Obama to Sign Hate Crime Legislation | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Obama to Sign Hate Crime Legislation

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President Barack Obama will sign new hate crime legislation into law today.

In a ceremony today at the White House, President Barack Obama will sign a bill into law that has been in the works for more than a decade. The bill updates the 1968 federal hate crime statutes that currently protects individuals from attack because of their race, religion or ethnicity, adding sexual orientation and disabilities to the list.

First introduced in 1996, the bill is named for Wyoming college student Mathew Shepard, who was murdered in 1998 because he was gay. The new law provides federal investigators forensic tools and funding to assist state and local authorities in prosecuting hate crimes, according to NPR.

Previous Comments

ID
152895
Comment

Aren't all murders hate crimes? You gotta pretty much hate someone to kill them.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-28T11:59:50-06:00
ID
152896
Comment

No, Bubba, most murders are crimes of passion. People who kill usually kill someone known to them: wives, lovers, friends. Hate crimes refers to crimes where people are specifically targeted because of a group they belong to: blacks, gays, muslims and so forth. Hate crimes are not about the individual killed; they are crimes against a group the killer(s) don't happen to like.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-28T12:07:22-06:00
ID
152901
Comment

People's perspectives are often different when they have not lived something. I brought home a copy of a paper I picked up in Taylorsville the other day which had an article about the Klan marching somewhere in Scott County. It was pretty interesting to explain to my 9 year old who these people where and explain to him why they hated him just because he was Black. If you have never experienced that sort of thing, you would not understand the need for "hate crime" legislation. Most Whites do not support the Klan these days, but I can assure you that presence of a group like that affects Blacks in a totally different way. There is no "Black Klan".

Author
Goldenae
Date
2009-10-28T13:11:52-06:00
ID
152904
Comment

Hatred is passion, like love. I'd say very few people are cold enough not to care in the slightest about who they kill.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-10-28T13:23:35-06:00
ID
152909
Comment

Ironghost, When you come from the perspective of a person being an "abomination" or something less than yourself, you may look at killing them the same way you would as killing a fly. How else can all the lynchings and other killings that went on in the South be something that people were never punished for? That is because there was a general feeling in society that some folks lives were less valuable than others. The same thing exist to a much smaller degree today.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2009-10-28T13:36:04-06:00
ID
152911
Comment

Iron, killing someone in the heat of passion is very different from targeting an unknown individual simply because they belong to a group you happen to hate. The first is personal; the second is not. Hate crimes—like ethnic cleansing—happen when an entire group of people are dehumanized and demonized. Haters see members of the hated group as something less than human, which allows them to justify actions taken to limit the group, up to and including killing individual members of the group. I think that you're right that few people are *individually* cold enough not to care, but when you're caught up in group-think and taught that some people are "garbage" or "chattel," it doesn't take much to believe eliminating them is not just OK, but your patriotic duty. It's happened too many times to count throughout human history.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-28T14:17:54-06:00
ID
152912
Comment

According to FBI statistic there were 9 murders out of 17,000 and 2 rapes out of 90,000 in the U.S. in 2007 that were hate crimes, seems like they need to be passing legislation for stiffer penalities for murder and rape not hate crimes.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-28T15:21:47-06:00
ID
152913
Comment

Bubba, um... given that the maximum penalties for murder and rape are life without parole or death, what do you suggest? Also, the FBI stats come from local police. If there are no local statutes for hate crimes, or if prosecutors don't use them, no hate crimes get reported. There is no independent verification of the FBI stats, which is why the FBI warns against using them as general statements without context, including as rating tools for cities.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-28T15:29:11-06:00
ID
152914
Comment

Ronni- make the minimum sentence life with no parole and death the max?? I know where FBI stats come from.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-28T15:40:57-06:00
ID
152915
Comment

[quote] When you come from the perspective of a person being an "abomination" or something less than yourself, you may look at killing them the same way you would as killing a fly.[/quote] Good thing I don't come from such a place, Goldenae. [quote] I think that you're right that few people are *individually* cold enough not to care, but when you're caught up in group-think and taught that some people are "garbage" or "chattel," it doesn't take much to believe eliminating them is not just OK, but your patriotic duty.[/quote] Ronni, I'm going to guess Goldenae got with you to co-ordinate the personal attack? I'm not a member of such a group. If I'm reading too much into your statement, you can tell me. Also, don't confuse patriotism with this. The US has had laws against murder for years, and certainly didn't condone the death of Sheppard. Let's be clear: I think we have enough laws in this country. If you want one more to cover "hate crimes", then you got lucky today. I think, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, Sheppard's killers are already in jail for violating already existing laws.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-10-28T15:55:36-06:00
ID
152916
Comment

