Hate Crimes to Include Crimes Against Homosexuals?

Roisin Dubh
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Hate Crimes to Include Crimes Against Homosexuals?

We've had federal hate crimes laws on the books since 1969, and they've never included crimes targeting victims because of their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. Congress is about to consider a bill that would change that. It would also help underfunded law enforcement officials investigate and prosecute hate crimes.

Tell your representative to support this bill at:
http://www.hrc.org/FightHate

Here's something else that shocked us: one in six hate crimes are motivated by the victim's sexual orientation.

And the federal government can't even investigate most of these crimes or help bring the criminals to justice. That's outrageous!

In past years, right wing groups have blocked attempts to expand hate crimes laws. They're gearing up for another fight now, so we need to make sure our representatives do the right thing and support this landmark law.

Click here to send your message:
http://www.hrc.org/FightHate

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thingy
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Wow, I had always thought

Wow, I had always thought those groups were covered.


Lynette1977
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Roisin Dubh wrote: We've

Roisin Dubh wrote:

We've had federal hate crimes laws on the books since 1969, and they've never included crimes targeting victims because of their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. Congress is about to consider a bill that would change that. It would also help underfunded law enforcement officials investigate and prosecute hate crimes.

Tell your representative to support this bill at:
http://www.hrc.org/FightHate

Here's something else that shocked us: one in six hate crimes are motivated by the victim's sexual orientation.

And the federal government can't even investigate most of these crimes or help bring the criminals to justice. That's outrageous!

In past years, right wing groups have blocked attempts to expand hate crimes laws. They're gearing up for another fight now, so we need to make sure our representatives do the right thing and support this landmark law.

Click here to send your message:
http://www.hrc.org/FightHate

Meanwhile, in Indiana, "pro-family groups" are credited with putting an end to "creating special protections for homosexuals and cross dressers." The hate crime bill died, not by a big margin, but still makes this state look like it still belongs in the days of the KKK. We need federal legislation on this, period, but I don't have much faith in it passing. Jesusland at it's best.

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


Vastet
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I really have never seen a

I really have never seen a valid reason for the existance of "hate" crimes in the first place. The more I think about it the more it rubs me the wrong way. Why is it worse to kill someone because they're gay than it is to kill them because they looked at you the wrong way? All crimes of violence are "hate" crimes.

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Edger
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I've got to agree with

I've got to agree with Vastet (for once anyhow). Hate crime laws put different values on human life depending on race, sexual orientation, religious persuasion, etc. It seems silly that beating someone to death because they're gay should carry a stiffer sentence than committing the same crime for monetary gain or a simple thrill. I'd say in ALL instances violent criminals should be punished severely.

Several years ago in my hometown a young, white, heterosexual couple was shot execution style by 2 cranked out thugs. The crime was deamed a "thrill kill" by investigators. In other words the sole motivation was "for the fun of it". No hate crime law would fortify the sentences faced by the killers.

So why are the lives of the deceased (in this case) worth less than they would have been if they were gay or black? Why is this crime any less henious than those the "hate crime" laws were designed to address?


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I agree with hate crime laws

I agree with hate crime laws because it is worse to do something to someone because of prejudice than just because they are a "convenient" victim. And I think if someone does something to one of us for being an atheist that should count.

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Mattshizzle -"And I think

Mattshizzle -"And I think if someone does something to one of us for being an atheist that should count."

But it won't. There lies another problem with hate crimes laws. They're designed for certain groups. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but for the most part, crimes against atheist white guys aren't considered hate crimes no matter what the circumstances.

Speaking from experience again, while in highschool I lost 2 white friends (in seperate instances). It's very likely they made the mistake of walking while white in the wrong part of Milwaukee. Both were shot and killed in almost exclusively black neighborhoods. In only 1 of the murders were the killers caught and the possibility of the crime being racially motivated was never brought up in court or by the media.

Race related crimes against whites (statistically but not necessarily motivated by race) are more common than the inverse, and they tend to be much more violent. How often are these crimes prosecuted under hate crime laws? How many are actually racist crimes? Those of us who've lived in the "bad part of town" know better than to attribute black on white violence to opportunists alone.

http://ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs///homicide/race.htm

And the above stats don't take into consideration racially motivated crimes against whites that are treated as simple murder or assualt cases (back to my 2 highschool pals).

I know I'm putting myself out on a limb so before anyone tries to silence me with accusations of being a racist, trust me, I despise racism and bigotry in all its forms. I just think its important that we look at the issue objectively. 


Iruka Naminori
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Edger wrote:

Edger wrote:

Mattshizzle -"And I think if someone does something to one of us for being an atheist that should count."

But it won't. There lies another problem with hate crimes laws. They're designed for certain groups. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but for the most part, crimes against atheist white guys aren't considered hate crimes no matter what the circumstances.

