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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 28th 2009, 11:25 PM

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/10/...mes/index.html Thoughts on Obama signing the Bill?


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 29th 2009, 12:12 AM

Two Words: About time!

It's a major victory to have crimes motivated by sexual orientation be hate crimes! It's definitely needed.


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 29th 2009, 12:59 AM

I don't know, I guess we should discourage bigotry, but I just think it's weird to punish someone more because of their intolerant motives. Crimes are crimes, I always thought. Whatever, can't hurt.


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 29th 2009, 04:25 PM

So from what i see this bill only protects gays and lesbians.. Why not African Americans, Jews and Muslims?


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 29th 2009, 04:43 PM

I don't get the point of hate crimes. Murder is murder and I don't think you should get punished more because you've killed a gay person. Surely this clashes with the principle that "everyone is equal before the law" and introduces a more "everyone is equal but some are more equal than others" principle?

I'm all for discouraging bigotry but not at the expense of judicial fairness.

Last edited by Jack; October 29th 2009 at 04:49 PM.
   
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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 29th 2009, 08:29 PM

Crimes should be punished because of the CRIME, not because of the motive.
   
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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 29th 2009, 08:56 PM

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Originally Posted by EDGE View Post
So from what i see this bill only protects gays and lesbians.. Why not African Americans, Jews and Muslims?
Because they're already protected by a previous hate crime bill. This bill just adds gender-orientation based attacks to the list of minorities to whom it can be a hate crime for attacking.


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 12:43 AM

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So from what i see this bill only protects gays and lesbians.. Why not African Americans, Jews and Muslims?
Because ( as mentioned by someone else) the previous hate crimes bill protected them. I think that as long as the other hate crimes bill stands, this one is good. I'm half-and-half on whether a person should be punished for motives as well as the crime. On the one hand, it seems fair to just punish the crime, not the motive, or the perceived motive. On the other hand, hate crimes have been shown to cause more severe psychological effects than other crimes like it. They can also scare people of the same ( in this case) sexuality to not come out- if it is a sexual orientation motivated hate crime. Same for gender identity. These are just my opinions.
   
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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 03:44 AM

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I don't get the point of hate crimes. Murder is murder and I don't think you should get punished more because you've killed a gay person. Surely this clashes with the principle that "everyone is equal before the law" and introduces a more "everyone is equal but some are more equal than others" principle?

I'm all for discouraging bigotry but not at the expense of judicial fairness.
If you've killed a gay person, that's not a hate crime. If you've killed a person because they're gay, that is, and should be punished more harshly. Partly as an extra deterrent to that type of crime, which is much more common than it should be, and partly as Bailey said because hate crimes have more victims than just the immediate one.


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 03:52 AM

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If you've killed a gay person, that's not a hate crime. If you've killed a person because they're gay, that is, and should be punished more harshly. Partly as an extra deterrent to that type of crime, which is much more common than it should be, and partly as Bailey said because hate crimes have more victims than just the immediate one.
And murder for whatever reason doesn't effect communities just as badly? There is always a psychological impact and all murders have more victims than just the immediate one. Lots of murders are to do with hating someone for some action they do or some aspect of their personality. Why should it matter if that reason you hate them is because they slept with your girlfriend or because they engage in sodomy? I can't see a reason? The act is the same, the mind set (aka hatred and malice aforethought) is the same and the result is the same and it should carry the same penalty. Identical crimes should equal identical punishments.

Mens rea has traditionally been used to determine the intent to commit the crime (Aka, did you know at the time that cutting the green wire would kill Tim?) and not the reasons behind the intent to commit the crime (aka Did you cut the green wire because Tim was gay/Amish/wearing a green jumper?)and this in an extention that I do not believe should happen. The man who steals to give to the poor, the man who steals for selfish reasons and the man who steals out of malice have all committed the same crime: Theft regardless of their reasons behind the crime. Should we have "Friendly theft", "Greedy theft" and "hate theft"? The reason behind the intent to commit the crime is not something the law does, or should, take into account.

Last edited by Jack; October 30th 2009 at 04:42 AM.
   
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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 04:34 AM

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If you've killed a gay person, that's not a hate crime. If you've killed a person because they're gay, that is, and should be punished more harshly. Partly as an extra deterrent to that type of crime, which is much more common than it should be, and partly as Bailey said because hate crimes have more victims than just the immediate one.
Murders that aren't hate crimes have plenty of victims, both directly (i.e. the person killed) and indirectly (i.e. friends, family and communities).

If two people kill someone and if it's the same type of murder (i.e. second degree), then the two should get somewhat equal sentences. One of them shouldn't get a longer sentence because they did a hate crime. It emphasizes inequality of the victims, offenders and legal system to society. Society is striving to have people be treated equally but if you do this, then you're promoting inequality.
   
