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Author Topic: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .  (Read 3484 times)

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Offline VandrenTopic starter

Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« on: May 05, 2007, 09:23:45 AM »
Quote
White House threatens to veto hate-crimes bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The White House has threatened to veto a bill passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday that expands hate-crime laws to include attacks based on sexual orientation or gender.

Under current law, hate crimes are subject to federal prosecution only if the acts of violence are motivated by race, religion, color or national origin. Federal prosecutors get involved only if the victim is engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting or participating in interstate commerce.

The White House says there is no need for the expanded bill because state and local laws already cover the crimes it addresses, and there is no need for federal enforcement.

In addition to allowing greater leeway for federal law enforcement authorities to investigate hate crimes, the House bill -- which was passed on a 237-180 vote --provides $10 million over the next two years to aid local prosecutions.

A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate, but no date has been set for a vote.
Addressing freedom of speech

Critics of the bill say it would have a chilling effect on clergy who preach against homosexual behavior.

"We believe that this legislation will criminalize our freedom of speech and our ability to preach the gospel," said Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Lanham, Maryland.

Supporters disagree. The bill, they say, applies only to violent crime and, in fact, specifically addresses freedom-of-speech issues.

"Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution," the bill says.
Intense debate on the House floor

House representatives got into a heated exchange Thursday as they debated the bill.

"They [hate crimes] are more serious than a normal assault because they target not just an individual, but an entire group," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York.

Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Florida, said it is unfair to single out specific groups for protection under the law.

"What it does is to say that the dignity, the property, the life of one person gets more protection than another American. That's just wrong," he said.

Both sides cited the case of Matthew Shepard of Wyoming, whose brutal 1998 murder was linked to his sexual orientation.

"Matthew's death generated international outrage by exposing the violent nature of hate crimes," said Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, the only openly lesbian member of the House of Representatives.

But Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, argued that Shepard's killers got harsh sentences without hate-crimes provisions.

"Those perpetrators that did that horrible act -- both got life sentences under regular murder laws," he said.

If President Bush vetoes the bill, it would mark the third veto of his presidency. His second came Tuesday, when he vetoed a $124 billion war spending bill that included a deadline for U.S. troops to pull out of Iraq.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/05/03/hate.crimes.bill/index.html
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Quote
Bush Warns of Vetoes Over Abortion Issue
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: May 4, 2007

WASHINGTON, May 3 — President Bush told Congressional leaders Thursday that he would veto any legislation that weakened federal policies or laws on abortion.

In a two-page letter sent to the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Mr. Bush said his veto threat would apply to any measures that “allow taxpayer dollars to be used for the destruction of human life.”

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, characterized the president’s message as “drawing a bright line.”

A statement from the group noted that many appropriations bills that Congress will take up include provisions to limit federal financing of abortion and that abortion rights groups have been urging Democratic leaders in Congress to change.

For example, a provision is under consideration for a foreign appropriations bill that would end a ban on discussing abortion in family planning clinics in developing nations.

Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi, said she interpreted the president’s letter as a broader threat “to veto any pro-choice legislation.”

“Instead of trying to work with Congress he’s trying to threaten Congress, and that won’t work,” he said.

Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said: “The president felt that it was important to remind Congress of his position on these issues. It’s not about vetoing, it’s about standing firm on his core beliefs.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/04/washington/04veto.html?ex=1178942400&en=cb021610aff63aab&ei=5070&emc=eta1

Does he not see the irony and hypocrisy involved in this statement - "veto threat would apply to any measures that 'allow taxpayer dollars to be used for the destruction of human life'"?

Offline Jefepato

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2007, 09:32:56 AM »
What "compassionate conservatives" are you talking about?  I don't see any mentioned here (unless you count Feeney and Gohmert, but I don't know enough about them to say).

Offline VandrenTopic starter

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2007, 09:36:34 AM »
What "compassionate conservatives" are you talking about?  I don't see any mentioned here (unless you count Feeney and Gohmert, but I don't know enough about them to say).

The Republican party line for the last seven years has been that they are "compassionate conservatives" (despite all evidence to the contrary).

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2007, 10:48:46 AM »
What's the problem violent crimes are already covered under every state law I don't see any use extending Hate Crime legislation to sexual choices either.