Iron- I have never understood the need for hate crime laws everything they cover was already covered by existing laws. Murder is murder, doesn't matter if it a crime of passion or a hate crime neither is worse than the other. Somebody killed someone and that's against the crime.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-28T16:19:47-06:00
ID
152917
Comment

Iron, Goldenae and I no more got together than you and Bubbba ;-) There's no personal attack in the least, and I don't think you're a member of any hate group. It's difficult to understand your objection to the law, however. The purpose of most laws is to deter crime. If haters know that some special levels of hell await them if they kill based on their specific (and illogical) hatred of some random group, it's fine with me. Maybe someone might actually speak up next time a bunch of guys in a bar decide to whoop up on the gay kid (as in Shepard's case), or when the group decides to drag an African American to death behind the pickup, as happened in Jasper, Texas a few years ago. I'm not "confusing" patriotism with anything. What I said was that in group-think situations, throughout history, certain groups of people have been designated as "less-than-human," which have justified entire societies to try to eliminate them. That kind of thinking is the basis for every ethnic cleansing and genocide throughout history, including Germany's killing of millions of Jews during WWII, the near-elimination of American Indians and lynching of African Americans. There are hundreds of examples throughout history, and many people engaged in those crimes honestly thought it was their patriotic duty to eliminate as many of the selected group as possible.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-28T16:27:56-06:00
ID
152918
Comment

Ronni- What would make them speak up about someone whooping up on the gay kid in the bar if it's a hate crime to do it? They didn't speak up when it wasn't a hate crime but it was still a crime with existing laws. Making it a hate crime isn't going to change that. Do we have a problem with ethnic cleansing in the U.S. that I have not noticed? What makes murder of a person that's classified as a hate crime any worse than a murder that's not?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-28T18:07:34-06:00
ID
152919
Comment

Hate crime laws are less centered on the punishment and more centered on being a jurisdiction vehicle for federal investigators, resources and prosecutors to become involved. For example, according to the NPR article, prosecuting the Mathew Shepard case practically bankrupted the county once they dealt with the media, protesters, etc. associated with the case. So had the hate crime laws been in place, it simply would have provided a legal vehicle for federal resources to help out the local jurisdiction.

Author
darren
Date
2009-10-28T18:44:54-06:00
ID
152924
Comment

Bubba, you're arguing for making the punishment against murder and rape stronger, as if that would deter crime, yet you don't see how making punishment for hate crimes stronger would do the same ... you can't have it both ways. Can you not see that the same brutality that would cause a hate crime against one human being—the hatred of a specific group—is the same thinking that causes ethnic cleansing—the elimination of a group? It's not much of a stretch. It can and has happened in the U.S. Ask a Native American living on a reservation if this country has a problem with ethnic cleansing.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-29T09:10:40-06:00
ID
152926
Comment

I hear you Ronni M. There are people in our world who think that crimes against certain people are justifiable, i.e., If the person wasn't gay, he would not have been killed." Sill another position is that of the person's race: It's as if the person got what he/she deserved. Then there is the disrespect and disregard for some others: It was that old Muslim or it was just old Joe who did nothing but walk the streets. I am soooo glad to see this bill signed into law. It will not be an end-all, but, I think that it will give a position for a clear direction for those areas requiring special protection. We have all kinds of inclusions for women and children in this country. We are even considered as people to be protected during war.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-10-29T10:00:23-06:00
ID
152927
Comment

When we live in a society where large groups of Whites still feel comfortable enough to assemble in the name of the Ku Klux Klan, there is work that still needs to be done. Hate crimes legislation is about detering ignorant people from acting on and supporting ignorance like the Klan. Murder has always been illegal, but it did not deter individuals from committing it when they thought the system was skewed in their favor. It would be very interesting to know when the first White was convicted of killing a Black in MS. There was a time when killing a Black person was not really treated as a crime. That same attitude can exist toward the treatment of other people. It is not just about murder, but detering the creation of environments were groups like the KKK feel comfortable acting. It always astounds me how people feel so comfortable challenging common sense things like this, but sit back and let the actual lunatics like the KKK march, recruit and do whatever it is they would like without any sort of opposition. It is also sad that people pretend not to know what is going on when it comes to the treatment of people different then themselves. People know that there are still a lot of people who hate Blacks or people of other races. They also know that people hate gays, but it is more convenient for their arguements for them to pretend that they do not know that people are treated differently.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2009-10-29T10:01:46-06:00
ID
152933
Comment

