PDA

View Full Version : Mixed feelings about "hate" laws



ishmael
11-30-2016, 07:52 PM
An incident reported in the local paper today: Two black teenagers sitting having a burger at Burger King, a couple of white yahoos come up and start harassing them and saying racist things, one yahoo goes out to his car and retrieves a gun then comes back and brandishes. The incident ends without physical violence, thank the Gods. Violence enough! says I.

What should the law do about this? The kid, 22, had already been adjudicated guilty of a prior crime. He ran down someone with his car during a fight over a girlfriend. Pleaded it down from felony assault to a misdemeanor reckless driving. Jeez!

Brandishing a deadly weapon is a felony in most jurisdictions, should be, so this kid is finally going to go away for a while if convicted. Should his racist attitude add to his sentence?

Tom Montgomery
11-30-2016, 07:55 PM
Yes.

He is clearly prone to violence and he is also likely psychopathic. His overt racism indicates that this is so. Keep such people away from the rest of us as long as possible.

BrianY
11-30-2016, 08:15 PM
Playing Devil's advocate:Tom- isn't what you're advocating essentially criminalizing a person's beliefs?

Bobcat
11-30-2016, 08:25 PM
Playing Devil's advocate:Tom- isn't what you're advocating essentially criminalizing a person's beliefs?

He can believe what he wants; it's the actions stemming from the beliefs that are criminal

BrianY
11-30-2016, 08:33 PM
He can believe what he wants; it's the actions stemming from the beliefs that are criminalOK. Please explain why our legal system should treat a crime committed out of anger or malice but without any racial factor differently than the same crime committed with race as a contributing factor.Not trying to be difficult...just thinking out loud....

Canoeyawl
11-30-2016, 09:11 PM
Do you think there is anything about this that is acceptable? He is going to prison if the prosecutor has any say in this.
Yes, it sure sounds like a hate crime. If the Feds get wind of it he is in even more trouble.

In Prison he will join the Aryan Brotherhood and learn to do racism right, kill or or be killed.

Canoeyawl
11-30-2016, 09:31 PM
It can get very serious... Firearms, hate crime = up to one year

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 enacted 18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2), which permits federal prosecution of anyone who "willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person's race, color, religion or national origin" [1] or because of the victim's attempt to engage in one of six types of federally protected activities, such as attending school, patronizing a public place/facility, applying for employment, acting as a juror in a state court or voting.


Persons violating this law face a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both. If bodily injury results or if such acts of intimidation involve the use of firearms, explosives or fire, individuals can receive prison terms of up to 10 years"

wiki

BrianY
11-30-2016, 10:09 PM
Do you think there is anything about this that is acceptable? He is going to prison if the prosecutor has any say in this.Yes, it sure sounds like a hate crime. If the Feds get wind of it he is in even more trouble. In Prison he will join the Aryan Brotherhood and learn to do racism right, kill or or be killed.If you're asking me that question , my answer is no, absolutely not. I hope the guy spends a very long time in prison.I'm just thinking about "hate crime" laws. Like the thread title, I have mixed feelings about them.

Canoeyawl
11-30-2016, 10:17 PM
I was asking the OP, he says he has mixed feelings about it.
My feelings are not mixed at all, those guys are criminals, the worst kind. And yet they somehow, with this last election, think they are entitled.

CWSmith
11-30-2016, 10:32 PM
I think the hate crime laws are a slippery slope.

You can never really prove hate and are left to appeal to personal opinions of the jury. Even a self-incriminating word may be no more than stupidity.

But a crime is a crime, so find them guilty and lock them away. The other convicts will have ways of expressing their opinions on the subject.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 06:14 AM
OK. Please explain why our legal system should treat a crime committed out of anger or malice but without any racial factor differently than the same crime committed with race as a contributing factor.Not trying to be difficult...just thinking out loud....

Racial hatred was the only factor in the unprovoked abuse and threatening behaviour quoted by Jack. So it is a hate crime and to be prosecuted as such.

A further question for your thought experiment.
If the victims were white and strangers to the perpetrator, so there was no reason for the behaviour, how would you assess the motivation? Psychiatric reports because the only possible trigger is a mental problem?

ishmael
12-01-2016, 07:28 AM
Canoe,

The history of this guy, who was clearly displaying a racist motive in this incident, is also clearly one of imbalance, and violence in general. Having studied and worked with such folks, I know the behavior. Psychopathy of this sort usually results from physical/sexual abuse at a pre-verbal age.

Not to excuse the behavior in any way. There have to be laws which protect all of us, and I'm glad the laws are there. This guy, if found guilty, should go live on a farm somewhere and raise his own food, or work on a chain gang re-building roads. That's another topic. He'll, likely, sit in a cell, twiddling his thumbs for the next thirty years.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 07:57 AM
He can believe what he wants; it's the actions stemming from the beliefs that are criminal
This.

I think the hate crime laws are a slippery slope.

You can never really prove hate and are left to appeal to personal opinions of the jury. Even a self-incriminating word may be no more than stupidity.

But a crime is a crime, so find them guilty and lock them away. The other convicts will have ways of expressing their opinions on the subject.

So as the action not the thought is criminal, define those actions that you are testing against.

For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”
We go into a bit more depth than that

Crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation are hate crimes and should be reported to the police.

Hate crimes can include:


threatening behaviour
assault
robbery
damage to property
inciting others to commit hate crimes
harassment

Norman Bernstein
12-01-2016, 08:16 AM
An incident reported in the local paper today: Two black teenagers sitting having a burger at Burger King, a couple of white yahoos come up and start harassing them and saying racist things, one yahoo goes out to his car and retrieves a gun then comes back and brandishes. The incident ends without physical violence, thank the Gods. Violence enough! says I.

