Question for @mayjay

  • @mayjay and others of course! I know you have a legal background of some sort and wondered what you thought of hate crime charges.

    As I listened to a PBS discussion of hate crimes I thought through some of my own objections to it.

    1. Aren’t almost all crimes committed in hatred for the victim? If someone attacked one of my family members wouldn’t it be logical to say they’d be a victim of hatred for them?

    2. If that person was attacked because they were something that society says deserves to be protected by hate crime laws, doesn’t that violate the civil rights of the person who is a crime victim because they’re not part of a protected class?

    3. How do you prove someone committed a crime as a hate crime unless the person stated that was his or her intention?

    4. What I stated in 3 leads to a double standard because ‘protected classes’ who are victims will see their attacker charged with hate crimes while reverse cases won’t. I saw this once in Baton Rouge where a person was told you don’t belong in this neighborhood (African American majority) and beaten severely along with his wife and daughter who defended him. No hate crime added to that despicable mans charges.

    5. When a blood shoots a crip isn’t that hatred at it’s worst? Sounds like hatred to me.

    Anyhow, these are thoughts that irk me when I hear this term thrown around. What do you or others think?

  • @wissox We have been through this discussion at length previously. I really don’t want to get into it. Suffice it to say that hate crime legislstion has been enacted to emphasize societal dissaproval of crimes that society by and large tacitly condoned or at least did not punish. The voice of society as expressed in these laws is intended to help groups who engage in hate-inspired conduct realize they are now outlaws if they act on their hate, and that next time we won’t wink and nod and say, “Yeah, that [insert perjorative term] had it coming. How dare he [wink/move in/smile/be different]?”

    That not all hate crimes are punished is no reason not to prosecute ones where you can. Proving intent is no harder here than for common law burglary (breaking in at nighttime with intent to commit a crime), or 1st degree murder (malice aforethought). Proven by statements if available, inference from circumstantial evidence if no vocalized intent (maybe carrying a KKK flag & wearing a hood).

    This topic is the subject of lengthy seminars, dissertations, and law review articles. What I have said is general impressions, nowhere near the detail and history it deserves. But I hope it helps you understand some of the theory. I am exhausted from prior expositions, so I am out!

  • @mayjay Sorry I missed the previous discussion! Thanks for your response though.

  • @wissox I did a search and I think it must be in the Lost Archives. If you do a web search on “reasons for hate crimes laws” you might find some interesting stuff. Here is an NPR discussion:

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