"Hatred is passion, like love. I'd say very few people are cold enough not to care in the slightest about who they kill." - Iron That's why there are fewer hate crimes than other violent crimes. It takes a very, disturbed nutjob to murder or harm a person simply because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. But, that doesn't deny the fact that they exist. Oh, they do! I've met 5 of them that carried baseball bats and yelled faggot as they chased me through a parking lot. I've met 3 others, as we tried to outrun them, while they yelled fags; later in the chase, they attempted run my partner and I off the road . I've come face-to-face with cops that found it entertaining to drop tear gas in a gay bar and the same police not respond to calls about the issue. They exist. They're here and they're in all corners of America; some are cocky enough to risk life and limb to prove they're better than __________. Ask the families and friends of Matthew Shepard, James Byrd, Jr's, Brandon Teena, and countless others - including many African Americans that still feel fear walking around rural America. For me, a hate crime is an act of terror and I believe that's why these laws exist. Terrorists, big and small, face stricter consequences because their actions have a dramatic effect on our country and our citizen's psyche. For example, the murder of Matthew Shepard scared the hell out of an entire community -- the LGBT community, our friends, families and allies. We were exposed to a visible and very real threat; the heightened fear and the sense of risk for being ourselves scarred so many. For that remember his murder, we may look of our shoulders to make sure we're not being followed. We may worry about being seen at gay bars. We may fear being near our partners in public spaces. We still have a lingering sense of paranoia and risk for simply being ourselves -- even in our own spaces. See, the action of a few men on that fateful day, sent shockwaves throughout the US. It terrorized an entire community. The difference between a hate crime and a murder are dramatically different. It's decidedly clear if you're part of a community that has experienced such hatred.

Author
kaust
Date
2009-10-29T10:48:37-06:00
ID
152935
Comment

Ronni- Do you really think that McKinney and Henderson wouldn't have robbed and beat Shepard to death if what they had known they could be charged with a hate crime?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T11:11:05-06:00
ID
152936
Comment

Bubba, that's a fallacious question; obviously, neither you or Ronni can know the answer to that question. I'm weighing in late, but it's also a nonsensical fallacy, not supporting by any sort of evidence, that all murders are out of "hate." It's an empty excuse used by people don't want so-called special privileges for homosexuals or other communities they're not a part of that are often targets of attacks based on their ethnicity, sexuality or other status. We've seen it used for many years, and it failed logic, level 1. The truth is: Most murders probably are not "hate"-based, considering that studies have shown that most children, for instance, are in the greatest danger of being killed in their own homes. Likewise, the danger to women of being murdered (especially in our state) is at the hands of a man who says he loves her. So that argument is bunk. The whole point is that "hate crimes" are committed with the direct or implied consent of a group of people who are against the members of that group (African Americans, immigrants, homosexuals, etc.) and hide behind the mantle of being against "special privileges," even as those kinds of crimes are precisely the ones that don't get punished as seriously (the juries believed they "deserved" it, for instance). The irony is that it has nothing to do with a special privilege; it's about society coming together to say that this kind of hate, and resulting violence, is wrong, despite those who make excuses about it. It is a form of society deterrence, and it has worked with other groups, once protestations such as yours, Bubba, were shown for the B.S. that they are. BTW, this is the same old circle the country when through when so many people opposed a federal lynching law, using very similar arguments to yours, Bubba. Sadly, your argument won out for way too long, and at least some lynchings probably happened because society had not taken a collective stand against race violence in the U.S. Now, it's time to act, regardless of what people like you think about it, and bless President Obama's heart for doing the right thing regardless. The more the laws the better to prevent murders. It's remarkable that you would oppose any law against murder that is only going to be enforced against someone who committed a heinous crime. Oddly, many of the same people who oppose hate-crime laws are also in favor of three-strikes drug laws. Weird.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-10-29T11:24:57-06:00
ID
152937
Comment

Donna- I am not opposing a law against murder. Murder is already against the law. Just by making something a hate crime isn't going to stop it from happening. Is it? I just don't see the need of making something a hate crime when that's not going to stop it from happening and it was already against the law to start with. The three-strike laws need to changed, when you have a man in jail with a life sentence for DUI's something ain't right.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T11:34:45-06:00
ID
152941
Comment

I know what you're opposing, Bubba, as my comment indicates. The problem with your argument is that is is unsupported by fact and research; you have just decided that federal hate crime laws won't work and are then arguing based on your opinion alone. You're arguing with yourself in a circle of you're making, thus; there is a whole lot of real information outside that circle, and history is filled with it. It would be amusing if it weren't so tragic every time a member of the dominant class in this country (white men) decides that he knows the truth about something, or what will or will not stop hate crimes often committed by people of his own class, because, well, he just knows. It's exactly that attitude that has created the need for a hate-crime law. And now we have one, thank God.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-10-29T13:23:53-06:00
ID
152942
Comment