Speaking from experience again, while in highschool I lost 2 white friends (in seperate instances). It's very likely they made the mistake of walking while white in the wrong part of Milwaukee. Both were shot and killed in almost exclusively black neighborhoods. In only 1 of the murders were the killers caught and the possibility of the crime being racially motivated was never brought up in court or by the media.

Race related crimes against whites (statistically but not necessarily motivated by race) are more common than the inverse, and they tend to be much more violent. How often are these crimes prosecuted under hate crime laws? How many are actually racist crimes? Those of us who've lived in the "bad part of town" know better than to attribute black on white violence to opportunists alone.

http://ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs///homicide/race.htm

And the above stats don't take into consideration racially motivated crimes against whites that are treated as simple murder or assualt cases (back to my 2 highschool pals).

I know I'm putting myself out on a limb so before anyone tries to silence me with accusations of being a racist, trust me, I despise racism and bigotry in all its forms. I just think its important that we look at the issue objectively.

Actually, you've about convinced me. I do support laws that help minorities compete in society, but crime is crime. My political beliefs come closest to "liberal," but I would like to get tougher on crime, most notably the crimes that actually hurt people. I'd like to de-criminalize a lot of non-violent (usually drug-related) crimes and instead offer a few different kinds of detox programs. I'd like the state to get very tough on violent crimes and pedophilia, with life sentences that really are life sentences. (The only reason I sometimes flirt with the idea of becoming pro-death penalty is that life sentences don't really mean that, anymore.) One reason I have a hard time with the death penalty is it seems counter-intuitive. The state is saying, "Killing people is wrong, so we're going to kill you." That's really fucked up.

At the same time, I'd like to see humane treatment for prisoners behind bars. Their punishment is being separated from society. I see no reason for further punishment, except as a means of keeping order within prison society. My brother is a correctional officer. I don't know if you're familiar with the Stanford experiment. My brother has owned up to brutal behavior toward inmates and thinks it's okee-dokee. I don't. The best possible scenario would be to treat these people with more respect and dignity than they gave their victims. That may be asking too much at this point in time, but I find myself wondering what kind of effect this would have on inmate behavior. Would assaults on other inmates and guards lessen? I don't know. It's just a wild hypothesis.

Because pedophiles and rapists are targeted in the general prison population, I'd like to see separate prisons or prison blocks for these inmates, with voluntary experimentation to see if aberrant sexual impulses can be successfully blocked. Recidivism among pedophiles is very, very high. These people should absolutely not be parolled unless a way is found to control their behavior. I'm thinking a two-strike law would be wise Part of me even wants to say one strike is plenty because of the recidivism problem. Chemical castration has shown some promise, but if a "cure" can be found it needs to be state-mandated. If the parolee doesn't show up for treatment, he goes back to prison.

God, I've sort of rambled on, here. I've done a lot of thinking--woolgathering, mostly--about the issue of crime and punishment because 1) I was a victim of a sexual crime and 2) every member of my nuclear family (except me) worked either as a correctional officer or in some other capacity with inmates at the local prison. The stories they told made an impact on me. My father, brother and mother all had different styles of dealing with the inmates. My brother was / is a brutal dictator and gets into a lot of physical altercations. My mother had a softer approach and only had a few incidents, all of which did not involve her directly. My father--a firefighter--was a big question mark because he didn't like working with the inmates. He only told about the time his work crew (off grounds) found a pair of severed human hands at New Melones Reservoir--a likely consequence of local Russian mafia activity. Ew. Every time I swim in the reservoir, I remember the story of the severed hands...and that Cary Stayner stashed one of his bodies there...or was that Lake Don Pedro? Either way: ew!

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Lynette1977
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Edger wrote: Mattshizzle

Edger wrote:

Mattshizzle -"And I think if someone does something to one of us for being an atheist that should count."

But it won't. There lies another problem with hate crimes laws. They're designed for certain groups. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but for the most part, crimes against atheist white guys aren't considered hate crimes no matter what the circumstances.

Speaking from experience again, while in highschool I lost 2 white friends (in seperate instances). It's very likely they made the mistake of walking while white in the wrong part of Milwaukee. Both were shot and killed in almost exclusively black neighborhoods. In only 1 of the murders were the killers caught and the possibility of the crime being racially motivated was never brought up in court or by the media.

Race related crimes against whites (statistically but not necessarily motivated by race) are more common than the inverse, and they tend to be much more violent. How often are these crimes prosecuted under hate crime laws? How many are actually racist crimes? Those of us who've lived in the "bad part of town" know better than to attribute black on white violence to opportunists alone.

http://ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs///homicide/race.htm

And the above stats don't take into consideration racially motivated crimes against whites that are treated as simple murder or assualt cases (back to my 2 highschool pals).

I know I'm putting myself out on a limb so before anyone tries to silence me with accusations of being a racist, trust me, I despise racism and bigotry in all its forms. I just think its important that we look at the issue objectively.

