This week my dad was kind enough to step in and write an entry; this was after helping me assemble a kayak rack and scooping me a bowl of ice cream. Dads are the best.
Last week the House expanded a Hate Crime Bill to include sexual identity, and many individuals are angry that Bush is planning of vetoing this bill. After all, who could be against “hate”? Even conservatives are against hate, but the real question is what business does the federal government have passing this bill when the vast majority of the states have their own hate crimes bill and all have plenty of laws covering the underlying criminal activity.
I don’t like the whole premise of “hate crime” legislation in the first place. We have laws outlawing assault, liable, murder, etc. in every one of our states. These have traditionally been under state and local jurisdiction. When an individual is a victim of a crime, the perpetrator is subject to the laws of the state where the crime occurred. These crimes should be prosecuted based on the criminal act—not on the identity of the perpetrator, nor on the identity of the victim. Prosecution also shouldn't be based on the motivation for the crime. If an individual is assaulted and injured, the motivation of the perpetrator should only be a secondary factor to perhaps be weighted by the judge or jury in assigning punishment. The criminal act and the evidence supporting its elements of proof should be the basis of prosecution.
The assault of a wealthy white man, a poor black woman, or a gay student should be treated equally, and the criminal who caused the assault should be punished for the assault. I think we stray a long way from the ideals of “blind” judgment when we make special classes of victims…just as we would if we considered the social status, race, or gender of the accused criminal.