Donna- of course I am arguing my opinion. Aren't you? Common sense tells you that making something a hate crime isn't going to deter it, the laws we have now don't do very much to deter it now, how is one more law going to help that? Where are the facts and research that supports that making something that is already illegal a hate crime is going to deter crime. Point me in the right direction and I will research it. Show me where to find all this info that shows making something a hate crime will deter them.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T13:51:04-06:00
ID
152943
Comment

Stiffer penalties for certain crimes that are already illegal will definitely impact the general public and potentially reduce that crime. Manslaughter and homicide come to mind. In both situations, a person is killed by another but the circumstances are dramatically different. I suspect there are more cases of manslaughter than murder since murder has a whole different motive. In the case of a hate crime, the federal government and states with protections recognize that a murder motivated by hate terrorizes an entire community. It doesn't just shock the neighbors and is delivered once on the 5pm news... It has a ripple effect through the community. It instills fear in a community of minorities. There is a difference Bubba. Recognize it or not... It's the difference between a white man killing a black man over drug money and a white man killing a black man because of his race. One murder causes the public to shake their head since most fear drugs and firearms; the other murder causes a sense of terror that is not easily undone and can cause huge amounts of tension between communities, individuals, businesses, and more... It can cause an entire state or nation to recoil in terror. As I said before, the murder of Matthew Shepard caused a sense of fear and terror in the hearts and minds of people across the nation and the world... People felt unsafe in their own beds, homes, neighborhoods, and communities. Do you really think a gay man being murdered by an ex-lover would cause that level of fear and terror? That's the difference between a murder or "fight" and a hate crime involving death or physical attacks. Hate crimes are driven from a very dark place. They aren't accidental. They aren't because one person has a beef with another. They are individuals and groups attempting to intimidate and/or dominate an entire community through their attack on an individual or group.

Author
kaust
Date
2009-10-29T14:09:47-06:00
ID
152944
Comment

Bubba, sometimes you have to make something illegal to stop its happening. Lynching is a good example. Until there was specifically a law against it, many people just assumed that it was OK. That's "just" murder, too, isn't it? But when was the last time you heard of a lynching? Obviously, it was the law, combined with societal pressure, that brought lynching to an end.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-29T14:12:25-06:00
ID
152946
Comment

A few more examples where laws stopped (i.e., deterred) behavior: integration and sexual harassment. Until there were laws to stop men from patting their secretary's behinds, most men never gave a thought to the fact that it was insulting and demeaning. They gave themselves carte blanche to pat any female fanny as their "right," an attitude that also led to wage discrimination, the inability for women to advance into management and a host of other inequalities for women. You only have to hear about how Jackson police handled domestic abuse in the case of Heather Spencer to know that women continue to be discriminated against. It's getting better, but the laws had to be in place to enact changes. More than anything else, this legislation should get people to think and question their attitudes toward the protected groups and any group, for that matter. Having unexamined attitudes and animosity toward a group serves only to dehumanize the individual members.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-29T14:58:38-06:00
ID
152947
Comment

Ronni- those examples weren't illegal before those laws were made, totally different. The hate crime laws don't make anything NEW illegal. Everything that they cover is already illegal under exisiting laws. So please explain to me how labeling a murder or rape a hate crime is going to deter it when the existing laws didn't deter to start with.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T15:08:31-06:00
ID
152950
Comment

Bubba, See: lynching.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-29T15:55:17-06:00
ID
152951
Comment

Ronni- already seen lynching. Made illegal in 1922 ,lynching decrease in the 30's and 40's then increased sharply in the late 50's and 60's. Public outcry over civil rights had more to do with the end of lynching than the law against it.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T15:59:58-06:00
ID
152954
Comment

You're asking the wrong question, Bubba, because the answer doesn't make a difference. We live in a society of laws. Our laws are how we, as a people, create change. How about asking, "what will it take to have people understand that random acts of terrorism against individuals because of their race, gender, sexual orientation or other group they belong to are wrong?" Ask a question where the answer will make a difference and we can continue the conversation. Otherwise it's just a make-wrong session, and I'm not interested.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-29T16:48:56-06:00
ID
152955
Comment

Don't y'all think you're being a little too hard on my good buddies, IronGhost and Bubba, especially Bubba? Since Bubba loves gun and will protect his right to bear arms at all cost, I went to the National Rifle Association website to see if they had a political and/or legislative arm that's for the purpose of influencing politicians and enacting legislation or new laws to make sure the right to bear arms, which is in the Constitution, is never abridged or taken away. Lo and behold they have one. Needless to say, I was shocked. Surely Bubba has never supported any legislation or new laws supporting our rights to bear arms since we had that right granted in our Constitution. Otherwise, Bubba's credibility would be called into question here, and he would look hypocritical or selective in his argument against new laws here to safeguard against certain kinds of crimes or evil deeds. Anyway, who am I to question my good buddies!