I think hate crime laws are more about "setting an example" than about really combatting crime, to be honest. Everyone who a little knowledge of crime knows that in the states with the highest death penalty rate also has the highest rate of murders. So while I don't yet know the answer to if hate crimes really decreases it, I think they're hoping that if someone commits a crime based on hating someone for being gay, jewish, fat, white, or whatever the law says "you're really REALLY bad for doing it." For gay people, they're targets quite often. While I have to be honest I highly doubt that it keeps someone who really wants to harm someone who's gay from doing it, for us it's more about "raising the bar" so people will back the fuck off.

And being that I've lived in that area of town you're talking about I have to tell you I know where you're coming from. We've had so many people start shit with us for being white we end up having to prove we're not fucking racist to make THEM stop THEIR racism. We had a woman jerk her kid away from us telling her kid not to talk to white people. I had a lady tell me she was going to kick my dog. I have had people make up stories about us stealing their shit. We even had one woman walk up to my girlfriend while she was outside smoking, spit in her face and call her "pale face." (First time we hear THAT one, let me tell you). I know it happens. I've even gone so far as to try to get our state to try to create humanities and civics courses but they refuse to saying it won't help anything!

The only real answer to ending hatred is through talking to people, standing up for yourself and, of course, ending religious based persecution of individuals.  

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


Vastet
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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:
Actually, you've about convinced me. I do support laws that help minorities compete in society, but crime is crime. My political beliefs come closest to "liberal," but I would like to get tougher on crime, most notably the crimes that actually hurt people. I'd like to de-criminalize a lot of non-violent (usually drug-related) crimes and instead offer a few different kinds of detox programs.

I think there should be no such thing as a victimless crime. If there's no victim, or no logical likelyhood of there being a victim, then there's no crime.

Iruka Naminori wrote:
I'd like the state to get very tough on violent crimes and pedophilia, with life sentences that really are life sentences. (The only reason I sometimes flirt with the idea of becoming pro-death penalty is that life sentences don't really mean that, anymore.) One reason I have a hard time with the death penalty is it seems counter-intuitive. The state is saying, "Killing people is wrong, so we're going to kill you." That's really fucked up.

I think it's worse than that. For one thing, everything about the death penalty shows it's completely ineffective as a deterrant. There is 0 rehabilitation probability. 0 usefullness to society or the community.
And those states with death penalties spend billions of dollars on those death penalties. You're feeding and housing people on death row for decades sometimes. If you aren't, you're generally a dictatorship that sentences whomever it wants to death and carries it out at it's leisure.
Which brings me to my biggest problem with it. Statistics show that approximately 1/3 of all prisoners executed have been found to be innocent after the fact. That ratio is 33% too high. It should be 0. If it can't be 0, then the death penalty should be illegal.

Iruka Naminori wrote:
Because pedophiles and rapists are targeted in the general prison population, I'd like to see separate prisons or prison blocks for these inmates, with voluntary experimentation to see if aberrant sexual impulses can be successfully blocked. Recidivism among pedophiles is very, very high. These people should absolutely not be parolled unless a way is found to control their behavior. I'm thinking a two-strike law would be wise Part of me even wants to say one strike is plenty because of the recidivism problem. Chemical castration has shown some promise, but if a "cure" can be found it needs to be state-mandated. If the parolee doesn't show up for treatment, he goes back to prison.

I suspect these are problems that have physical reasons for their existance, and can one day be dealt with properly. Until then I'd say perpetrators that can't or won't control themselves should be kept seperate from the society that they tend to cause harm to.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Vastet wrote: Which brings

Vastet wrote:
Which brings me to my biggest problem with it. Statistics show that approximately 1/3 of all prisoners executed have been found to be innocent after the fact. That ratio is 33% too high. It should be 0. If it can't be 0, then the death penalty should be illegal.

Vastet, I agree wholeheartedly.  I was involved in the play "The Exonerated" by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen.  This play was comprised of six true stories of people who had been unjustly convicted to death row.  One was the common-law wife of Jesse Tafero who was execute for a crime he did not commit.  He has the dubious legacy of being the man that Florida botched his execution.

From   http://docket.medill.northwestern.edu/archives/000944.php 

It took seven minutes to pronounce Jesse Tafero, the victim of the state’s most gruesome botched execution in 1990, dead. When the current was switched on at the start of his execution, a foot-long orange flame shot up from Tafero’s headpiece, and smoke and the smell of burning flesh filled the execution chamber. A former Miami Herald reporter who witnessed the execution wrote in the Palm Beach Post that Tafero’s chest was moving, that fire burst from the headpiece with the first two applications of the electrical current, and that he did not die until the third burst of current hit him. 

During rehearsals, the director brought in four gentlemen from the local area to tell their stories about being unjustly convicted of violent rimes and later exonerated.  Had any of them had a decent lawyer (they all had to use a public defender), they would not have been convicted.

 

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