As for aqbortion restrictions the women do have a right to abortion but enforcement is still regulated at the state levels for medical practices. I see no problem with restrictions on the practice such as requiring a properly licensed surgical facility to do the procedures at. Or parental notificaton its a major medical prodedure when I was yonger I couldn't get medical procedures done without their consent even if relatively minor. Seems to me society is taking an extreme view of women's rights here.

Mioght I add its utterly unfair to the men who may want the child and be part of their lives what about their rights?

Offline VandrenTopic starter

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2007, 12:11:18 PM »
What's the problem violent crimes are already covered under every state law I don't see any use extending Hate Crime legislation to sexual choices either.

Ah, so you'd agree that women are lower in social value than Hispanics or Jews?  I see.

One of the biggest problems is the reasoning that many of the anti-hate crimes extension politicians and religious leaders are using, e.g. misinformation and hypocrisy.  Both come from the quoted minister (free speech - which is actually protected by the law, therefore making his statement misinformation - and the hypocritical nature of someone who claims to serve a god of peace and tolerance preaching hate).  The second also comes from the quoted politician regarding "the dignity, the property, the life of one person gets more protection than another American."  Which implies that the current Hate Crimes legislation that protects against racial and religious violence (designed thanks in large part to lynchings and neo-Nazis) is also wrong.  Not to mention the hypocrisy of claiming to be a "compassionate conservative" while only apparently caring about W.A.S.P. males.

Another major problem is that under current legislation, someone could come along an kill any woman simply because she's a woman, plea bargain down to a voluntary manslaughter charge, and get off with under 10 years in prison, then come out and do it all over again.  Hate Crimes legislation increases the minimum mandatory sentences.

Quote
As for aqbortion restrictions the women do have a right to abortion but enforcement is still regulated at the state levels for medical practices. I see no problem with restrictions on the practice such as requiring a properly licensed surgical facility to do the procedures at. Or parental notificaton its a major medical prodedure when I was yonger I couldn't get medical procedures done without their consent even if relatively minor. Seems to me society is taking an extreme view of women's rights here.

Nice try to change the subject.  Nothing here has anything to do with the issue(s) involved in any pro-choice legislation.  The point of "pro-choice" legislation is to protect abortion rights and to remove religiously motivated restrictions enacted by conservative leaders - such as the latest one erroneously upheld by the Supreme Court (by one vote) which has no provision for providing an emergency abortion if the choice between the life of the mother or the unborn child must be made (yet again the religious right telling everyone that a woman's life doesn't matter).

Let's use a little logical reasoning (courtesy of Aristotle - see On Rhetoric) with G.W.'s stated reasons for vetoing any legislation designed to protect abortion rights:

If "his veto threat would apply to any measures that 'allow taxpayer dollars to be used for the destruction of human life.'"

Then, logically, he automatically has to veto any legislation that provides money to a) the military, b) military contractors, and c) any lab that is working to make more effective chemical/biological weapons, all of which have the express purpose of the "destruction of human life."

Yet, he continuously requests millions, if not billions, of dollars for the military, thereby making his stated reasons highly hypocritical and ironic.  Added to the hypocrisy of claiming to be a "compassionate conservative," but only when it is politically/religiously convenient and only when it involves microscopic collections of, effectively parasitic (can't exist outside the mother without special machines until birth and feed off her until then), cells.

(To forestall the response I know this bit of logic will get, I'm not suggesting that funding for the military be cut.  I'm simply applying basic logic to an incredibly, well, stupid statement made by a public figure.  Admittedly, I think less should be spent on the military and more on education, among other things, but that's neither here nor there.)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 12:17:08 PM by Vandren »

Offline Jefepato

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2007, 12:17:55 PM »
Which implies that the current Hate Crimes legislation that protects against racial and religious violence (designed thanks in large part to lynchings and neo-Nazis) is also wrong.

It is.  Hate crime is thoughtcrime.

If murderers are getting off too easy, then the penalties should be stiffened across the board.  Motive shouldn't enter into it.

Offline VandrenTopic starter

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2007, 12:36:45 PM »
It is.  Hate crime is thoughtcrime.

No, it isn't.  Motive is an integral feature in every legal system - involuntary manslaughter vs. voluntary; premeditated murder vs. accidental; possession of an illegal substance with intent to sell vs. possession with intent to use . . . etc. etc. - been that way for, well, since Hammurabi, so 3000-5000 years or so.

