William Boykin
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Deep under my crusty exterior, at heart I'm an even crustier Kantian when it comes to Ethics. There's nothing that I value more in an intellectual than consistency.

Leonard Pitts, columnist for the Miami Herald, is not a guy that I agree with a lot. You could say I read him and disagree with quite often. But he's CONSISTENT- as well as smart, savvy, and (from what I can tell of his writing) a compassionate guy.

In an article that he wrote on 9.12.2009 "Hate Crime demands justice", Mr. Pitts told a tale of a young youth who had been vicious beaten by young toughs in a racial showdown in Buffalo, NY. The young lad's only 'crime' was that he was dating a young girl who was a different color than he was. The boy, who is now in the hospital still,

Quote:
...had a gash on his head that required seven staples to close. He had bleeding and swelling in his brain. His jaw and one tooth were broken. His sense of smell is gone. He has no memory of the beating.


You'd expect to have heard about this on the national news, as Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan come to rally support for this young boy beaten because he dared to love a young girl of another color. But no- you see, Brian Milligan, Jr. is white, and his ten assailants were black.

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``Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'' -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Your blues, author BeBe Moore Campbell famously wrote, ain't like mine.

I've occasionally borrowed that phrase to explain how bigotry as experienced by majority and minority is not the same: the one has access to levers of power enabling it to express its hatred in public policy, the other has access only to fists and words. But there are times that observation is simultaneously true, and irrelevant. This is one of them.

There is, after all, a certain egalitarian outrageousness in what happened to 18-year-old Brian Milligan. Getting hit in the back of the head with a chunk of concrete is getting hit in the back of the head with a chunk of concrete, whether you are Jew or Muslim, gay or straight, black or white.


"Hate Crime Demands Justice", Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald, 9.12.2009.
http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/leonard-pitts/s...

So why bring up a column a couple of weeks out of date?

Well, first, I only just found this, so wanted to point this out to people- at the bottom of the article is information to help with the medical bills of Brian Jr, as his father is unemployed, with no insurance, and staggering under a mountain of debt.

Secondly-
Well, after reading this article by Mr. Pitts, I found this article over the AP Wire.

Quote:
The funeral of a Chicago teen, [Derrion Albert] who was beaten to death on his way home from school drew civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan on Saturday, both calling for an end to youth violence....

...President Barack Obama is sending U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who once led Chicago Public Schools, to Chicago on Wednesday to meet with school officials, students and residents and talk about school violence.

"The eyes of the world are watching," Pastor E.F. Ledbetter Jr. told mourners at the Greater Mount Hebron Baptist Church on the city's South Side. "This has affected people all over the globe."

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis and Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman also both attended the funeral along with other city and public officials. Huberman called the Christian Fenger Academy High School sophomore a "bright light."


"Jackson, Farrakhan at beaten Ill. teen's funeral", CARYN ROUSSEAU, Associated Press Writer, 10.03.2009

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091003/ap_on_re_us/us_chicago_b...;

Now, this is certainly another tragedy- Young Mr. Albert was a bright and promising young lad, and certainly did NOT deserve to be beaten for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nor do I want to be seen as saying that its wrong for Rev. Jackson and Mr. Farrakhan to protest this horrible killing.

But the fact remains- Mr. Albert was black. Mr. Milligan is white. But yet, while there is a great wailing and outcry over the vicious attack of Mr. Albert, the African-American community in Buffalo is virtually silent about the attack on Mr. Milligan.

Mr. Pitts, in his article on Mr. Milligan, goes on to say-
Quote:
According to media reports, blacks in the neighborhood have been conspicuous in their refusal to cooperate with investigators. While a black anti-crime group has been trying to help bring the criminals to justice, Brian Sr. says other blacks have chosen silence. ``I don't know if it's that they're scared or they don't care. That's a coin I just don't want to toss up in the air.''

Nor do I. So let me just say this: Assuming the facts are as we have been told, this demands prosecution as a hate crime. What happened to Brian Milligan is an offense against civil society. We should all be outraged.

I loathe bigotry in all its forms, but I have a special problem with bigotry as practiced by those who, by dint of their own history, should know better. When Jews hate Muslims for their religion, when gays scorn straights for their sexual orientation, when blacks beat a white teenager for the color of his skin, it suggests people too dense to understand the moral of their own story, the meaning of their own passages. The minority is no more righteous in its hate than the majority is.


