Extending hate crime legislation. Republicans are against it. Republicans: Matthew Shepard died for your sins.

Here it is (and some other stuff, for vets):

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From today’s Rachel Maddow show.

Comments

  1. #1 Bill James
    October 23, 2009

    Extending hate crime legislation. Republicans are against it. Republicans: Matthew Shepard died for your sins.

    For the sins of Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson if you will, both behind bars serving double life terms.

    It would seem existing law was quite sufficient in the Matthew Shepard case.

    Indeed, McKinney was facing the death penalty until Shepard’s parents brokered a deal.

    Matthew Shepard – Wikipedia

  2. #2 noel
    October 23, 2009

    Thank you for your support on this issue – so many people only care about their own issues. Republicans are only for gay rights if a close family member happens to be gay, if then.
    The argument that hate crime legislation is unusual because it punishes a person for what he is thinking is easy to refute: the difference between murder and manslaughter is often just that.

  3. #3 Ray
    October 23, 2009

    I dislike hate crime laws for the simple reason that murdering a gay/black/jewish/etc. person is still murder.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    October 23, 2009

    Ray: I would totally agree with you if what you said is actually the case. However, it isn’t. For one thing, hate crime laws don’t obviate that murdering a person in a particular category is murder.

    If you murder a gay/black/jewish/whatever person, that is not a hate crime, even with hate crime laws in place. Hat crime laws do not make the act of murdering a certain kind of person worse or extra illegal. If that is what you think a hate crime is, you need to go back and find out what a hate crime is.

    You can murder a guy named Joe and that’s run of the mill murder. You can murder a guy named Joe who happens to be Jewish. That’s still run of the mill murder. You can murder a guy named Joe who his Jewish because he’s Jewish and because you want to put all the other Jews in their place. That’s run of the mill murder AND a hate crime.

    To learn more start here:

    http://almostdiamonds.blogspot.com/2009/07/is-hate-crime.html

  5. #5 Ray
    October 23, 2009

    Greg,
    “You can murder a guy named Joe and that’s run of the mill murder. You can murder a guy named Joe who happens to be Jewish. That’s still run of the mill murder. You can murder a guy named Joe who his Jewish because he’s Jewish and because you want to put all the other Jews in their place. That’s run of the mill murder AND a hate crime. ”

    And ALL 3 crimes are murder. Someone is dead by another’s hand. Given that murder in most states is punishable by death or life without parole, I see no benefit at all to tacking on an extra criminal charge to the original murder charge.

    It just doesn’t have a point in terms of justice, only in terms of PC.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    October 23, 2009

    Ray:I see no benefit at all to tacking on an extra criminal charge to the original murder charge.

    I get that you don’t see this. But you could learn.

    Did you look at the link I provided above? Do you know how criminal investigation and crime preventoin resoures are allocated in this country? Do you know what percentage of people who pretty clearly committed a crime actually get convicted for that crime? Have you checked with the prosecutors … the ones who have to make this all work … to see what they need for tools?

    Ray, you’ve thrown up a significant flag here. You are playing the PC card. What are your real motivations in restricting or avoiding laws that punish people for racist, sexist, and anti-gay violence?

  7. #7 Ray
    October 23, 2009

    “Ray, you’ve thrown up a significant flag here. You are playing the PC card. What are your real motivations in restricting or avoiding laws that punish people for racist, sexist, and anti-gay violence? ”

    Oh, so I have to have a “real” motivation?

    How’s this? I was in the military for 24 years. We treat everyone the same. Murder is murder.

    It is reality that many things are done for PC. Making the murder (or any other crime) of someone in a special protected class different from the murder of someone who isn’t in a special class is wrong. Kill a guy, go to jail. Kill a guy because he’s gay and you hate gay people? Go to jail.

    In my view, people are people. I don’t care about your sex, race, religion, orientation, etc. Treat everyone the same and you’re good to go. Separating people into special categories simply goes against my worldview. It should go against a scientist’s worldview as well.

  8. #8 Stephanie Z
    October 23, 2009

    Ray, how do you treat terrorists in the military?