What should the law do about this? The kid, 22, had already been adjudicated guilty of a prior crime. He ran down someone with his car during a fight over a girlfriend. Pleaded it down from felony assault to a misdemeanor reckless driving. Jeez!

Brandishing a deadly weapon is a felony in most jurisdictions, should be, so this kid is finally going to go away for a while if convicted. Should his racist attitude add to his sentence?

I share the same mixed feelings. The act is the crime... the thought isn't. As much as I despise racism in all it's forms, I'm a very long way from wanting to criminalize thoughts and attitudes.

Should the racism be a determinate component of sentencing? Is the crime worse, if the intent is racist? That is problematic for me.

Ian McColgin
12-01-2016, 08:24 AM
I am not against "hate" ever so carefully defined being an aggravating factor in a crime but there must be an actual crime. I am totally against criminalizing thought. So sure, the "hate" element can be part of the sentencing, perhaps not so much in pure length of sentence as in rehabilitation conditions.

There are boundary behaviors that can indicate coming trouble and call out for intervention, like brooding obsessively on Jihadist web sites or staring at pictures of pickled fetal tissue on a militant anti-abortion site. But even that's not yet a crime and there are many behaviors that can be indicators of trouble. Pre-crime or mental health interventions are far from certain and we must understand that human behavior is not fully predictable.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 08:28 AM
I share the same mixed feelings. The act is the crime... the thought isn't. As much as I despise racism in all it's forms, I'm a very long way from wanting to criminalize thoughts and attitudes.

Should the racism be a determinate component of sentencing? Is the crime worse, if the intent is racist? That is problematic for me.


The present study also has important implications for public policy. In recent years, laws have been passed at the state and federal level that enhance penalties for hate crimes. Sexual orientation, however, is not included in several state hate crime statutes, and attempts to expand federal statutes to encompass crimes based on sexual orientation have failed to date (Drake, 1998; Lyman. 1998). The findings presented here indicate that laws and policies that differentiate hate crimes from nonbias crimes are justified in identifying hate crimes for special attention in the criminal justice system because hate crimes appear to have a more serious impact on the victim than other crimes.
from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Joseph_Roy_Gillis/publication/12703931_Psychological_sequelae_of_hate-crime_victimization_among_lesbian_gay_and_bisexual _adults/links/56b5265808ae3c1b79ab21cd.pdf


Abstract: This study examined the impact of hate crimes upon gay and lesbian victims, reviewing 1,538 hate crimes committed in Los Angeles County. Differences between sexual orientation and other hate crime categories were considered for offense severity, reportage to law enforcement, and victim impact. The type of offense varied between crimes classified for sexual orientation (n = 551) and other bias-motivated crimes (n = 987). Assault, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking were predictive of sexual orientation hate crimes. Sexual orientation bias crimes evidenced greater severity of violence to the person and impact upon victim level of functioning. More violent forms of aggression were predictive of gay and lesbian victim's underreportage to law enforcement. For sexual orientation offenses, victim gender and race/ethnicity differences were predictive of the base rates of crime reportage as well. These findings are considered in terms of a group-risk hypothesis, encountered by multiple outgroup persons, that influences help-seeking behavior and ingroup identity.
My bolding, from http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/vav/2006/00000021/00000003/art00004

So as it seems apparent that the impact of the crime on the victim might be more severe, it is reasonable to differentiate when prosecuting the crime.

Norman Bernstein
12-01-2016, 08:31 AM
I am not against "hate" ever so carefully defined being an aggravating factor in a crime but there must be an actual crime. I am totally against criminalizing thought. So sure, the "hate" element can be part of the sentencing, perhaps not so much in pure length of sentence as in rehabilitation conditions.

There are boundary behaviors that can indicate coming trouble and call out for intervention, like brooding obsessively on Jihadist web sites or staring at pictures of pickled fetal tissue on a militant anti-abortion site. But even that's not yet a crime and there are many behaviors that can be indicators of trouble. Pre-crime or mental health interventions are far from certain and we must understand that human behavior is not fully predictable.

You bring up an interesting point:

You say that the motivation for the crime could be considered in setting conditions for 'rehabilitation' as a part of sentencing.... so, presumably, the 'rehabilitation' of a racist might include trying, via education or whatever, to get the convict to renounce his racist attitudes.....

....but then, you talk about potential Jihadists.... or people with extreme anti-abortion views.... views reflected in religious commitment, which are protected under the constitution. So, would it be OK to insist, in rehabilitation, that a racist renounce his views... and require the same of views that can easily be argued to be religious in nature?

Talk about slippery slopes!

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 08:35 AM
You bring up an interesting point:

You say that the motivation for the crime could be considered in setting conditions for 'rehabilitation' as a part of sentencing.... so, presumably, the 'rehabilitation' of a racist might include trying, via education or whatever, to get the convict to renounce his racist attitudes.....

....but then, you talk about potential Jihadists.... or people with extreme anti-abortion views.... views reflected in religious commitment, which are protected under the constitution. So, would it be OK to insist, in rehabilitation, that a racist renounce his views... and require the same of views that can easily be argued to be religious in nature?

Talk about slippery slopes!

Would it be going too far to require that the criminal undergo education by a more moderate expert in their chosen religion, to re-educate them on the tolerant aspects of most religions?

Norman Bernstein
12-01-2016, 08:38 AM
Would it be going too far to require that the criminal undergo education by a more moderate expert in their chosen religion, to re-educate them on the tolerant aspects of most religions?

