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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Default The Wisdom of Hate Crimes <split>

    I don't have a problem with most of this stuff, but I do have a problem with hate crime statutes in general. The concept is flawed and counterproductive.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    Member *Strictly_The_Facts*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't have a problem with most of this stuff, but I do have a problem with hate crime statistics in general. The concept is flawed and counterproductive.
    Agreed.

    And it is good to see another era of rights being fought for, especially gay rights being that they havn't had much pull in their area.
    If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool. -Carl Gustav Jung *I-74* *N-53* *T-95* *J-89*

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    Senior Member Erudur's Avatar
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    I see constitutional issues with legislation that distinguishes between motives behind a crime.

    Shouldn't we punish the action regardless of motive? If somebody commits assault based on racial bias, gender bias, etc. versus committing assault to take somebody's wallet, should the punishment be different between the two?

    Let's just enforce our laws for assault, theft, robbery, vandalism, etc. without regard for motive. Because how can motive really be proven in a court of law anyway?

    The constitutional problem with "hate" legislation is that it attempts to punish motive which is protected under free speech. A person can think whatever heinous things they want to. They just can't express those things however they want to.

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    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    I don't have a problem with most of this stuff, but I do have a problem with hate crime statutes in general. The concept is flawed and counterproductive.
    My feeling exactly - no problem (or, small quibbles only) with every item on that list except the first one. I strongly oppose hate crime legislation and therefore also oppose expanding it.

    Hmmm...well, now that I think about it, I don't know how I feel about gay 'marriage' either. The full legal rights thereof? Yes, fine, that should be enacted. But specifically 'marriage' - I'm slightly iffy.
    "Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar

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    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erudur View Post
    I see constitutional issues with legislation that distinguishes between motives behind a crime.

    Shouldn't we punish the action regardless of motive? If somebody commits assault based on racial bias, gender bias, etc. versus committing assault to take somebody's wallet, should the punishment be different between the two?
    These are just some thoughts. I understand where you're coming from, but I'm not sure that I agree.

    Don't we already consider motives and intent in the judicial system? Isn't that why we have "degrees" of murder and manslaughter? Those motives/intents aren't necessarily about race/gender/etc, but they are considered. Murders that happen during terrorist activity are judged more harshly than some other situations. Maybe I'm wrong - I'm not trying to make a hard and fast judgment on this; I'm really just exploring the idea - but it seems to me that there are already exceptions to your rule.

    Also - should we consider potential of recidivism when we prosecute crimes? Are hate crimes more likely to be re-committed than, say, a crime of passion? Should that affect how we sentence a person? (I don't know the answers.)
    INFJ

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    With murder and manslaughter, intent to cause harm is punished. With hate crimes, a belief is punished. It's really no different than giving a murderer a longer sentence because he's a Christian or an atheist.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    These are just some thoughts. I understand where you're coming from, but I'm not sure that I agree.

    Don't we already consider motives and intent in the judicial system? Isn't that why we have "degrees" of murder and manslaughter? Those motives/intents aren't necessarily about race/gender/etc, but they are considered. Murders that happen during terrorist activity are judged more harshly than some other situations. Maybe I'm wrong - I'm not trying to make a hard and fast judgment on this; I'm really just exploring the idea - but it seems to me that there are already exceptions to your rule.

    Also - should we consider potential of recidivism when we prosecute crimes? Are hate crimes more likely to be re-committed than, say, a crime of passion? Should that affect how we sentence a person? (I don't know the answers.)
    By this logic, I can just kill people without any hate or racism in my little black heart, and I wont get as bad of a sentence if I get caught. YAAAAY!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Don't we already consider motives and intent in the judicial system? Isn't that why we have "degrees" of murder and manslaughter? Those motives/intents aren't necessarily about race/gender/etc, but they are considered.
    The degrees of murder and manslaughter are more about intent than motive and the latter is much more difficult to prove.
    I don't wanna!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyalab View Post
    The degrees of murder and manslaughter are more about intent than motive and the latter is much more difficult to prove.
    True, although the main difference between First Degree Murder and Second/Third degree is usually pre-meditation. Motive is largely considered in court cases to further establish that the person actually committed the crime. At best you can say that Hate Crimes are based upon a flawed understanding of Mens Rea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't have a problem with most of this stuff, but I do have a problem with hate crime statutes in general. The concept is flawed and counterproductive.
    I'll reiterate. Can't be overstated.

    When you define crime as something other than breaking the rules, and make it about a reason, you detract from the importance of the difference between civil and uncivil conduct in general. It gives those of weak mind and prone to justify (Almost every criminal in existence) yet more reasons to excuse themselves for their actions.

    All things equal, I think it makes it more likely for pre-existing laws to be broken after hate-crime legislation is passed (Or even mentioned).

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