture richer and more ample than their own. After the discovery of wheat they would still live upon acorns... and would hear of no service to the higher needs of humanity with instruments not of their forging."

Feodor May 13, 2009 at 1:52 PM  

Sorry, MA, I did not see you there last night.

Listen, MA, the grunts you give us are not from doing any heavy lifting. They are the results of your straining over the toilet omens resulting from the experiment you tried in the kitchen with Ritz crackers.

And from your throne, you don't have a window to see the real workmen building affordable housing with the materials of the Renaissance, enlightenment, quantum physics, and scientific enquiry.

Feodor May 14, 2009 at 10:05 AM  

Oh, come on. These last two are pretty creative, with the next-to-last making an excellent point by proxy from deep inside intelligent culture, and now you guys are going to slink away?


Or is Mark trying to figure out the puzzle?

MA, you off the toilet, yet?

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