I positively CRINGE at that thought.... you think it would be a good idea for a court to decide on which aspects and what dogmas of a given religion are constitutionally protected, and which are not? That's a blatant First Amendment violation, right there.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 08:44 AM
I positively CRINGE at that thought.... you think it would be a good idea for a court to decide on which aspects and what dogmas of a given religion are constitutionally protected, and which are not? That's a blatant First Amendment violation, right there.

Nope, just leave it up to that religions leaders to decide. It is not a difficult concept. Hate crime is illegal. Any aspect of the criminals world view that triggers that hate crime based on a perverted view of a religions teaching is up for debate between the religions leaders and their flock, something that one would expect from the pulpit as part of the leaders pastoral duties. So just ensure that the teaching is delivered as a part of the rehabilitation of the criminal, leaving the syllabus up to the teacher, not the state.

Ian McColgin
12-01-2016, 09:58 AM
"Deprogramming" does not really work anyway so its tendency to be an abuse of all civil rights can also be dismissed. But at least some "jihadists" of any faith find as they explore and articulate their faiths and feelings that the turn to violence was wrong, sick and twisted. We have already seen this in the remorse of some young Islamic extremists. We have also seen in some of our home grown racist killers a singular lack of turning from hate. It's on the individual.

Canoez
12-01-2016, 10:29 AM
So, Dylann Roof's crime shouldn't be a "hate crime" even though he self-declared that he was trying to start a race war?

BrianY
12-01-2016, 10:31 AM
So, Dylann Roof's crime shouldn't be a "hate crime" even though he self-declared that he was trying to start a race war?

No. No one should be prosecuted for their thoughts or beliefs. They should be prosecuted for their actions.

Canoez
12-01-2016, 10:38 AM
No. No one should be prosecuted for their thoughts or beliefs. They should be prosecuted for their actions.

Well, I'm of the opinion that actions motivated by certain beliefs that can be clearly shown, are more heinous than others and should be treated that way. I also believe that evidence of thoughts or belief speaks to motive. We currently differentiate between someone blowing up a Federal Building for political reasons and blowing up a house for personal reasons. Sometimes a cigar isn't just a cigar.

biga
12-01-2016, 10:44 AM
i don't feel like the motivation for a crime should have any more or less bearing on the punishment for the crime what REAL difference does it make if i kill you b/c you're black or b/c you owe me money? either way YOU'RE dead and I'M a murderer.

Dan McCosh
12-01-2016, 10:45 AM
Th "hate crime" laws were initiated as a way of prosecuting activities that normally were misdemeanors, but were motivated by terrorism. Good example is burning a cross on someone's front lawn to terrify them. The crime itself basically is littering. Like most laws, they have been misused and applied in inappropriate circumstances. This is why we have courts, to sort these out.

Tom Hunter
12-01-2016, 11:05 AM
In the US (and other places I am sure) we have different criminal charges based on intent and planning, murder (premeditated) all the way down to manslaughter (accidental) I think the rational for hate crimes is that it's a motivational factor that requires some kind of premeditation, so it makes the crime more serious. I've got no problem with the idea that ruminating on harming people of other races and then inflicting harm on that basis is worse than going out to a bar with no intent to cause harm but ending up in a fight. Both require a response by law enforcement but they are different in intent.

BrianY
12-01-2016, 11:29 AM
What is the difference between "ruminating on harming people of other races" before committing a crime and ruminating on harming people of one's own race before committing the same crime? Should there be a difference in the way our legal system treats these two things?

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 11:42 AM
What is the difference between "ruminating on harming people of other races" before committing a crime and ruminating on harming people of one's own race before committing the same crime? Should there be a difference in the way our legal system treats these two things?

Read the clips of the two learned papers I quote in #17.
The victims suffer more when hate is expressed as a part of the crime.

BrianY
12-01-2016, 12:08 PM
Read the clips of the two learned papers I quote in #17.
The victims suffer more when hate is expressed as a part of the crime.

So if a white guy A attacks white guy B because white guy A hates the the football team and all of its supporters that white guy B supports, and if white guy A express hate for white guy B while committing the attack, shouldn't that qualify as a "hate crime"? Under the hate crime law, it wouldn't because there's no bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity involved.

If victims of hate-motivated crimes suffer more than other victims of similar crimes, then why shouldn't that be factored in as part of the normal consideration of victim impacts when the judge weighs the sentence ? Why is it necessary to create a separate category of laws for crimes motivated by bias?

Osborne Russell
12-01-2016, 12:13 PM
So, would it be OK to insist, in rehabilitation, that a racist renounce his views... and require the same of views that can easily be argued to be religious in nature?

No.


Talk about slippery slopes!

Yep.

Osborne Russell
12-01-2016, 12:16 PM
Nope, just leave it up to that religions leaders to decide. It is not a difficult concept. Hate crime is illegal. Any aspect of the criminals world view that triggers that hate crime based on a perverted view of a religions teaching is up for debate between the religions leaders and their flock, something that one would expect from the pulpit as part of the leaders pastoral duties. So just ensure that the teaching is delivered as a part of the rehabilitation of the criminal, leaving the syllabus up to the teacher, not the state.

In that role the Padre would be an agent of the state by his mere silent presence.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 12:18 PM
So if a white guy A attacks white guy B because white guy A hates the the football team and all of its supporters that white guy B supports, and if white guy A express hate for white guy B while committing the attack, shouldn't that qualify as a "hate crime"? Under the hate crime law, it wouldn't because there's no bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity involved.

If victims of hate-motivated crimes suffer more than other victims of similar crimes, then why shouldn't that be factored in as part of the normal consideration of victim impacts when the judge weighs the sentence ? Why is it necessary to create a separate category of laws for crimes motivated by bias?

Talk to your elected representative and get football team affiliation added to the laws. ;)
That is assuming that you can persuade him/her that are not simply erecting a straw man.