Consistency. I applaud Mr. Pitts for pointing out, and trying to alleviate the pain and suffering of Mr. Milligan. And I deeply mourn the death of Mr. Albert, as a life cut so short by tragic violence.

BUT-
I am appalled at the lack of consistency about violent HATE crimes being committed in America. And the reason FOR this inconsistency is that people USE these crimes to further political agendas.

Matthew Shepard became a martyr for the Gay Rights community after his vicious lynching. Now, Mr. Albert is being used by Rev. Jackson and Mr. Farrakhan as a tragic symbol to talk about the ongoing plight of youths in our inner cities.

But we can't move forward on race if we're not consistent in recognizing that ALL violence, based upon hatred of skin, religion, or sex, or sexual persuasion, is an abomination.

Darilian


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Hate crime=thought crime. Government should not patrol people's' thoughts, but better damn well prosecute ALL crimes that end on the proximal ends of peoples' noses. Get the bureaucrats out of determining the appropriate amount of outrage for acts of violence.
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Your argument is ridiculous. There are a million noble causes out there, and it would take way more than a lifetime to advocate for them all. Protesting hate crimes in general isn't Jesse Jackson's agenda- his agenda is (broadly speaking) protesting discrimination against black people. Why can't he pursue that agenda if he wants?

Hilariously, it's always the privileged who advocate the veil of ignorance.
 
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JoshBot wrote:
Hate crime=thought crime. Government should not patrol people's' thoughts, but better damn well prosecute ALL crimes that end on the proximal ends of peoples' noses. Get the bureaucrats out of determining the appropriate amount of outrage for acts of violence.


I've never understood this argument. Saying something is a hate crime doesn't mean that the hate is criminal but that it is an aggravating factor -- something that is fairly routine in criminal law.

If you deface my property, that's vandalism. If I happen to be Jewish and you deface my property by carving a swastika in it, that's not merely vandalism -- there is an implicit threat in your action and it's reasonable for me to be scared and/or hurt to a greater degree.

If I kill you after being seriously provoked, that's likely to be considered manslaughter.

If I kill you in a spur of the moment rage without serious provocation, that's second degree murder.

If I plan or contract out your killing, that's first degree murder.

In each case, my state of mind and intent are taken into account by the law.
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Ken
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Darilian wrote:
BUT-
I am appalled at the lack of consistency about violent HATE crimes being committed in America. And the reason FOR this inconsistency is that people USE these crimes to further political agendas.


I'd agree with the disparity of attention you're pointing to if it the two crimes had at least occurred in the same state. I can think of a number of reasons that the IL case drew more media attention: it occurred on school grounds, the victim was caught in the middle of two feuding gangs, there was a video taken of the victim's beating using a cell phone that made it to the police and media, the victim was actually beaten by both sides of the gang war that was going on, etc.

Oh, and it's very likely that if there weren't that video (and others from security cameras) that the Chicago police would be running in to stone walls in their case as well. Sadly, that happens routinely in black-on-black or white-on-black crimes as well.

Violence against a person is violence against a person in my book (I don't like hate crimes laws, myself - if I've the right to think and speak as I see fit then these laws strike me as violating that right). Both the Chicago and Miami events are terrible. Both deserve approbation. It's cheap to pick a crime out of a paper (in a different state, no less) and hold it up as equivalent. It's a stunt. If Mr. Pitts thinks it important to cover the crime, he can do so and continue to do so. Implying that the civil rights leaders who chose to focus on the IL case are somehow "ducking" that crime or don't care (I'll bet that they would) is cheap politics.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
I've never understood this argument. Saying something is a hate crime doesn't mean that the hate is criminal but that it is an aggravating factor -- something that is fairly routine in criminal law.


Then charge the crime based on the actual aggravating factors, not based on what one says, reads, or writes. First degree murder isn't charged because someone writes a particular book, column, or letter. It's charged because you can show premeditation and intent.

I'm fine with that. I'm not fine with laws that make it an additional crime to think or say something as a different crime is committed. If someone caves in your face with a baseball bat, that's already a crime with sentencing guidelines. Whether that person was spewing racial, sexual, or other bile as they did so should impact that sentence and that sentence only.

It's wrong to punish people for what they think. It's right to punish them for what they actually do as a result of what they think.

