Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For Jimbow below

Never hesitate to disagree with me!

I've actually been kicking the hate crime aspect around a bit. If we strip away the "Republicans don't like blacks and gays" aspect of their opposition to hate crimes, there is a reasonable legal point there. The argument is that extant law is sufficient because we criminalize the INTENT TO COMMIT THE ACT (i.e., punch someone in the face or blow up a building) rather than the MOTIVE. A motive may have evidentiary weight but it is not an element of the offense.

But then those same people wail and moan about trying "terrorists" as criminals. The INTENT is the same as your garden variety criminal, as is the conduct. What differs is the MOTIVE, and folks, you can't have it both ways.


JimboW8 said...

My point was that the INTENT of a hate crime is not only directed at the victim but to "terrorize" all or some of the remaining populous with common "traits" (for lack of a better word). IOW, the INTENT of a hate crime against gays is not only to harm the specific victim but to tell any other gays in the community that being gay is unacceptable and will result in similar action. The MOTIVE is incidental.

And we all know that INTENT is recognized, hence first, second, and third DEGREES of murder.

(Maybe I am missing your point because I don't have the legal background.)

FYI, I am in favor of trying terrorists as "common" criminals (not war criminals). To elevate them to a status above that merely reinforces and legitimizes their goal of terrorism.

Peter said...

No, I agree with you. I was off on my own tangent.