Author
Walt
Date
2009-10-29T16:55:42-06:00
ID
152957
Comment

As far as that other argument about new laws won't do any good, I'll just say re-electing George Bush didn't do any good either. Many of us knew it wouldn't, yet my good buddies voted for him a second time. Even I hoped George Bush would do better the second time, but he didn't. It seems to me that being against this new law is kind of nutty or crazy. We human being have an obligation to try and right wrongs in face of so much hatred. Thank God we're not all like my good buddies! I don't understand them.

Author
Walt
Date
2009-10-29T17:08:57-06:00
ID
152959
Comment

Ronni- LOL you can't come up with an answer so I am asking the wrong question? Ah Okay? If the answer doesn't make a difference, then that show making something a hate crime doesn't either. Don't need to ask your question because any human should know the answer to it with out it being asked.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T17:49:54-06:00
ID
152960
Comment

Walt- Buddy where you been? You know what I am a member of the NRA got a free year's membership with a subscription to a magazine. It expires tomorrow as a matter of fact not going to renew it, never been a big fan of the NRA. :)

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T17:53:34-06:00
ID
152962
Comment

Damn Bubba. I sure hope you shoot straighter than you type. :-P

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-10-29T18:00:37-06:00
ID
152964
Comment

Todd- Didn't get a chance to proof-read, youngest was hounding me to get off and take her somewhere. Just typed and hit submit. LOL

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T18:38:46-06:00
ID
152966
Comment

Bubba, I got it: you don't like the new law. It's not that I *can't* answer your question, it's that I consider the question irrelevant. Laws get amended, changed, added to all the time. Loopholes get closed. If you want research on whether any of those changes deterred crime, you'll have to find someone else to do it. It's not interesting to me. I've said it now half a dozen times in half a dozen ways: if the law makes people consider or reconsider their attitudes, I'm for it. I don't even have any idea what any of this means: If the answer doesn't make a difference, then that show making something a hate crime doesn't either. Don't need to ask your question because any human should know the answer to it with out it being asked.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-29T18:56:45-06:00
ID
152967
Comment

Ronni- It's really simple, I will type slowly so you can understand. If your answer to my question "How is making something a hate crime going to deter it, when existing laws, that already cover the same crime don't deter it?", is "it doesn't make a difference" then that shows making it a hate crime isn't going to make a difference. You said why not ask "what will it take to have people understand that random acts of terrorism against individuals because of their race, gender, sexual orientation or other group they belong to are wrong?" Why ask it? When any person knows the answer to it, they should already know all that's wrong.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T19:11:48-06:00
ID
152968
Comment

Wow, Bubba, not only are you insulting, you've managed to twist everything I've said. Congratulations! Obviously, not everyone knows that it's wrong. These laws aren't targeted to sane, law-abiding people.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-29T19:57:34-06:00
ID
152969
Comment

Ronni- Ah I don't know if you have ever noticed but insane non law-abiding people don't care or pay attention to any law. Laws are useless for them. I'm insulting?..lol And you never are? Oh yeah I forget, your passionate, not insulting...lol

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T20:12:42-06:00
ID
152970
Comment

Lots of room between sane and law-abiding at one of the spectrum and insane and criminal at the other. Life just isn't that black & white, and most people live somewhere in the gray area. Show me where I've insulted you on this thread, Bubba, and I'll apologize. (You and Iron really can hold a grudge. He says my attitude shows up in my words on another thread—almost a month ago—and you bring it up here. Let it go. I don't confuse insulting people with being passionate.) And here I was trying to be nice and all, atoning for my grievous past when I hurt your feelings. ;-) I'm outta here. Entertain yourselves without me. I'll be out of town for the weekend, so don't go picking another fight while I'm gone, hear?

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-10-29T21:02:19-06:00
ID
152971
Comment

Ronni- You didn't insult me. The "type slow" comment was kinda snarky, sorry about that. Iron is completely innocent, that was me in the other thread,I'm not holding a grudge, was making a joke about it in this one. Must have failed. ;) We aren't going to change either one's mind on this subject, that's obvious, so I am just gonna shut up. :) You're going be gone this weekend? No fair, I'm not going to have anyone to play with. :( Anyway, enjoy your weekend.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-29T22:20:23-06:00
ID
152973
Comment

BubbaT, Now that President Obama has signed the Hate Crime Legislation, what would you like to see happen?