Edit to add: Note that hate crimes are, in almost all circumstances I'm aware of, additional crimes, not aggravating factors that go to sentencing. I may be wrong, but since they're a separate crime (and one that I have seen charged without another offense in media reports), it strikes me that we're strictly charging based on what one thinks or says. And that strikes me as violating the idea of freedom of speech.
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Darilian wrote:

I am appalled at the lack of consistency about violent HATE crimes being committed in America. And the reason FOR this inconsistency is that people USE these crimes to further political agendas.

Matthew Shepard became a martyr for the Gay Rights community after his vicious lynching. Now, Mr. Albert is being used by Rev. Jackson and Mr. Farrakhan as a tragic symbol to talk about the ongoing plight of youths in our inner cities.

But we can't move forward on race if we're not consistent in recognizing that ALL violence, based upon hatred of skin, religion, or sex, or sexual persuasion, is an abomination.

Darilian


This is a strawman, most everyone would agree that all violence is bad already. Personally, I'm all for hate crime enhancements, and yes, the beating of the white boy is a hate crime. The idea is, a hate crime intimidates the larger community rather than the single victim. Lynching in the south is always about sending a message. In this case, white kids dating black girls will have serious second thoughts about being seen together.

Getting mugged for your wallet is one thing, but I think being mugged for your race or sexual orientation is much, much worse.

As a white guy, I would argue you are pretty tone deaf on this stuff, as I am. I know some gay folks who pack heat because they are concerned about what happened to Matthew Shepard and would rather make someone eat a bullet than suffer his fate. You and I don't have to really worry about this kind of stuff I'm guessing.

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wargamer66 wrote:
Personally, I'm all for hate crime enhancements, and yes, the beating of the white boy is a hate crime. The idea is, a hate crime intimidates the larger community rather than the single victim. Lynching in the south is always about sending a message. In this case, white kids dating black girls will have serious second thoughts about being seen together.


So if intimidating a community makes something a crime, why should there be any difference between intimidation that takes the form of violent action and intimidation that doesn't? If the KKK holds a rally and espouses racial purity, cleansing, and actions to drive out non-white/non-protestant members of the community, why shouldn't that be a crime of intimidation? If a reactionary republican espouses deporting homosexuals to keep our nation "pure," why shouldn't that be a crime of intimidation? If a radical leftist calls for the overthrow of capitalist pigs who steal from the workers in a revolution and lining them up against a wall, why shouldn't that rise to the level of intimidation?

There are already various "gradiations" of crimes. There's assault, aggravated assault, mayhem, attempted murder, etc. Each crime also has sentencing rules that should provide a judge with flexibility to set an appropriate sentence that matches the actual actions of those involved. It seems both unjust and against the idea that one is free to think and speak as they see fit to charge someone for more than their actual actions. I question its ability to deter a crime (just as I'd question the death penalty as a deterrent) and the justice in punishing someone for what they think (just as I'd question the justice in the state taking a life due to the death penalty).
 
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Hate crime laws serve a purpose; namely to create a difference of degree of crimes that mightn't otherwise have them. Unfortunately they are too often used selectively for political means. The reaction of Jackson and Farrakhan is not surprising; these two men who in past fought against racism aimed at blacks somewhere over time became racists themselves, i.e., men to who everything is about race and the value of human life and dignity is no judged the same between black people and white people.

I heard Jackson in particular speak when he was running for president in 1988; I was still in high school and he gave a speech atour schoolwhich we were all required to attend. The speech was pure white-bashing and race-baiting that went WELL beyond demanding what is simple justice that namely black people are first and foremost people and deserve to be treated as such. Yet if one listens to speeches by Jackson from 20 years previously this is not the case. He became what he was fighting against.

Racism does obviously exist in the US but Jackson, Farrakhan and all too many others aren't any longer fighting against it; they need it for their own political ends and so fuel it.
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perfalbion wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
I've never understood this argument. Saying something is a hate crime doesn't mean that the hate is criminal but that it is an aggravating factor -- something that is fairly routine in criminal law.


Then charge the crime based on the actual aggravating factors, not based on what one says, reads, or writes. First degree murder isn't charged because someone writes a particular book, column, or letter. It's charged because you can show premeditation and intent.


