doglover: Zeno-25: it's punishment for a predisposed prejudice the offender already had against the victim which contributed to the offender's motivation to commit the crimeExactly, a thought crime.If it's illegal to hate blacks, go break up the KKK and toss Rush Limbaugh in jail.If it's illegal to hate whites, go break up the Black Panthers and toss Spike Lee in jail.It it's illegal to hate latins, go break up the AZ militia and toss Adam Carolla in jail.If it's illegal to hate (group here), go break up (their enemies's group) and toss (outspoken bigot) in jail.But you can't because it's constitutionally protected to have the right to an opinion and express that opinion. Even, and this is important, if that opinion is horrifically amoral. It's not a crime to be a hater.But with hate crime legislation, it is. If you are a hater and you commit a crime, hate crime laws basically say "Your opinions are illegal, too." Assault is assault. I don't care about the reasons, the law's job should be to stop it from happening again, not to make some assaults less assaulty because the assaulter wasn't racist enough. Being murdered by and equal opportunity killer doesn't make you any less dead than if they hated your social group. A crushed orbital socket doesn't magically heal faster if the guy who crushed it is the same color as you.Hate crime is thought crime.
HeartBurnKid: I'm confused. First you complain that it's not a separate crime, then you complain that it is. Make up your mind.
HeartBurnKid: No. There is no requirement in hate crime legislation that you have to prove they are "sending a message".Ummm... yes, you do. You have to prove that the victim was targeted specifically because of their membership in a certain class; otherwise, it's not a hate crime. It's just a crime.
HeartBurnKid: Maybe the problem is that there are more racist white shiatbags committing crimes to prove a point than racist black shiatbags committing crimes to prove a point? Just a thought
Dissociater: You don't have to prove they're 'sending a message' but you do have to prove that the crime was racially motivated in order for the hate crime legislation to come into effect in the specific instance. There is no crime called 'hate crime'. A hate crime is a crime that, irrespective of whether it is racially or religiously motivated, is still a crime. You're not found innocent of all charges if the crime in question wasn't racially or religiously motivated. The 'hate' aspect of the crime only affects the seriousness of the crime, which in turn affects sentencing.This is the same with every other aggravating factor in crime. I don't know why it's an issue at all. Crimes are more serious when aggravating factors are present. Some of these factors are apparent, such as violent crimes against the vulnerable. If the victim is a child, you don't need to prove he's vulnerable. He's a child
Zeno-25: doglover: It's the mens rea or some shiat like that in lawyerese. But I do agree hate crimes are just thought crime. If you decide to beat someone up because they're alone and look weak, that's a crime and you will go to jail. But if you decide to do the same thing to someone and they belong to a different social group, you're going to jail for even longer.The point of hate crimes isn't to punish you more for attacking someone different than you, it's punishment for a predisposed prejudice the offender already had against the victim which contributed to the offender's motivation to commit the crime. Basically, the record/testimony shows that the offender is a racist/homophobe/sexist/whatever and this contributed to the crime happening in the first place, so they deserve to be put away for longer as an example.
doglover: Hate crime is thought crime.
machoprogrammer: Hate crimes in general are stupid. If you intentionally commit a crime against someone, why should the motivation of it make for different punishment?
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