Thoughtcrime (according to Orwell in 1984) is being arrested and charged with planning to commit a crime or even thinking about a crime.  Motive for the crime has nothing to do with thoughtcrime.  Just taught that novel recently with an entire period devoted to an open discussion re: thoughtcrime.  :)

Offline Jefepato

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2007, 12:42:27 PM »
No, it isn't.  Motive is an integral feature in every legal system - involuntary manslaughter vs. voluntary; premeditated murder vs. accidental; possession of an illegal substance with intent to sell vs. possession with intent to use . . . etc. etc. - been that way for, well, since Hammurabi, so 3000-5000 years or so.

Obviously, but the distinction between meaning to kill vs. not meaning to kill, and the distinction between premeditated vs. accidental murder, are very different from making a legal distinction based on why the killer wanted to kill the victim.

Offline Lilac

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2007, 01:35:22 PM »
My personal opinion is that a federal law should be universal in scope.  That is, if you're going to penalize hate as a motive, it shouldn't matter what that motive is targeted against.  The way it currently is, it does border on 'thought crime' because some groups enjoy additional protections, and while this might work on the face to protect an established minority, it doesn't take into account changing demographics - majority becomes a plurality, plurality becomes a minority, etc.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2007, 02:56:45 PM »
Excuse me but the United States is fighting the War of Terror pretty much alone if they need funding for legitimate execution of our global campaign then fine. Yes I know the British have a commitment but face it the United States is commiting the vast amount of resources to the fight- just because we spend such a large amount on our military. Now Iraq was a mistake but Afghanistan wasn't neither is other direct spending on the intelligence services. My country is at war. Its not compassionate conservativism here its my country defending itself from a large number of terrorists all who are targeting the US in the main.

I deem that fully different from Hate Crime legislation for groups of persons that are already well covered as citizens by the states. Must I note the Hate Crime laws are in place for people regading race, color, religion and the like. They just won't extend that to gays and transgendered persons why Federalize crimes when its not necessary?


Offline VandrenTopic starter

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2007, 03:02:47 PM »
Obviously, but the distinction between meaning to kill vs. not meaning to kill, and the distinction between premeditated vs. accidental murder, are very different from making a legal distinction based on why the killer wanted to kill the victim.

Quote from: Jefepato
Motive shouldn't enter into it.

No offense intended, but these are contradictory positions (saying motive shouldn't enter the legal system, then implying that yes it needs to be there).

And there are very evident legal distinctions based on why a killer wanted to kill a victim, it's called evidence and proving "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the accused had motive.  However, in the case of Hate Crimes, it is very difficult to prove that a crime was racially, religiously, or sexist(ly?) motivated.  If it can be proven, though, beyond a reasonable doubt, personally, the accused ought to serve more time, especially since many laws covering violent crimes leave way too much room for judicial discretion.  Case in point, only a month or two ago, a local judge (can't recall where, just caught the story briefly on CNN) sentenced a child rapist to one or two years in prison, with a chance to reduce that time for good behavior - currently the victim is appealing the sentence to a higher court.

Quote from: Lilac
The way it currently is, it does border on 'thought crime' because some groups enjoy additional protections, and while this might work on the face to protect an established minority, it doesn't take into account changing demographics - majority becomes a plurality, plurality becomes a minority, etc.

While this is definitely true, say for the Hispanic community in the U.S., the metamorphosis of a minority group into a majority group doesn't deal with the underlying racism/sexism/whatnot that the laws were created to deal with.  Yes, this underlying assumption then means legislating morality (which still isn't related to thoughtcrime), but then again, we legislate lots of morality based on general beliefs that underlie human relations - we as a society consider theft, murder, and cannibalism to be immoral, for instance, things which virtually every human society has considered immoral (although cannibalism, supposedly, existed in some historic societies up through the early-20th c., but sociologists and anthropologists are still debating its actual existance).
______________________________________________________________

Side note, the closest I can recall Orwell coming to define thoughtcrime is on page 19 of the Signet Classics edition of 1984 (early 21st c. ed., though 1950 copyright), where he states: "He had committed - would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper - the essential crime that contained all others in itself.  Thoughtcrime, they called it" by thinking (and writing) "Down with Big Brother," which was illegal.  The key element of thoughtcrime is most emphatically not motive, but thinking of committing or mentally committing a crime.  Thus, arresting someone for murdering a Jew and charging him/her with a Hate Crime which was actually committed is not thoughtcrime.  Arresting and charging someone with thinking about murdering a person (anyone), when no physical crime was actually committed, would be.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 03:10:17 PM by Vandren »