True, but we're still talking about states of mind. I'm not any more dead if the person who kills me planned it for weeks. If someone murders a person because they are of a particular race or sexual orientation or religion, that seems like a much more logical aggravating factor than that they planned it. I live in a heavily-Jewish neighborhood. If someone kills my neighbor for a personal reason, that's a tragedy -- but if he kills him because he's Jewish, that terrorizes an entire community.

Quote:
I'm fine with that. I'm not fine with laws that make it an additional crime to think or say something as a different crime is committed. If someone caves in your face with a baseball bat, that's already a crime with sentencing guidelines. Whether that person was spewing racial, sexual, or other bile as they did so should impact that sentence and that sentence only.


OK, but what I don't understand is why that paragraph is any less valid if you replace "was spewing...bile as they did so" with "planned the attack that morning"?

Quote:
Edit to add: Note that hate crimes are, in almost all circumstances I'm aware of, additional crimes, not aggravating factors that go to sentencing. I may be wrong, but since they're a separate crime (and one that I have seen charged without another offense in media reports), it strikes me that we're strictly charging based on what one thinks or says. And that strikes me as violating the idea of freedom of speech.


Fair point. I'm not sure it turns into a violation of freedom of speech, though, since someone who (for example) writes a hateful, racist column but doesn't go out and beat up or kill black people isn't guilty of a crime at all.
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Ken
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
True, but we're still talking about states of mind. I'm not any more dead if the person who kills me planned it for weeks. If someone murders a person because they are of a particular race or sexual orientation or religion, that seems like a much more logical aggravating factor than that they planned it. I live in a heavily-Jewish neighborhood. If someone kills my neighbor for a personal reason, that's a tragedy -- but if he kills him because he's Jewish, that terrorizes an entire community.


Someone kills your neighbor and intends to do so. This is second degree murder in most states since the death is not accidental in any way. Second degree murder in most states has sentencing that runs from as low as 2 years to as much as life in prison. Some states further call out a crime of "Aggravated Murder" which is intended to cover cases that have circumstances beyond second degree murder, but fail to rise to a degree of premeditation that would allow charging first degree or capital murder. These crimes also have sentences running to life.

Seems to me that the existing statutes already make it possible for a judge to hand out an incredibly stiff sentence without worrying about whether or not the murderer was influenced by "hate."

Quote:
OK, but what I don't understand is why that paragraph is any less valid if you replace "was spewing...bile as they did so" with "planned the attack that morning"?


My understanding of criminal law (and I'm not a lawyer) is that pre-meditation of that nature will always result in stepping up the charge. Assault goes to aggravated assault or mayhem. Murder goes from manslaughter to 2nd degree to 1st degree. Then a prosecutor can add in conspiracy charges and criminal civil rights violations. It seems to me that the existing set of laws we have for acts of violence already provide exceptionally wide coverage of the aggravating factors in such a case.

But that's not the point - once you impose a crime based on thought or speech related to an act, aren't you eroding a right we have guaranteed in the Constitution? It strikes me as roughly the same as charging someone for using a racial or religious derogative without the act itself. So if it the only difference between one set of crimes (beating you with a baseball bat and setting fire to your lawn) is the speech of those who committed the act (beating you with a baseball bat while saying antisemitic slurs and then burning a swastika into your lawn), then we've just criminalized a form of speech.

Quote:
Fair point. I'm not sure it turns into a violation of freedom of speech, though, since someone who (for example) writes a hateful, racist column but doesn't go out and beat up or kill black people isn't guilty of a crime at all.


Then why is it worse that someone uses "hate speech" while committing a crime? Make the charges fit the actual act with all of its aggravating factors and I suspect that there will be very little difference in the sentences handed out.

But this may just be me on a "I'm so sick of standing up for law & order" kick. We're getting to the point where criminality will be endemic because we'll have made nearly every act criminal for one reason or another in the interest of showing that we're "tough on crime." I'd prefer if we really were tough on crime (rather than throwing tons of money at prisons or tracking databases, etc.) and left judges the discretion to do their jobs.

Our politicians are so interested in winning the "law and order" vote that we're going to bankrupt ourselves paying for jails/prisons. And ruining lives as a result, since many of the people that end up there aren't likely to come out and "go straight" since we don't give them much in the way of opportunity to do so.
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perfalbion wrote:
Seems to me that the existing statutes already make it possible for a judge to hand out an incredibly stiff sentence without worrying about whether or not the murderer was influenced by "hate."