Then again if one football supporter abused another, he would be told to {redacted} off and stop being a total {redacted} and they would both feel the better for the argument, having reconfirmed their membership of their tribe.

Osborne Russell
12-01-2016, 12:19 PM
"Deprogramming" does not really work anyway so its tendency to be an abuse of all civil rights can also be dismissed.

Eh? When did people stop violating rights because it didn't work? It works for them, that's why they do it.

Canoez
12-01-2016, 12:19 PM
So if a white guy A attacks white guy B because white guy A hates the the football team and all of its supporters that white guy B supports, and if white guy A express hate for white guy B while committing the attack, shouldn't that qualify as a "hate crime"? Under the hate crime law, it wouldn't because there's no bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity involved.

If victims of hate-motivated crimes suffer more than other victims of similar crimes, then why shouldn't that be factored in as part of the normal consideration of victim impacts when the judge weighs the sentence ? Why is it necessary to create a separate category of laws for crimes motivated by bias?

I think that this is one situation where privilege leads to a lack of understanding about why "hate crimes" exist when dealing with people of "protected classes". Guy A isn't attacking Guy B because he's white.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 12:21 PM
In that role the Padre would be an agent of the state by his mere silent presence.
Why? Is he/she the agent of the state running a Sunday School or Bible Study class? Are they the agent of the state holding religious services for prison inmates, or is that comfort not allowed?

BrianY
12-01-2016, 01:37 PM
I think that this is one situation where privilege leads to a lack of understanding about why "hate crimes" exist when dealing with people of "protected classes". Guy A isn't attacking Guy B because he's white.

No, he's attacking the victim because he hates him. Isn't that a "hate crime"?

I understand that hate crimes exist. I'm not suggesting that crime cannot be motivated by racial or other biases. I'm merely asking why they should be treated differently under the legal system. So far, the only answer given is that victims of crimes in which hate is a motive apparently suffer more than victims of similar crimes with no hate involved. That leads to two reasonable question:

1) If the involvement of hate as a motive for the crime produces greater suffering, shouldn't all instances of hate-motivated crime be treated equally? If I beat up a Republican because I hate Republicans, why isn't that a "hate " crime? Does the victim suffer less because he and I are the same race?

2) If the involvement of hate as a motive for the crime produces greater suffering, why can't this be addressed sufficiently as a factor in sentencing ? Doing so would avoid the inconsistency and inherent unfairness of laws that protect specific classes of people while not protecting those that are not members of the protected class against the very same crimes.

I DO believe that racial and other motivating biases should be considered when determining a sentence. I do, however, not believe that laws should attempt to punish people for their thoughts and beliefs. Nor do I believe that discriminatory laws should exist when there are other reasonable alternatives that can achieve the same desired outcome.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 02:04 PM
No, he's attacking the victim because he hates him. Isn't that a "hate crime"?

I understand that hate crimes exist. I'm not suggesting that crime cannot be motivated by racial or other biases. I'm merely asking why they should be treated differently under the legal system. So far, the only answer given is that victims of crimes in which hate is a motive apparently suffer more than victims of similar crimes with no hate involved. That leads to two reasonable question:

1) If the involvement of hate as a motive for the crime produces greater suffering, shouldn't all instances of hate-motivated crime be treated equally? If I beat up a Republican because I hate Republicans, why isn't that a "hate " crime? Does the victim suffer less because he and I are the same race? Learned studies indicate that this is the case, which will be why your legislators and our legislators determined that the crimes are different.
Mind you the jury is out about whether republican voters have a mental handicap, and are therefor covered under the hate legislation. ;):D


2) If the involvement of hate as a motive for the crime produces greater suffering, why can't this be addressed sufficiently as a factor in sentencing ? Doing so would avoid the inconsistency and inherent unfairness of laws that protect specific classes of people while not protecting those that are not members of the protected class against the very same crimes.

I DO believe that racial and other motivating biases should be considered when determining a sentence. I do, however, not believe that laws should attempt to punish people for their thoughts and beliefs. Nor do I believe that discriminatory laws should exist when there are other reasonable alternatives that can achieve the same desired outcome.They are treated differently, and the guidance inherent in the classification makes it so.
You really seem to be arguing about nothing if you do believe that hate crime should be treated differently at sentencing.

Canoez
12-01-2016, 02:18 PM
No, he's attacking the victim because he hates him. Isn't that a "hate crime"?

No. Clearly.



I understand that hate crimes exist. I'm not suggesting that crime cannot be motivated by racial or other biases. I'm merely asking why they should be treated differently under the legal system. So far, the only answer given is that victims of crimes in which hate is a motive apparently suffer more than victims of similar crimes with no hate involved. That leads to two reasonable question:

Because we, as a nation, desire to have equality in our populace. The laws are specifically designed to discourage unequal treatment of protected classes of people. Do I think anyone should be treated this way? No. Do I think we still need these protections? Unfortunately yes. One only needs to look at recent history.



1) If the involvement of hate as a motive for the crime produces greater suffering, shouldn't all instances of hate-motivated crime be treated equally? If I beat up a Republican because I hate Republicans, why isn't that a "hate " crime? Does the victim suffer less because he and I are the same race?

You continue to miss the concept of a protected class of people. Why are they a protected group? Perhaps you need to look at the fact that they are either a minority or are otherwise discriminated against.



