Comments on "Hate crimes" - Faerye Net 2006-10-04T17:38:50+00:00 More confusion 2006-10-04T17:38:50+00:00 2006-10-04T17:38:50+00:00 <p>Yep, it&#8217;s a sticky bit of jurisprudence. The first place I&#8217;d look is the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which starts giving us a definition of the types of classes of people that are typically protected in U.S. law. Particularly, laws that are considered prejudicial based on race or gender are considered unconstitutional. However, the Equal Protection Clause doesn&#8217;t prevent people from being prejudicial; it only prevents laws from being prejudicial, if there&#8217;s no compelling policy reason that is weighed more heavily than the prejudicial harm. Furthermore, it&#8217;s hard to say whether hate crime legislation is bolstered by the Equal Protection Clause, or harmed by it; after all, isn&#8217;t it selective, based on minority status? Or if it was selective by gender, if we accept the (reasonable) thesis that women can be the target of hate crimes too? So hate crime law may be prejudicial (against white guy victims, who have to settle for less punitive sentencing on their attackers, I guess) &#8211; but probably no more than Affirmative Action legislation, which is confusing but more or less has been accepted by the Supreme Court on a balancing test.<br /> <br /> Civil rights isn&#8217;t really my forte (I haven&#8217;t taken that section of Con Law yet, I&#8217;m mostly figuring out how your taxes work, right now) but I would say that things are certainly fluid enough that if I was a prosecutor trying to convict a serial killer, I&#8217;d try the hate crime angle, whether the victim was protected by the legislation or not. It&#8217;s a logical connection and I think a jury would be sympathetic to it. I imagine that a killer&#8217;s racism or misogyny will be an important factor in any violent-crime sentencing, whether there&#8217;s a hate crimes law imposing sentencing guidelines or not. But also remember that when it comes to hate crimes for mass murders, it may only be the number of consecutive life sentences you&#8217;re stacking; and if the state does have the death penalty, the killer&#8217;s state of mind, including his prejudices, will absolutely be considered (usually through years of litigation.)</p> garrisod Re: Hate Crime? 2006-10-03T18:39:50+00:00 2006-10-03T18:39:50+00:00 <p>I deleted some sentences in favor of the whole &#8216;hate crime too nebulous&#8217; side as the dem thing was too long and I am too prolix en generale. I think it has its points.</p> felicity Hate Crime? 2006-10-03T18:09:19+00:00 2006-10-03T18:09:19+00:00 <p>I have always found the term hate crime a bit redundant. That aside, it strikes me as odd to consider a whole gender (or is it sex, I get the two confused) a potential target of hate crimes, though you do raise interesting points. Whatever the theoretical implications, I am sickened by these recent events, and even more glad then usual not to be a student at this point in time.</p> grizelda Re: Doing the math... 2006-10-03T12:42:51+00:00 2006-10-03T12:42:51+00:00 <p>Hmm. An interesting point&#8212;I&#8217;m not sure about the US, but in the world at large, 51% of people are female, last time I heard.<br /> <br /> Of course, I think demographic trends show white Americans losing majority status fairly soon&#8212;it will be interesting to see what, if any, discussions ensue about privilege and numbers.</p> felicity Doing the math... 2006-10-03T05:16:13+00:00 2006-10-03T05:16:13+00:00 <p> If a female gunwoman took a classroom full of hostages and killed all the male students, would anyone consider that a hate crime? I doubt it. </p><p> Perhaps it&#8217;s all in the numbers. To be considered a hate crime, it must be perpetrated against a minority. I&#8217;ll take a wild guess and postulate that there are roughly as many women as men in our societiy (which, I believe, is the unit of measure when determining who is a minority and who isn&#8217;t, in the United States), hence invalidating the labeling a minority of an entire gender. </p> GreyStork