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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 04:43 AM

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And murder for whatever reason doesn't effect communities just as badly? There is always a psychological impact and all murders have more victims than just the immediate one. Lots of murders are to do with hating someone for some action they do or some aspect of their personality. Why should it matter if that reason you hate them is because they slept with your girlfriend or because they engage in sodomy? I can't see a reason? The act is the same, the mind set (aka hatred and malice aforethought) is the same and the result is the same and it should carry the same penalty.
The act is the same, the mindset is sometimes the same, and the result is similar but generally on a different scale. The difference between the two examples you gave are that one is personal and the other is impersonal. "Murder is murder" irrespective of the circumstances is really not a defensible opinion, since self-defense is also murder. Clearly, circumstance matters to some degree; the debate is just to what degree.


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 05:11 AM

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The act is the same, the mindset is sometimes the same, and the result is similar but generally on a different scale. The difference between the two examples you gave are that one is personal and the other is impersonal. "Murder is murder" irrespective of the circumstances is really not a defensible opinion, since self-defense is also murder. Clearly, circumstance matters to some degree; the debate is just to what degree.
No. Circumstances are taken into account in terms of DEFENSES to crimes. Self Defence is not a crime, it is a defence to a crime. When acertaining whether a crime has taken place they look at the mens rea and the act (Did you unlawfully kill Tim? Did you intend to cause death or grievous bodily harm to Tim?) if both are satisfied they then look at the circumstances to find a defence (Did Tim face an unjust threat from Paul? Did Tim use a reasonable level of force against the threat?). Circumstances aren't taken into account for the crime but only for defences. So yes, murder is murder: When someone does something which fits all the criteria of murder without any of the mitigating circumstances then yes it is murder. So yes, killing someone because you don't like their sexuality and killing someone because you don't like their personality are the same crime.

Basically hate crime amounts to punishing people for thought crime since you are punishing an identical crime more severely merely because the defendant holds a conviction that society frowns upon. The law focuses on the act itself and knowledge of what that act entailed not why they comitted the act.

Last edited by Jack; October 30th 2009 at 06:19 AM.
   
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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 05:13 AM

So, if I assaulted a homosexual person, despite what they've done to me, it would be labelled a hate crime? Wait, what?

Just because I hit someone that isn't like me doesn't mean I'm comitting a hate crime... It would be different if my motives weren't the same.


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 05:18 AM

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So, if I assaulted a homosexual person, despite what they've done to me, it would be labelled a hate crime? Wait, what?

Just because I hit someone that isn't like me doesn't mean I'm comitting a hate crime... It would be different if my motives weren't the same.
No, if you assualted the homosexual person simply because they were gay then it would be a hate crime. If you assualted him because he had provoked it by doing something bad to yourself somehow then it would be a normal crime.
   
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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 07:10 AM

About time.

However, I agree with Jack. Murder is murder, it shouldn't matter why you killed someone, just that you did. But I do like the idea of protection, or the illusion of it anyway, under this bill.


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 11:16 AM

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No, if you assualted the homosexual person simply because they were gay then it would be a hate crime. If you assualted him because he had provoked it by doing something bad to yourself somehow then it would be a normal crime.
I thought there was already a law for that. Maybe that's Australia, nevermind. ^^


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - October 30th 2009, 08:57 PM

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Basically hate crime amounts to punishing people for thought crime since you are punishing an identical crime more severely merely because the defendant holds a conviction that society frowns upon. The law focuses on the act itself and knowledge of what that act entailed not why they comitted the act.
Ah, okay, now I see where it is we're disagreeing. In my opinion, law isn't about punishment at all. Punishment is a result of law, not a reason for its existence. If it were possible to create a system of law in which criminals were not punished, yet resulted in less crime than we have now, I feel it would be a better system. The only thing gained from punishing criminals is that it reduces the likelihood of more crimes occurring.

Fairness to the criminals is obviously still a non-negligible issue, but I feel it's of lesser importance than the safely of law-abiding citizens, again within reason. If harsher penalties for hate-crimes result in fewer hate crimes, great. If data shows that it has no effect on crime rates whatsoever, then get rid of it.


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - November 2nd 2009, 02:43 AM

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Ah, okay, now I see where it is we're disagreeing. In my opinion, law isn't about punishment at all. Punishment is a result of law, not a reason for its existence. If it were possible to create a system of law in which criminals were not punished, yet resulted in less crime than we have now, I feel it would be a better system. The only thing gained from punishing criminals is that it reduces the likelihood of more crimes occurring.
No we're disagreeing because hate crime fundementally ignores the way the law is supposed to work. This punishes "bad thoughts" of a particular kind above others, not only is the punishment of thoughts silly enough but why should this thought be worse than intense hatred of an individual for some other unlegislated upon thing? The law should not care what why you committed a crime but just that you did it, that is the only way the law remains objective and fair. In much the same way as a parking meter does not care why you're late back to your car, whether it be that you were helping a blind man accross the road or that you were simply slow, the law does not care why you murdered someone - just that you did it, whether you murdered a sickly patient so a dieing child could get their organs or whether you murdered someone for looking at you the crime is still the same.