Very fair point. The only counter-point I'd offer is in cases where the 'hate' part of hate crime is a big part of what makes it severe, e.g. putting a swastika on a Jewish person's lawn or a burning cross on a black person's lawn. I'm more comfortable in general with putting the discretion in the hands of the sentencing judge.

Quote:
OK, but what I don't understand is why that paragraph is any less valid if you replace "was spewing...bile as they did so" with "planned the attack that morning"?


My understanding of criminal law (and I'm not a lawyer) is that pre-meditation of that nature will always result in stepping up the charge.[/q]

That was basically my point. If I plan an attack in advance, that means I've committed a different crime even though my physical actions are no different.

Quote:
But that's not the point - once you impose a crime based on thought or speech related to an act, aren't you eroding a right we have guaranteed in the Constitution? It strikes me as roughly the same as charging someone for using a racial or religious derogative without the act itself. So if it the only difference between one set of crimes (beating you with a baseball bat and setting fire to your lawn) is the speech of those who committed the act (beating you with a baseball bat while saying antisemitic slurs and then burning a swastika into your lawn), then we've just criminalized a form of speech.


I don't think we have at all. I think we're saying, "OK, speak all you want but when your hateful speech spills into violent action, it is going to affect our response to that action." I think this is eminently sensible.

Joe beats up a guy at a bar after they get into a fight. We, as a society, impose a sanction on Joe for his actions and we take into account the circumstances around them. If the guy just showed Joe a picture of him having sex with Joe's wife, we take that into account. If the basis for the fight is that the guy was a black man dating a white woman and Joe was yelling, "Maybe next time you won't try to pollute a superior race," during the beating, why on earth wouldn't we take that into account? It speaks not only to a broader intimidation that might be at work but also to the likelihood of Joe committing a similar offense in the future.

Quote:
Then why is it worse that someone uses "hate speech" while committing a crime? Make the charges fit the actual act with all of its aggravating factors and I suspect that there will be very little difference in the sentences handed out.


Depends -- do you think that hate speech can be considered an aggravating factor? In the example I gave above, I think that "guy fights guy in bar" is very different from "guy fights guy in bar because other guy is black and dating a white woman". The offender is more likely to reoffend, his actions can have an intimidating effect on a whole class of people and his intent is different.

I agree with your last two paragraphs, btw.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
Very fair point. The only counter-point I'd offer is in cases where the 'hate' part of hate crime is a big part of what makes it severe, e.g. putting a swastika on a Jewish person's lawn or a burning cross on a black person's lawn. I'm more comfortable in general with putting the discretion in the hands of the sentencing judge.


I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. My suggestion is that the discretion is already in the hands of the judge and that the additional crimes strike me as punishment for thinking a particular way.

Quote:
"Maybe next time you won't try to pollute a superior race," during the beating, why on earth wouldn't we take that into account?


We should. By taking it as an aggravating factor for the crimes he's charge with (like assault). If it's OK to add a specific crime to his charge sheet because he said it, how is that different from charging him simply for saying it in the first place? It was OK for him to say things like that up until the moment he hit someone, but after that it becomes a crime? That's punishing someone for their thoughts and opinion.

Quote:
Depends -- do you think that hate speech can be considered an aggravating factor? In the example I gave above, I think that "guy fights guy in bar" is very different from "guy fights guy in bar because other guy is black and dating a white woman". The offender is more likely to reoffend, his actions can have an intimidating effect on a whole class of people and his intent is different.


If I hadn't made it clear, I absolutely think speech, motivation, etc. should be an aggravating factor for precisely the reasons you cite. But it should be only that - an aggravating factor for the crime actually committed, not a completely different charge.
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Hold on. I think I've missed something.

I thought US hate crimes laws WERE written not so that doing something as a hate-crime were a separate act but such that they opened up the same act to stiffer penalties, i.e., identifying an aggravting factor. From what perfalbion and Chad are saying this seems not to be the case.

Can someone please clarify because this is a BIG and important difference.
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Ken
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whac3 wrote:
I thought US hate crimes laws WERE written not so that doing something as a hate-crime were a separate act but such that they opened up the same act to stiffer penalties, i.e., identifying an aggravting factor. From what perfalbion and Chad are saying this seems not to be the case.

Can someone please clarify because this is a BIG and important difference.