2) If the involvement of hate as a motive for the crime produces greater suffering, why can't this be addressed sufficiently as a factor in sentencing ? Doing so would avoid the inconsistency and inherent unfairness of laws that protect specific classes of people while not protecting those that are not members of the protected class against the very same crimes.
Well, let's look to Dylann Roof. He was an individual who obviously committed a "hate crime" per his own admission. A mass murder based on the color of his victim's skin with a political agenda. Do you think this will not be addressed at sentencing and during the trial as a whole? Do you think Dylann Roof would have walked into a predominantly white church and committed the same crime? Why not? How were his thoughts and beliefs motivation for his actions? If, instead, Dylann Roof decided to burn a cross on the Charlestown minister's front lawn versus burning one on your front lawn, should that not lead to different penalties?

We obviously don't try and convict people in this country solely on their thoughts and beliefs. That said, there are consequences to what people say - for example the Mayor and a director of the Clay County Community Development didn't need to be tried and convicted. Were this the case, I can think of many people who would be "doing time". It's the combination of thoughts, beliefs and actions.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 02:19 PM
From http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/racist_and_religious_crime/#a01

Racist and Religious Crime - CPS Guidance

The impact on victims is different for each individual, but there are common problems that are experienced by victims of racist of religiously aggravated crime. They can feel extremely isolated or fearful of going out or even staying at home. They may become withdrawn, and suspicious of organisations or strangers. Their mental and physical health may suffer in a variety of ways. For young people in particular, the impact can be damaging to their self-esteem or identity and, without support, a form of self-hatred of their racial or religious identity may result.
The confusion, fear and lack of safety felt by individuals have a ripple effect in the wider community of their racial or religious group. Communities can feel victimised and vulnerable to further attack.

from http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/docs/htc_policy.pdf
We regard homophobic and transphobic crimes as particularly serious because they undermine people’s right to feel safe about and be safe in their sexual orientation, whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual, and in their gender identity, whether they are women or men and including trans men and women. Such crimes are based on prejudice, discrimination and hate and they do not have any place in an open and democratic society.
from http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/d_to_g/disability_hate_crime/

Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 places a duty on courts to increase the sentence for any offence where a defendant demonstrated hostility based upon the victim's actual or presumed disability, or where the offence is shown to be motivated by hostility towards persons who have a disability or particular disability. This reflects the significant impact hate crime has on the victim and on the community. Prosecutors have a duty to ensure that evidence of such hostility is identified and brought to the attention of the sentencing court, and the court invited to apply the provisions of s.146 so that the offence is properly dealt with as a hate crime.

It would seem that those excerpts need posting.

BrianY
12-01-2016, 02:58 PM
No. Clearly.

Why not? It's not a crime motivated by racial or some other intolerance, but it is a crime motivated by hate. Is hatred of a person on one's one race/gender/sexual orientation different that hatred of someone because of those things? Yes, the motive - the reason for the hate - is different, but the effect is the same.




Because we, as a nation, desire to have equality in our populace. The laws are specifically designed to discourage unequal treatment of protected classes of people. Do I think anyone should be treated this way? No. Do I think we still need these protections? Unfortunately yes. One only needs to look at recent history.

A good argument. However, let me be a pain in the butt and point out that laws that are inherently unequal in their treatment of people (i.e laws that apply only to protected classes) actually encourage unequal treatment of people, at least within the legal system. An assualt onme, a middle-age white guy, may be treated by the legal system differently than an assault on a middle -age black guy. My case will not be treated equally.




You continue to miss the concept of a protected class of people. Why are they a protected group? Perhaps you need to look at the fact that they are either a minority or are otherwise discriminated against.

No. I understand what a protected class is and why they exist. I'm not not doubting that the people in these protected classes have historically been treated unfairly by our society. I'm only questioning if a law specifically intended only for their ...benefit ( bad word choice but I hope you understand my intent) is the best remedy if other less discriminatory means of addressing the wrongs are available (i.e. consideration in sentencing) which would applicable to ALL victims under the right circumstance.



Well, let's look to Dylann Roof. He was an individual who obviously committed a "hate crime" per his own admission. A mass murder based on the color of his victim's skin with a political agenda. Do you think this will not be addressed at sentencing and during the trial as a whole? [quote]

I certainly hope so. That's the remedy I've been advocating - taking into account the motivation and nature of the crime committed when determining the sentence

[QUOTE=Canoez;5083499] Do you think Dylann Roof would have walked into a predominantly white church and committed the same crime? Why not? How were his thoughts and beliefs motivation for his actions?

Probably not. The guy's obviously a racist. But being a racist isn't a crime, nor should it be. As morally repugnant and reprehensible as it is, the government has no business determining what is/is not acceptable thought/belief.


If, instead, Dylann Roof decided to burn a cross on the Charlestown minister's front lawn versus burning one on your front lawn, should that not lead to different penalties?

Yes and no. Both crimes should be treat the same for the purposes of arrest and prosecution because the acts are exactly the same. The motivation and other factors behind the crime as well as the impact on the victims should be taken into account at sentencing.


We obviously don't try and convict people in this country solely on their thoughts and beliefs. That said, there are consequences to what people say - for example the Mayor and a director of the Clay County Community Development didn't need to be tried and convicted. Were this the case, I can think of many people who would be "doing time". It's the combination of thoughts, beliefs and actions.

We arrest people for what they do. The reasons why they do things is not a matter for the law. The law should not discriminate. It should not be applied unequally. It is up to the judge and jury to weigh the mitigating factors when considering guilt or innocence and what penalty to impose.

Dan McCosh
12-01-2016, 03:07 PM
We arrest people for what they do. The reasons why they do things is not a matter for the law. The law should not discriminate. It should not be applied unequally. It is up to the judge and jury to weigh the mitigating factors when considering guilt or innocence and what penalty to impose. This is obviously wrong. If you kill someone, for example, why you did it will determine whether you get arrested or not, whether you get a medal, a shrug, a lawsuit, or get arrested. Why you did it will also determine the charge, the conviction, and the sentence.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 03:15 PM
Yes and no. Both crimes should be treat the same for the purposes of arrest and prosecution because the acts are exactly the same.Does not apply for other crimes. You have several different charges to be prosecuted in the case of a killing. By your argument, the victim is just as dead, so the charge should be the same.