Author
justjess
Date
2009-10-30T10:40:38-06:00
ID
152975
Comment

Hate motivated crime is unique. Hatred is directed at an entire community, in addition to the immediate victim. It is a terrorist act. It deserves unique consideration when it comes to sentencing. Will hate crimes legislation curb hate crimes? Maybe... Maybe not. But the asshat that goes bashing someone for their race, gender, orientation, religion, etc, will certainly spend a lot more time in jail and tighten any possible loopholes they might use to use panic or bargins. The legislation also provides funding for thorough investigations that small towns and or poor cities might not have or wish to use investigating a gay bashing or racial attack. Ultimately, I believe the legislation sets a precedent that we as a society do not tolerate hate crimes because we know they are terrorist acts against entire communities. That precedent trickles further into our collective conscious and will inevitably cause fewer hate crimes in the not-so-distant future. Bubba, I've read and re-read your comments. Your point, if you have one, is lost on me. Laws do not prevent crimes. A hate crime is a classification of a crime much like manslaughter and murder -- much like speeding 5-10mph over the limit is classified differently than speeding 50mph over the limit or while drinking.... Why is that so hard to wrap your mind around? And, yes, for the most part, those extended penalties cause individuals to think about their actions. It's why so many people have designated drivers or use cabs these does. It doesn't prevent them all, but it makes people think!

Author
kaust
Date
2009-10-30T12:30:59-06:00
ID
152978
Comment

[quote]Hate motivated crime is unique. Hatred is directed at an entire community, in addition to the immediate victim. It is a terrorist act.[/quote] If you see it that way, fine. I don't see why a simple Murder conviction doesn't carry the same weight as a Hate Crime Conviction. Either way there's a good chance of getting the death penalty.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-10-30T13:20:03-06:00
ID
152979
Comment

Iron: Are you for the death penalty?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-10-30T13:24:51-06:00
ID
152980
Comment

itodd: Hardly. If it were to be phased out, I'd wouldn't mourn it's loss.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-10-30T13:54:36-06:00
ID
152981
Comment

Kaust- my point is that there's very few reported hate crimes committed in the U.S. and legistlation for hate crimes is unnesessary because they were already covered by existing laws. Where is the federal money for investigations into murders and rapes, etc. in small towns and poor cities that aren't hate crimes? That's a slap in the face to the families and victims of thousands of crimes that aren't hate crimes,that don't get investigated or tried becasue of lack of money, when there are so few hate crimes. Jess- ain't nothing that can happen, it's a done deal. I'm outta of here. Said I was going to shut up about this last night, really am now. :)

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-30T14:13:35-06:00
ID
152982
Comment

The reason I ask is because I think the logic against hate crime legislation can be inconsistent in that regard. (1.) After a certain threshold, I don't think any sort of mandatory sentencing is a deterrent -- crimes not committed in conjunction with a chemical imbalance are probably only deterred in the broadest sense (e.g. if I do this, my life will be either worse or better than I perceive it to be now). (2.) The death penalty is a *sentence*, while hate crimes legislation speaks to the *charge*. On that level, saying "we have the death penalty, therefore there's no point in hate crimes legislation" is a non sequitur. "The law" make value judgments all the time in situations where people died -- aggravated assault, manslaughter, second degree, first degree. Things are judged based on the motives of the crime, pre-meditation and things like the type of weapon used. And, yes, *who* the victim is already plays into the law -- take, for instance, killing a policeman vs. killing your girlfriend. In many cases, the former is much more likely to automatically be charged at a high level of culpability, while the latter is going to get more variance. Without getting too far out on a legal limb that I can't scramble back in from (since I'm not an attorney) hate crimes legislation places people in protected classes, thus adding legal tests to how a person might be charged and convicted of assault or murder. You might, therefore, be more likely to *get* the death penalty if your crime is considered a hate crime than if the crime isn't. Why is that important? In the House bill it said: "Such violence disrupts the tranquility and safety of communities and is deeply divisive." This is a fascinating read on it, by the way, and totally non-partisan or judgmental as far as I can tell: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_hat1.htm

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-10-30T14:15:42-06:00
ID
152983
Comment

Where is the federal money for investigations into murders and rapes, etc. in small towns and poor cities that aren't hate crimes? http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=46

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-10-30T14:17:44-06:00
ID
152984
Comment

Todd- isn't that money just for hiring policeman, can it be used for investigations and trials?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-30T14:28:32-06:00
ID
152985
Comment

BubbaT: If you actually went to the page, you'd see that it's a bunch of grants to local law enforcement. There was $1b from the stimulus package alone for hiring cops. If you remember your lessons from Law and Order, you'll recall that cops do investigations. As for other federal involvement in crime investigations, you may have heard of organizations such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (there was a movie about them once) and the Department of Justice. The notion of a Federal Prosecutor has been in the news (you can even Google the JFP site and see evidence of them investigating and trying people on murder). C'mon Bubba...what's you're real argument. "All murder is hate, why is a hate crime different?" Because (a.) all murder is not hate and (b.) hate crimes are motivated by hatred directed at a group of people. The crimes are random crimes perpetrated against people because of a perceived differentiating status. "It's too expensive." It's $5m a year attached to a $680b appropriations bill. COPS stimulus appropriation was 20 times that. Anything else?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-10-30T15:01:37-06:00
ID
152986
Comment