As I understand it, they are not aggravating factors, but separate crimes that can only be charged in conjunction with other charges. A person charged with an assault that is a hate crime typically has two charges filed against them or a different charge than standard assault.

But this varies by jurisdiction. Many federal hate crimes are reflected in sentencing guidelines rather than separate charges, for example. Many states don't take that approach.
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As Ken said, it varies. There are federal hate crimes statutes, which can apply to acts that would normally be state crimes. However, the function of most hate crime statutes is to increase the sentence of the underlying crime. In some cases this is because an additional crime is added, but this is hardly unique to hate crimes. A person who commits a crime is often charged with multiple counts -- e.g. a crime, conspiracy to commit that crime, other lesser charges incurred in the perpetration of the crime.
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Hate crimes don't punish 'thought' but actions.
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perfalbion wrote:
So if intimidating a community makes something a crime, why should there be any difference between intimidation that takes the form of violent action and intimidation that doesn't? If the KKK holds a rally and espouses racial purity, cleansing, and actions to drive out non-white/non-protestant members of the community, why shouldn't that be a crime of intimidation? If a reactionary republican espouses deporting homosexuals to keep our nation "pure," why shouldn't that be a crime of intimidation? If a radical leftist calls for the overthrow of capitalist pigs who steal from the workers in a revolution and lining them up against a wall, why shouldn't that rise to the level of intimidation?


At some point these do rise to the level of criminal activity. A rally that calls for racial purity is protected. One in which the speakers say, "We must kill all the n-----s in this town," would (I'm guessing) go beyond protected speech.

More generally, intended and likely consequences have long been factored in to considerations of punishment for criminal acts. I think the Wikipedia summary of Wisconsin vs. Mitchell covers it pretty well:

Wikipedia wrote:
Writing for a unanimous court, Chief Justice William Rehnquist reasoned that, in substance, Wisconsin's law served the same purpose as federal antidiscrimination law. Whereas in R.A.V., the ordinance struck down was explicitly targeted at expression, the statute in this case was directed towards conduct that was not expressive as such, but was instead directed at violence in particular.

The Court further stated that Wisconsin was within its rights to offer sentence enhancement in bias-motivated crime because it had a compelling interest in preventing the negative secondary effects of such crimes. Among these secondary effects mentioned were the increased likelihood of a bias-motivated crime to provoke retaliation, to inflict greater emotional distress on the victim, and to incite community unrest. The Court explained that these secondary effects were more than adequate reason for such a sentencing enhancement, especially if, as stated above, the law was not explicitly targeting beliefs or statements.

Regarding the "chilling effect" argument presented by Mitchell's side, the Court stated that it "[found] no merit in this contention." The Court determined that this rationale was far too speculative in nature to merit a genuine complaint of a statute's constitutional overbreadth. Because lesser crimes such as "negligent operation of a motor vehicle" (cited in the opinion) were very unlikely to ever be racially-based, the Court stated that for this statute to be overbroad one would have to consider the prospect of a citizen actively suppressing their bigoted beliefs because they believed they could be used against him or her at a trial for a serious offense, such as burglary, battery, or murder.


 
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Ken
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
At some point these do rise to the level of criminal activity. A rally that calls for racial purity is protected. One in which the speakers say, "We must kill all the n-----s in this town," would (I'm guessing) go beyond protected speech.


I wouldn't put any money on that guess. Free speech gives very wide latitude unless it steps in to some very specific territory. You might be amazed at what you'd hear at a white supremacist rally.

I understand that there have been rulings that hate crimes laws are constitutional. I just don't agree with that conclusion, myself, and I question whether we should even be going there.

We can disagree on this, ya know.
 
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perfalbion wrote:
We can disagree on this, ya know.


Oh sure, and I think we've probably reached the point where we understand each other and can agree to disagree. (FWIW, I'm not a big fan of hate crime as a legal concept either but I fall on the "not unconstitutional" side of the question.)

It's not like you're Marshall or something.
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CHAPEL
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As opposed to an "I really, really like you' crime?

 
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
(FWIW, I'm not a big fan of hate crime as a legal concept either but I fall on the "not unconstitutional" side of the question.)


I don't question their constitutionality, actually. The Supreme Court says they are, therefore they are.

I just personally find the idea difficult to square with the First Amendment and don't think we need to go there. There's more than enough crimes on the books to handle it without creating the issue.
 
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