The motivation and other factors behind the crime as well as the impact on the victims should be taken into account at sentencing.



We arrest people for what they do. The reasons why they do things is not a matter for the law. The law should not discriminate. It should not be applied unequally. It is up to the judge and jury to weigh the mitigating factors when considering guilt or innocence and what penalty to impose.Your laws do discriminate in the case of other crimes, and by defining a hate crime, the judge is given clear guidance on sentencing policy. Which is what you are arguing for. Yes? So what is the important difference for you?

Cross post with Dan.

BrianY
12-01-2016, 03:15 PM
This is obviously wrong. If you kill someone, for example, why you did it will determine whether you get arrested or not, whether you get a medal, a shrug, a lawsuit, or get arrested. Why you did it will also determine the charge, the conviction, and the sentence.

Yes, there are difference between crimes, for example, pre-meditated murder and manslaughter. What I'm saying is that for a given category of crime - manslaughter, armed robbery, computer hacking, anything - the law doesn't ask why the crime was committed. Example: if you purchase a gram of heroin, it doesn't matter why you did it (because you're a junkie and your life depends on it or because you're bored with life and have too much disposable income). Cops have discretion about whether they will arrest you. Prosecutors have discretion about which laws they will charge you for violating. Judges have discretion about what sentence you will receive. But the law itself doesn't discriminate based on your motives.

Hate crime laws say that because a criminal act was motivated by bias, the law is to be applied differently than if there was no bias. In other words, the why behind the crime, and not the crime itself, matters. It consequently treats victims and perpetrators of the same crime unequally. If you beat victim A because he irritates you or if you beat victim B because of his sexual orientation, the crime is the same. However, both victim A and the perp will be treated differently than victim B and the perp in that case. The law discriminates based on motive. It is inherently unfair.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 03:22 PM
Yes, there are difference between crimes, for example, pre-meditated murder and manslaughter. What I'm saying is that for a given category of crime - manslaughter, armed robbery, computer hacking, anything - the law doesn't ask why the crime was committed. Example: if you purchase a gram of heroin, it doesn't matter why you did it (because you're a junkie and your life depends on it or because you're bored with life and have too much disposable income). Cops have discretion about whether they will arrest you. Prosecutors have discretion about which laws they will charge you for violating. Judges have discretion about what sentence you will receive. But the law itself doesn't discriminate based on your motives.

The law does not ask why a hate crime is committed, it considers the harm that is done to the victim.

The impact on victims is different for each individual, but there are common problems that are experienced by victims of racist of religiously aggravated crime. They can feel extremely isolated or fearful of going out or even staying at home. They may become withdrawn, and suspicious of organisations or strangers. Their mental and physical health may suffer in a variety of ways. For young people in particular, the impact can be damaging to their self-esteem or identity and, without support, a form of self-hatred of their racial or religious identity may result.
Nowhere in the CPS document that came from is there any instruction to enquire about the perpetrators motivation.

Osborne Russell
12-01-2016, 03:23 PM
The laws are specifically designed to discourage unequal treatment of protected classes of people.

They're designed to forbid on discrimination on certain grounds. The difference is not merely semantic. The goal is equality -- the end of classes -- not protection of classes.


You continue to miss the concept of a protected class of people. Why are they a protected group?

If it were about groups they should have tax advantages and whatever it takes to protect the group.

Canoez
12-01-2016, 03:42 PM
Why not? It's not a crime motivated by racial or some other intolerance, but it is a crime motivated by hate. Is hatred of a person on one's one race/gender/sexual orientation different that hatred of someone because of those things? Yes, the motive - the reason for the hate - is different, but the effect is the same.

I'm afraid that one simply doesn't wash with me. I might hate parsnips, but I don't want to go out and eradicate their entire genome. It's the definition of "hate" we're talking about which is different. The legal definition is a bit different, no?


No. I understand what a protected class is and why they exist. I'm not not doubting that the people in these protected classes have historically been treated unfairly by our society. I'm only questioning if a law specifically intended only for their ...benefit ( bad word choice but I hope you understand my intent) is the best remedy if other less discriminatory means of addressing the wrongs are available (i.e. consideration in sentencing) which would applicable to ALL victims under the right circumstance.

If you understand what a protected class is and why they exist I have no idea why you're even making the argument you are.


As morally repugnant and reprehensible as it is, the government has no business determining what is/is not acceptable thought/belief.

They do not. You'll note that nobody has been convicted of "thought crime".


Yes and no. Both crimes should be treat the same for the purposes of arrest and prosecution because the acts are exactly the same. The motivation and other factors behind the crime as well as the impact on the victims should be taken into account at sentencing.

So, what you see as an act of vandalism in both cases, isn't so. What's the difference between starting a campfire on the black victim's lawn and burning a cross on the same lawn? Do you see no difference?


We arrest people for what they do. The reasons why they do things is not a matter for the law.

We do arrest people for their actions. However, reasons matter. That's why there is manslaughter and 1st degree homicide. Should you treat all incidents where there is a death as 1st degree homicide and punish accordingly? No. (I see Nick beat me to that point.)

Canoez
12-01-2016, 03:44 PM
The goal is equality -- the end of classes -- not protection of classes.

Bingo.