Todd- I did go the page and it did say it was for hiring cops. Investigations and trials include alot more than just a cop getting a salary. Does it pay for forensic testing,travel, court reportors, pay the jurors, hotels bills, their food,etc. There's alot of things that go into a investigation and trial. Yes I have heard of the FBI and the Justice Dept which the FBI is part of or was might be different since 9/11. But the FBI and Justice Dept don't get involved unless it's a federal law that has been broken. If you can answer those questions, that will be all for now,

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-30T15:13:18-06:00
ID
152987
Comment

Todd- from the COPS site- "What is the purpose of the COPS Hiring Recovery Program? CHRP is a competitive grant program that addresses the full-time sworn officer needs of state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies nationwide. CHRP provides funding directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new and/or rehire career law enforcement officers in an effort to create and preserve jobs, and to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts. Up to $1 billion in grant funding was appropriated for this initiative through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. CHRP grants provide 100 percent funding for approved entry-level salaries and benefits for 3 years (36 months) for newly-hired, full-time sworn officer positions (including filling existing unfunded vacancies) or for rehired officers who have been laid off, or are scheduled to be laid off on a future date, as a result of local budget cuts. Any additional costs above the approved entry-level salaries and fringe benefits are the responsibility of the grantee agency. Under CHRP, all positions awarded (or an equal number of veteran officers) must initiate or enhance community policing in accordance with the community policing plan as described within Section 5 of the application." Do you see anything that mentions funding for investigations or trials?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-30T15:51:18-06:00
ID
152988
Comment

Bubba, but I'm sorry, but I'm not going down your rabbit hole. Your original argument was that the money allocated in this Hate Crimes legislation was misspent and you had crocodile tears for the money not being spent on investigation of local crimes. You said: Where is the federal money for investigations into murders and rapes, etc. in small towns and poor cities that aren't hate crimes? The Hate Crimes legislation we're discussing allocates $10 million over two years to essentially reimburse local or state law enforcement for investigations that stem from the new legislation, presumably in recognition of the fact that enacting new legislation can be a burden on municipal budgets. But note that it's a pittance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard_and_James_Byrd,_Jr._Hate_Crimes_Prevention_Act # provided $10 million in funding for 2008 and 2009 to help state and local agencies pay for investigating and prosecuting hate crimes; In 2008, there were about 16,000 murders and 89,000 rapes in the United States. If the dollars that you lament going to investigate and prosecute hate crimes were instead spent on those crimes you mentioned, you'd have about $100 per crime to allocate. In other words, the proportionality of your argument makes no sense. ... Do you see anything that mentions funding for investigations or trials? As for the COPS program, yes, I see a billion dollars for cops in that one allocation. You seem to be putting yourself in the bizarre position of arguing that police do not investigate crimes.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-10-30T16:41:18-06:00
ID
152989
Comment

Todd- Where did I say the money was mis-spent on hate crimes? I said or was meaning was if you're going to give federal money to investigate hate crimes to a town/cities that can't afford them, then why don't they give money to the same towns money to investigate crimes that aren't hate crime if they can't afford to investigate them too? Are a few hundred hate crimes the U.S. more important than tens of thousands of murders and rapes that aren't to you? That's what I gather from your comments, but I really hope I am wrong. Where did I says they needed to take the $10 million for hate crimes and divide it on the other crimes? If anything they need to allocate billions more to the non-hate crimes too. I didn't put forth the position that police don't investigate crimes. Kaust put forth that more hate crimes would be investigated now because the hate crime bill would fund them, it seems safe to assume if a town couldn't afford to investigate hate crime because of money they just might not in some case have the money to investigate non-hate crimes too. Don't make stuff up. I said the COP fund was for the salaries of cop and the salaries only. And their site says nothing different either. If you think the salaries of cops in the only cost to investigation and trials,you are sadly mistaken. If that's the case, then that blows the death penality trials and cases cost more than non death penality cases argument away, hey all it cost is cops salaries, it would be the same either way.(sarcasm, if you didn't get it)

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-30T17:39:04-06:00
ID
152990
Comment