  9. #9 marilove
    October 23, 2009

    “In my view, people are people.”

    Yeah, in YOUR view. You aren’t out committing hate crimes.

    Let’s say someone commits a hate crime against a gay man. He commits that crime because he sees gays as LESS THAN he is. It doesn’t matter who that man was — it could have been ANY gay person. As long as he was gay, it was reason enough to kill him.

    As Stephanie Z touched on, think of it as terrorism. It’s the *exact* same mindset.

    And do you think if you murder someone in cold blood, you’re going to get the same charges and sentencing as someone who accidently kills someone? No. We have ALWAYS had different levels of crimes, and we’ve ALWAYS used context and motive as a way to determine those levels. This isn’t a new concept.

    Honestly, I think one of the problems that keep people from getting it is the term “hate crime”.

  10. #10 Rick Pikul
    October 23, 2009

    @Ray

    What you are missing is that in a hate crime, there are a lot more victims. Kill a guy because you want his wallet, and your victims are him and those who knew him, kill someone because he is a member of some group and the entire group are victims because of the inherent threat that they could be next. This much larger set of victims is why being a hate crime is an aggravating circumstance.

    Hate crimes are also hardly the only time when what you are thinking matters: There is a reason why a homicide could be a murder, a manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death, etc.

    As for the military treating everyone the same: Not in the US, as the military was heavily racist until the late ’40s and heavily homophobic since the early ’40s.

  11. #11 Ray
    October 23, 2009

    StephanieZ,

    “Ray, how do you treat terrorists in the military?”

    If the terrorist is in the military and subject to military law he gets punished according to the law.

    However, given that terrorists are neither in the military nor are they subject to military law or the Geneva accords, you can shoot them when you find them.

  12. #12 Ray
    October 23, 2009

    Rick,

    “What you are missing is that in a hate crime, there are a lot more victims. Kill a guy because you want his wallet, and your victims are him and those who knew him, kill someone because he is a member of some group and the entire group are victims because of the inherent threat that they could be next. This much larger set of victims is why being a hate crime is an aggravating circumstance.”

    Huh? Wouldn’t the people who stand to get murdered while being mugged also be members of a larger group? Shouldn’t they get hate crime protection too?

    “As for the military treating everyone the same: Not in the US, as the military was heavily racist until the late ’40s and heavily homophobic since the early ’40s.”

    Umm, this is 2009. I wasn’t in the military in the 40′s. In any event, things are different (and better) these days.

  13. #13 aratina cage
    October 23, 2009

    Wouldn’t the people who stand to get murdered while being mugged also be members of a larger group? Shouldn’t they get hate crime protection too? -Ray

    It doesn’t matter to a terrorist who they kill as long as the violence causes a fearful reaction in the group they are terrorizing. Muggers do it to gain wealth, not to cause terror; it isn’t political for a mugger. And muggers actually are doing what they do, strangely, because they want to be part of society (i.e., have money to spend or toys to play with), so they are not trying to destroy society. Gay haters are out to destroy society by terrorizing a sector of the populace. They should be locked up for that in addition to whatever other crime they are convicted of.

  14. #14 flynn
    October 24, 2009

    In my view, people are people. I don’t care about your sex, race, religion, orientation, etc. Treat everyone the same and you’re good to go. Separating people into special categories simply goes against my worldview.

    Someone who says, “gay people get bashed a lot; let’s give them a little extra protection” is separating people into categories in an unacceptable way. But someone who kills people because they are gay is…just the same as any other murderer?

    Hate crimes legislation just adds another piece to the puzzle. We already consider premeditation, weapon use, emotional state, history of violence, sanity, mutilation, so many other things. Some of these are exonerating factors, some are aggravating factors. Hate of a group of people that gets exercised on a victim is an aggravating factor.

    A friend used to compare hate crimes legislation to the witness protection program. As a metaphor, it’s not quite on target but it does pull out the essential issue. I mean, it’s unfair that this one family gets protection and the average one doesn’t. Until you look at the real situation, which is that the protected family is in more than average danger. When people stop killing teenage boys for wearing eyeliner, then maybe we can talk about cookie-cutter sentencing.