BrianY
12-01-2016, 04:20 PM
I'm afraid that one simply doesn't wash with me. I might hate parsnips, but I don't want to go out and eradicate their entire genome. It's the definition of "hate" we're talking about which is different. The legal definition is a bit different, no?

So what you're saying is that all non-trivial (i.e. "I hate parsnips") hate is not equal. That there are some kinds of hate that affect their victims differently than others. I find that to be a curious notion. Whether you truly hate me because of the color of my skin or because of my political beliefs, it really doesn't matter much to me. You hate me for entirely irrational reasons for who and what I am. The end result is the same. But then, I'm undoubtedly looking at it from a perspective of privilege, being a white male. So I will admit that I may be wrong.


If you understand what a protected class is and why they exist I have no idea why you're even making the argument you are.

I really have no response to this other than to say repeat that my issue is not with the idea that people deserve and require protection from discrimination. My conflict is with the mechanism for doing this (Hate Laws).


They do not. You'll note that nobody has been convicted of "thought crime".

No not yet at least |;). However people are being treated differently because of their thoughts.





So, what you see as an act of vandalism in both cases, isn't so. What's the difference between starting a campfire on the black victim's lawn and burning a cross on the same lawn? Do you see no difference?

Materially, no there is no difference. Symbolically yes, there is a difference. In my view, the law should prohibit starting a fire of any kind on somebody's lawn. That's what you'd get arrested for. Then in the sentencing phase, the symbolic value - the why - of the crime and its effect on the victims would be taken into account.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 04:24 PM
^ I think that Brian must have me on ignore. Will someone please quote those passages that I have posted that set out why the victims of hate crime suffer more? Many thanks in anticipation.

BrianY
12-01-2016, 04:30 PM
. The goal is equality -- the end of classes -- not protection of classes.



I understand that, but I question the idea that the way to achieve equality is to discriminate.

I admit it's a very tough question. T I understand the reason behind such laws and the benefits they've given to historically disadvantaged people, but how do you determine if/when such laws are no longer needed? How do decide when the goal of equality is reached? If it is never reached, is the substitution of permanent discrimination against one group in favor of another a morally just solution?


Let me just say at this point that I appreciate the civil and thoughtful discussion (so unlike most of what goes on here!) in this thread. It's excellent exercise for the brain!

Canoez
12-01-2016, 04:33 PM
So what you're saying is that all non-trivial (i.e. "I hate parsnips") hate is not equal. That there are some kinds of hate that affect their victims differently than others. Yes. Nick posted that earlier.


No not yet at least |;). However people are being treated differently because of their thoughts. Only when they express their thoughts. They're still not criminalized for expressing their thoughts. Our PEOTUS seems to want to change that based on his tweets. So, for the time being, we do have freedom of speech in this nation, but that speech is not without consequence. Never has been. You can still think whatever you want.


Materially, no there is no difference. Symbolically yes, there is a difference. In my view, the law should prohibit starting a fire of any kind on somebody's lawn. That's what you'd get arrested for. Then in the sentencing phase, the symbolic value - the why - of the crime and its effect on the victims would be taken into account.
That. And the fact that the black victim would view them differently. Different crimes, IMO.



We arrest people for what they do. The reasons why they do things is not a matter for the law.

We do arrest people for their actions. However, reasons matter. That's why there is manslaughter and 1st degree homicide. Should you treat all incidents where there is a death as 1st degree homicide and punish accordingly? No. (I see Nick beat me to that point.)

No thoughts on this, Brian?

BrianY
12-01-2016, 04:39 PM
^ I think that Brian must have me on ignore. Will someone please quote those passages that I have posted that set out why the victims of hate crime suffer more? Many thanks in anticipation.

I don't have you on ignore. I haven't responded specifically to your multiple posts because I understand the point you made regarding the different effect of bias-based violence vs non-bias-based on victims as the basis for your laws and have questioned the implications of that basis. Let me put it more succinctly:

If such laws are justified on the basis of the different effects on victims - if hate is the significant factor - then why shouldn't they be extended to cover all instances of crime based on hate of any kind?

Is all non-trivial hate equal? Should it be treated so under the law if hate as the motivation for crime has such a significant effect on victims? Or are we really saying that only certain kinds of hate have this effect?

Ian McColgin
12-01-2016, 04:40 PM
Reasons ALWAYS matter. Defense attorneys will try to elicit mitigating reasons. In most crimes "hate" is an aggravating reason. It all goes into the sentencing.

Random violent crime is very bad. Systematic and overtly expressed crime against some minority - racial, ethnic, religious, women, gay people, transgendered people, et cetera - is worse because it's not only a crime against the individual (all crime is that) and not only a crime against the community (again, all crime is that) but is a crime that expressly harms a vulnerable segment of the community.

Canoez
12-01-2016, 04:44 PM
I admit it's a very tough question.

Yes.


I understand the reason behind such laws and the benefits they've given to historically disadvantaged people, but how do you determine if/when such laws are no longer needed? How do decide when the goal of equality is reached?

When are these laws no longer needed? Well, one reasonable measure might be when the country doesn't elect a man who campaigns on divisions based on race, ethnicity, religion, etc.

I think we may get there eventually.

BrianY
12-01-2016, 04:45 PM
That. And the fact that the black victim would view them differently. Different crimes, IMO.

Same crime, potentially different penalty, IMO. I guess you might say "what's the difference?" In my view, the difference is that having laws which treat these as separate, unequal crimes limits the ability of the justice system to deal appropriately with perps and is inherently discriminatory/unequal.




No thoughts on this, Brian?

Yes. See #45.

BrianY
12-01-2016, 04:46 PM
Yes.



When are these laws no longer needed? Well, one reasonable measure might be when the country doesn't elect a man who campaigns on divisions based on race, ethnicity, religion, etc.

