Take a look at this article: Senate Passes Hate Crimes Bill.
This is so flipping awesome!! *dances*
Hard to celebrate how anti-gay violence is classified legally. Reducing the number of hate crimes would be more interesting...
Haven't read up on hate crimes in a while. There used to be examples of hate crimes statutes backfiring in actual practice, like if a jury didn't think the sexuality was a factor, they might acquit somebody if the prosecution played that angle too hard.
And, as we know, sentencing guidelines don't affect the number of crimes committed. If the death penalty doesn't make people rethink their actions in advance, hate crimes legislation is unlikely to have any effect in that regard.
"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there." -- Josh Billings.
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All of those are good points. As stupid as it sounds, I never actually thought how this was going to affect actual hate crimes and how often they occur when I posted this. I was just happy that somebody FINALLY made a law intended to prevent this crap from happening.
"Women in rubber will ALWAYS be flirting with me!" --Maureen in the musical RENT
It is only about sentencing/punishment after it already happens, no prevention.
We already had laws against this stuff. They are called: murder, assault, battery, etc.
You're right. Sorry, that was a bad choice of words on my part.
Take things in stride. We won't get all of our rights at the same time.
- One Nation, Under Darkness, with liberty and justice for white, heterosexual, rich, Christian men
Bush will probably veto it. I think he has said before that he would.
I travel 'round the block
And I'm not looking to my right
I feel the glass against my cheek
And I can't see you in the light
I break my heart around this
yeah, bush threatened to veto it because its "unnecessary" so we will have to see if he does and if it will get overridden
**Far from a saint, not quite a sinner**
Sure they will still be punished for assault or what ever. But hate crimes help so that people don't attack some specifically because of there: Race, religion, sexual orientation or whatever. If a person has to stop and think "Wait, maybe I shouldn't beat the shit out of this guy coming out of this gay bar because hes a fucking faggot, because then I could be charged for a hate crime...." (Excuse my language) before they randomly beat on some gay guy. I dunno...I just think that if hate crimes were ever able to save just ONE persons life (which I'm absolutely positive they have) then there worth it. If a hate crime helped save someones life just because they were born differently then I think its completely worth it.
Like take for example a old friend(ish) of my parents. One time while he was over at our place homosexuality was brought up. Now you have to know this guy was drunk off his ass so he was very "open" about how he would go outside gay bars, flirt with guys. Bring them over to an alley way where his friends are waiting, then they all would beat the living hell out of the guy. This was a while ago, and I don't believe homosexuality was listed as a hate crime at the time. But if it was, I think they might of reconsidered these sickening random assaults on homosexuals.
Just my 2 cents though.
I think you're giving a far too rational mind to this, often the case of people trying to legally protect us from criminal minds. You think someone who is already keen on beating up someone gay is really thinking things through this far? I mean, in your example, it is still assault. Why wasn't a potential assault charge a deterrent?
Criminals tend to have one thing in common: they don't think they will be caught.
Also, I think there have been cases (though I don't track this issue, so i can't cite them specifically) whereby a jury rejected the gay angle of a case, because with hate crimes, I think you have to make it part of the case and not a separate issue on top of the other charges, but somehow their lack of conviction on the gay aspect led them to an acquittal of all charges. So, if it muddies the water like that, it could be a problem.
Now, if it were like a death penalty case, then I'd probably be better off with it. In those cases, they have to find them guilty/not guilty of the murder charges first. Then, the jury goes back again and deliberates if the case meets the criteria for the death penalty or not. This was done, if I recall properly, so people wouldn't be tempted to not cast a guilty vote if they were opposed to the death penalty. You could find someone guilty of first-degree murder, but then still vote you don't think it merits the death penalty.
Anything dealing with sentencing is, to me, about punishment not prevention. I don't think people plan to get caught, so all this stuff does is further punish people after a crime has already been committed.
Also, I think it needs to be very overt if it is a hate crime. If you beat up a gay person, that can't be a hate crime unless you make a statement that you were out looking to assault someone gay or make some anti-gay statement during the assault. Otherwise, we are criminalizing thought judged subjectively and seems to be a very Orwellian path in the wrong direction.