Hate Crimes

A “hate crime” classification is a bit silly to me.

Let’s assume I am about to kill a man I hate for whatever reason. Let’s assume I am straight, and the person I am about kill is gay.

If I kill this person and I get caught, the court will prosecute me based on the fact that he is dead, surrounding evidence, and the circumstances of the murder whether it was premeditated, second degree or manslaughter.

Either way the guy is dead and I am guilty of ending his life.

Let’s say seconds before I murdered this gay person I screamed, “You bad gay person, you!”, then I would be potentially guilty of murder and a hate crime. He is dead, I am a killer, and to top it off, I said something derogatory to this gay person making him feel bad just seconds before he died.

Now I have really done it. He is an insulted dead gay person and I am a hater and a murderer which is much worse than just a plain old every day murderer.

Either way he is still dead.

I don’t get it.


Unknown said...

Did you slip some of that Cruzan Rum into your morning coffee today?

Liv said...

What Jay said. I think that the legislation passed is positive because there are still people who will murder or maim because a person is gay or because of their race. If you kill your gay best friend because she shot your goat, I think it's a bit different than oh, say, stringing up a young man on a fence to die.

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

Let’s say murder in the 1st degree on each example here.

One person I kill because he is guarding a cash register and he is in the way. I had planned to off him anyway before I took the cash.

The second murder I commit because I don’t care for gays, this gay guy in particular.

Both are head shots. All killing being equal, why is the second murder a larger crime than the first?

I had to hate and have disrespect the first guy too to kill him. I think life is of no consequence to the murderer in either case and the punishment should be equal.

Unknown said...

I kinda have to agree with Reggie here.

Though we could all just bypass these problems with our law by not killing people :)

Michael said...

Actually, both cases would be more than just murder, with the possibility of, or maybe mandatory, further sentencing. The cash register incident would include armed robbery and commission of a felony with a firearm and possibly other related violations or exacerbating circumstances.

Personally, I agree with most hate crime legislation. Motive is considered in many, if not all convictions, and plays a role in sentencing. Many of our laws are based in part on morals, and morally, targeting an individual based on prejudice is more heinous than random crime.

The individual victim is just as dead, but in a hate crime other members of the targeted group are victimized as well.

TerryC said...

How about vandalizing someone's home or business because of the differences that cause another to hate them? As opposed to random acts, that is. Kids do stupid things just to see if they can get away with them. It really is different when someone has a history of intolerence for those who differ from their idea of what is "normal" or "right".

I wish you would have put this item out there on a slow week when I had more time to pontificate. What brought this up anyway?

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

What brought it up?

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. hate-crime incidents rose nearly 8 percent last year, the FBI reported on Monday.

In 2006, the Federal Bureau of Investigation received reports of 7,722 criminal incidents as a result of bias against a race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin, or physical or mental disability.

Since the FBI began collecting hate-crime data in 1991, the most frequent motivation has been racial bias, which last year accounted for 51.8 percent of incidents.

Religious bias was blamed for 18.9 percent of the incidents in 2006, sexual orientation bias for 15.5 percent, and ethnic or national origin for 12.7 percent.

In Louisiana, where jail sentences given to six black youths for beating up a white student after a noose was hung outside their school in the town of Jena sparked recent protests, 22 hate crimes were reported.

Those incidents, however, were not reflected in the report because neither Jena nor LaSalle Parish were among the agencies reporting.

Only 12,600 of the nation's more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies participated in the FBI's hate-crime reporting program in 2006.

TerryC said...

We're trying to instill an attitude of tolerance for those with other leanings. Kids need to learn tolerance, and those who commit crimes based on their hatred are the antithesis of the tolerant. Like Michael said, if others of the targeted group are in fear, their inalienable rights are threatened.

That's what 'merica's suppose to be all about, right, honkey boy? Shee it, Michael jes red me his 'sponse to yo'email, so I's tahkin' fuhnny.

Michael said...

You know, this discussion is intellectually and philosophically stimulating, but its all hypothetical. I have a more pertinent question.

If you kill an incompetent postal clerk because you're intolerant of ineptitude, is it a Hate Crime?

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

Yes. Going Postal on a Postal worker is a hate crime.

Let me know if your package arrives today. This event will be the centerpiece of our thanksgiving.