I think we may get there eventually.

As my Irish grandmother would say, from your lips to God's ears.

BrianY
12-01-2016, 04:48 PM
Gotta sign off now. Thanks all for a most interesting discussion. :d

Canoez
12-01-2016, 04:50 PM
Yes. See #45.

Thanks. Missed that. From what I understand of the grand jury process, intent determines the charges brought by the District Attorney and the success they have getting the grand jury to bring those charges. As a friend who sat on a grand jury noted the difference between assault with a firearm and attempted murder is whether or not you emptied the gun. Intent.

Peerie Maa
12-01-2016, 04:59 PM
I don't have you on ignore. I haven't responded specifically to your multiple posts because I understand the point you made regarding the different effect of bias-based violence vs non-bias-based on victims as the basis for your laws and have questioned the implications of that basis. Let me put it more succinctly:

If such laws are justified on the basis of the different effects on victims - if hate is the significant factor - then why shouldn't they be extended to cover all instances of crime based on hate of any kind?

Is all non-trivial hate equal? Should it be treated so under the law if hate as the motivation for crime has such a significant effect on victims? Or are we really saying that only certain kinds of hate have this effect?

If the hatred expressed in a criminal act has the same effect as those set out in the CPS guidance, then they would be added to the legislation. It is reasonable to conclude that as they have not, they do not have the same devastating effect on the victims.
I quoted from two learned papers that indicated that hate crime (one paper did not specify what sort of hate, the other dealt with transgender hate crime) do have a more serious impact on the victim. The extracts from the CPS guidance documents sets out how those serious effects may manifest themselves.
So yes, some crimes do have a more serious effect. If you were abused because of the way you voted, or because you supported a particular team, you would probably get over it quickly, it would not make you afraid to vote or attend a match. The legislation accepts that this is not the case when dealing with race, religion, gender, or handicap.

ishmael
12-02-2016, 06:07 AM
Thank you folks, for an erudite and civil discussion. I'm going to save this, and re-read it more closely. I can see both sides of the argument, hence the mixed feelings.

A question. Have any of you experienced racial discrimination, or religious or political for that matter? I have, just once. Fairly minor. I was a white boy woodworker living in Baltimore, MD. I had a van that we used to haul our wares to shows. It needed tie rod ends, so I got up on a day off, looked in the phone book, picked a place close by and phoned to see if they had time and took the truck for the work. Baltimore is a majority black city. In my three years living there this was the only time I experienced racism. The shop was an all black shop, proprietor and employees. We never got around to discussing the truck, because the proprietor made it clear he didn't want to work on it because of my race. No major argument, no yelling, but it was clear. Like I said, fairly minor, but I felt terrible about the encounter.

Peerie Maa
12-02-2016, 06:22 AM
Like I said, fairly minor, but I felt terrible about the encounter.

From the CPS Guidance Document

The impact on victims is different for each individual, but there are common problems that are experienced by victims of racist of religiously aggravated crime. They can feel extremely isolated or fearful of going out or even staying at home. They may become withdrawn, and suspicious of organisations or strangers. Their mental and physical health may suffer in a variety of ways. For young people in particular, the impact can be damaging to their self-esteem or identity and, without support, a form of self-hatred of their racial or religious identity may result.

Hopefully you got off lightly, but I think that based on that one single experience you can see where the UK laws are coming from.

Paul Pless
12-02-2016, 06:25 AM
coming to the conversation late
but, does anybody have any real world examples of hate crime laws being abused in their enforcement?

Ian McColgin
12-02-2016, 07:17 AM
A problem associated with "hate" as an aggravating factor is the notion of victim impact. Victim and witness-victim assistance are important parts of dealing with the effects of crime but if they are too closely related to "justice" - usually at sentencing - then they are part of society reverting to private revenge rather than justice. In an important sense, for justice purposes the victim is society. The victim has no right to demand vengeance. So when we look at 'hate' as an aggravating factor, we should be looking at it as a societal matter and not a special circumstance of extra pain for the victims, even though they may in fact suffer at least differently if not more than victims of crimes that are not hate related.

It's like that question the Michael Dukakis famously failed during a presidential debate - What would you do if someone raped Kitty (Dukakis, his wife)? He gave some turgid response about the court system that was correct but completely failed to express his actual existential situation.

Dukakis's full answer should have included the very real (I have seen the man about this angry about an insult to Kitty) something like: I'm Greek and we are passionate. I'd want to rip his beating heart out. We have laws in part to keep people like myself from exercising the private vengeance we yearn for and I'd hope that the police could restrain me if I ever come close to such a person.

As I say, I saw that flash of temper when one of my members at a demonstration nastily insulted Kitty. Being closer than the cops and known to Michael, a friend and I restrained him while some of our other leaders isolated and removed our idiot member, who knew by the way exactly what he was doing and meant to provoke violence. The dweeb was no wimp but he kept his passions perhaps too tightly in check.

Peerie Maa
12-02-2016, 07:25 AM
A problem associated with "hate" as an aggravating factor is the notion of victim impact. Victim and witness-victim assistance are important parts of dealing with the effects of crime but if they are too closely related to "justice" - usually at sentencing - then they are part of society reverting to private revenge rather than justice. In an important sense, for justice purposes the victim is society. The victim has no right to demand vengeance. So when we look at 'hate' as an aggravating factor, we should be looking at it as a societal matter and not a special circumstance of extra pain for the victims, even though they may in fact suffer at least differently if not more than victims of crimes that are not hate related.



However in the UK we treat theft from the home in daylight - housebreaking - differently from theft in night time - burglary, as burglary is considered to have a bigger impact on the victim. There is solid precedence for that principle.