Bubba, I said more would be investigated primarily because federal pressure will lead to further investigations. Rural America simply won't treat a hate crime the same as a large city like New York... Think of it as the FBI coming into Neshoba to investigate Till's murder (a hate crime by the way). Neshoba would have brushed that right under the carpet without federal pressure, both now and then. There would be no justice in the case. While you might not feel this legislation is important, I do. As a man that has had three incidents that I feel would classify as hate crimes, I strongly disagree with you. I never reported them because a) I KNEW the police wouldn't treat the incident as a similar crime involving heterosexuals (especially since one was perpetrated by approximately 5 police officers) and b) there was nowhere else to turn... So, there are three hate crimes that weren't reported because I felt they would not be actively pursued. Now, I would report them without hesitation... Not only because of this legislation, but I feel the LGBT community has become more established. If I lived in D'lo, I might not have the luxury of a close-knit LGBT community, but this legislation might give me the courage to report an incident because I know the federal government could push for further investigation. Until you've experienced the terror that is attached to a hate crime, it's pretty hard to wrap your mind around... I'm pretty sure Matthew Shepard's death had little lasting impact on you. I remember it like it was yesterday. Furthering my point... A hate crime impacts more than an individual and their family; it impacts and scars an entire community and has the potential to impact the national and international community. But, let's review history with your math.... The holocaust was nothing more than a few million murders. Yes, technically it was... But, it was a sick concept that infected millions and killed millions of Jews, women, gays, lesbians, and detractors. It was just murder. Right? Right? I mean, it doesn't still stir controversy and haunt the minds of millions. Millions more don't mourn or have a faint fear of this happening again... No! Absolutely not. It was just a few murders. It doesn't stir fear in anyone. Remember, it was just a few million people murdered. Nothing more. Reductionism at its finest. Let's apply that same math to slavery and lynching. It's just a few people in chains and hanging under trees. Dying in fields. Malnourished and dying. Hosed. Shot. Treated like animals. Nothing to see here. Just murder and abuse... The slave masters and the ignorant white Americans that participated in that evil were nothing more than simple criminals and murderers... Not a population of sick, tragic individuals that thought of humans as property and murder as a sideshow... There wasn't anything wrong with those people's minds and their ability to be compassionate to another living human. They were just murderers and abusers. Nothing more sinister or dark. Pushing aside the absurdity, your math does not compute. It's murder; we agree. But, where we disagree is that it is murder with a heinous motive of intimidating and demoralizing an entire community of people. It's its own class of murder. A beaten gay man left to a fence post to die in the elements and a black man dragged behind a truck DO NOT compare to a drug buy gone wrong. Maybe you're not able to process that... Maybe you are. Either way, I'm thankful Congress finally recognized that there is a distinct difference. So, again, what are you unclear about? The terror part? The demoralization part? The fear that people live with because of hate crimes? The difference between a murder and attacking an entire community?

Author
kaust
Date
2009-10-30T18:59:47-06:00
ID
152991
Comment

Targeting a class of people with violence is an act of domestic terrorism. There will probably come a time, at some point in the future, when hate crime laws and domestic terrorism laws are combined. Bubba, if "crime is crime" and larger impact isn't relevant, then intellectual honesty demands that you call for the repeal of the PATRIOT Act and all other legislation that targets terrorism-motivated crimes. Those are just hate crime laws under another name.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-10-30T19:36:23-06:00
ID
152992
Comment

Kaust- Where did I mention the Holocaust,slavery or lynching(Ronni brought that up, I just replied to her). You don't start putting words in my mouth either. If I thought that way I would have said so already, I am not shy I saying what I think whether anybody likes it or not, or if I am right or wrong. :) What do any of those have to do with hate crime legistilaton now anyway? They were horrible events and crimes against humanity but I seem to remember the Nuremberg trials and the Nazi leaders were tried and convicted under international law, slavery was ended by the Civil War and there hasn't been a lynching since the 60's. (if you really want to be technical Till's and Shepard's murders both were lynchings.) It is truly terrible you have had the bad experiences that you had. I hope you do report them next time and you get justice.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-30T19:51:01-06:00
ID
152993
Comment

Tom- where have you been, it a stormy night again, ready for another all nighter? I'll put a pot of coffee on and I took my mood altering drugs this morning.. LOL I don't know about you but I think most of the "Patriot Act" needs to be repealed. :) I have heard rumors of new domestic terrorism laws that might be introduce, floating around net that if there is an once of truth to any them, they are scary. But we will see.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-10-30T20:01:45-06:00
ID
152994
Comment

Bubba, I'm sorry to report that I've found inner peace and am now completely tranquil so the allnighter would probably be much less action-packed. :o) Long time no see, brother. Glad to see so much activity on the JFP forums. Domestic terrorism laws that add penalties for terrorism-motivated violent crime have been around since at least the 18th century, though they did not always operate under that name. (The word used to be "rebellion.") If we say motivation matters in violent crimes in cases of terrorism, then we have to say it does in cases of hate crimes. If we say it doesn't, then we have to go back and change several centuries of federal law.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-10-30T20:07:14-06:00

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