Not to mention that obviously punishment IS needed when people break the law in reality. Sure, it would be lovely to live in a world where people abided by the law without the threat of punishment but that's not the world we live in. And no, I don't think that punishment is the purpose of law's existance, I feel that punishment is a side effect of law. To me the law is a glorified system of dispute resolution whether that dispute is between the state and the individual (eg criminal law) or between two private individuals/corporations (eg tort law). But I do feel that the method of reaching the judgement, and the judgement itself, should be impartial and fair above all things.

Quote:
Fairness to the criminals is obviously still a non-negligible issue, but I feel it's of lesser importance than the safely of law-abiding citizens, again within reason. If harsher penalties for hate-crimes result in fewer hate crimes, great. If data shows that it has no effect on crime rates whatsoever, then get rid of it.
Justice is the most important part of law. Justice can't be served when the punishment is not proportionate[*] to the crime. The safety of one law abiding citizen isn't more important than the safety of another law abiding citizen merely because of their sexuality. The law is impartial to things like sexuality and motives. To re-iterate: If I brutally butcher my friend for fun or if I stab someone because they're gay then I have still committed the same crime: Murder. The current punishment for murder is considered good enough to protect all law abiding citizens anyway so why change it to favour one particular group? Or if it is not good enough then why not raise the penalty for all murders?

Then again, there is no certainty that harsher penalties = less crime. If you look at the death penalty (the harshest of all penalties) then you will notice the states that employ it actually have the highest crime rate and that it obviously does not deter crime in any serious manner.

The government has NO place in saying that it is worse to murder someone for their sexuality, gender etc than it is to murder someone for their money. We may place a value judgment on certain types of motivating factors. We may find it more despicable to harm a weak individual than a strong one. This does not mean that we create separate laws to apply to harming those who can't lift more than 50 lbs or run a mile in less than 7 minutes. We may believe it worse to steal from someone who earns $25,000/year than someone who earns $150,000. This does not mean that we create separate laws pertaining to stealing from a person with a high salary versus stealing from a person with a low salary. Both of these scenarios provide a corollary for the hate crime legislation that continues to be promoted by politicians today.

Quote:
From the definition of "Hate Crime":
“hate crime” means a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.
Under this definition all rape becomes a hate crimes considering that rapists generally will pick victims based on their gender.. Similarly the casual opportunist who directs violence towards the weak (eg disabled and to some extent women) out of the ease of the target rather than out of particular hatred of the individual seems to fall under the act. At the very least this act needs to be less vague.

[*] The harsher punishment for hate crime can't be proportionate because the current punishment (at least by the laws standard) is considered proportionate to the crime. So therefore by increasing the punishment for the same crime the punishment must therefore become disproportionate.

I hope this made sense. I worry that I've just rambled nonsense at 4:30 am in the morning.

Last edited by Jack; November 2nd 2009 at 03:32 AM.
   
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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - November 3rd 2009, 03:48 AM

Fuck yes. Regardless of the whole should there be 'hate' crimes and all that, sexual orientation and gender identity should count.



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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - November 3rd 2009, 06:34 AM

Another waste of money by Obama...


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - November 5th 2009, 01:58 AM

So when's the word for "sexual-orientationist" going to come out so we can blame any instance in which a gay person doesn't get special treatment on "sexual-orientationism"


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - November 5th 2009, 10:56 AM

A couple people have stated that there are more than just the immediate victim in "normal" crimes too. Yes, that's true. But what I was trying to say is, in a "normal" murder, it will cause psychological effects on the family, obviously. And the whole community might get a bit more scared and on the safer side ( not going out alone as often as possible for while, being nervous going out after dark, ect) . But I doubt it would go so far as to make someone be scared to be who they are ( Gay, bi, transgender, ect.). Just my opinion.


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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - November 5th 2009, 05:27 PM

As others have said, I think that the idea of punishing "hate" crimes more severely is really unneccesary. A murder is a murder is a murder, doesn't matter what the motives were.

What I'm more concerned about is what got added onto this bill on its way through Congress, as our wonderful legislature has a wonderful way of adding pet projects to bills like this.
   
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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - November 5th 2009, 09:30 PM

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As others have said, I think that the idea of punishing "hate" crimes more severely is really unneccesary. A murder is a murder is a murder, doesn't matter what the motives were.

What I'm more concerned about is what got added onto this bill on its way through Congress, as our wonderful legislature has a wonderful way of adding pet projects to bills like this.
Especially when there is such a majority that the dems can get away with a lot...




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Re: Obama signs hate crimes bill into law - November 6th 2009, 01:57 AM

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Another waste of money by Obama...
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