Offline VandrenTopic starter

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2007, 03:06:17 PM »
Excuse me but the United States is fighting the War of Terror pretty much alone if they need funding for legitimate execution of our global campaign then fine. Yes I know the British have a commitment but face it the United States is commiting the vast amount of resources to the fight- just because we spend such a large amount on our military. Now Iraq was a mistake but Afghanistan wasn't neither is other direct spending on the intelligence services. My country is at war. Its not compassionate conservativism here its my country defending itself from a large number of terrorists all who are targeting the US in the main.

Nice attempt to change the subject again.

Once more, this has nothing to do with the points made below.  And it shows a lack of actually reading the points below.

Though I'm quickly learning that some people don't seem to understand hypocrisy, analogies, or Aristotlian logic (which is the basis of modern Western logical reasoning).

Quote
I deem that fully different from Hate Crime legislation for groups of persons that are already well covered as citizens by the states.

Again, nice attempt to change the subject, though it still has nothing to do with the comments below.

Quote
Must I note the Hate Crime laws are in place for people regading race, color, religion and the like. They just won't extend that to gays and transgendered persons why Federalize crimes when its not necessary?

Actually, Hate Crime legislation only covers race/ethnicity and religion.  Though I notice that once again you've ignored the gender part of the problem regarding the recent attempt at legislation, e.g. women aren't included (because conservative lawmakers block every attempt to include them).
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 03:14:28 PM by Vandren »

Offline Jefepato

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2007, 03:22:34 PM »
No offense intended, but these are contradictory positions (saying motive shouldn't enter the legal system, then implying that yes it needs to be there).

Sorry.  "Motive shouldn't enter into it" was a completely stupid thing to say.  It would be more accurate to say "given that someone intends to commit murder, the specific reason why he wants to murder his victim should not be a factor in what type of offense it is."

And there are very evident legal distinctions based on why a killer wanted to kill a victim, it's called evidence and proving "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the accused had motive.

That isn't a distinction being made in the nature of the crime, but rather part of the process of proving a case against the accused (because the absence of a motive casts serious doubt on his guilt).  From this, it doesn't necessarily follow that the specific motive should be a relevant factor in what he's being charged with.

However, in the case of Hate Crimes, it is very difficult to prove that a crime was racially, religiously, or sexist(ly?) motivated.  If it can be proven, though, beyond a reasonable doubt, personally, the accused ought to serve more time, especially since many laws covering violent crimes leave way too much room for judicial discretion.

Why is a racist murder worse than any other murder?

Case in point, only a month or two ago, a local judge (can't recall where, just caught the story briefly on CNN) sentenced a child rapist to one or two years in prison, with a chance to reduce that time for good behavior - currently the victim is appealing the sentence to a higher court.

That law needs fixing, but isn't really relevant to hate crime legislation...

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2007, 03:36:39 PM »
Well I don't see what the problem is if the hate crime legislation just covered GENDER it very likely would have passed it was the sexual orientation part most conservatives don't like. I tend to agree with them its not clear cut in all cases if its nature or nuture. Why should hate crimes be invoked over a persons choices of sexual partner at the Federal level? (Yes I know I'm gay that doesn't mean I think its always a matter of birth, just as likely to me someone could choose another person of the same gender as a lover.)

As for the President vetoing any abortion laws he doesn't like that is his right until he is voted out of office. And the limits on funding for family planning overseas and the like is fine if the world doesn't want to take OUR money with strings attached then don't take it. Same with special interest groups in our country getting funds. Find the money elsewhere.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2007, 10:13:09 PM »
I suppose it would be best to start off by saying that I do not approve of Hate Crime Legislation, though my reasoning is probably a bit different than some listed here.  My disagreement is not over the fear of "thought crime" and is not really related to this fear of morality police.  Already, imbedded in our legal system, are motive based decisions and laws.  For me the notion of gang related crime comes to mind since such a term is malleable based upon the state, community, and personal opinion of the prosecuting entity.  There is not set definition of a gang related crime, yet if found convicted of such a thing the sentence is harsher and more money is put into the prosecution.  This is also true of politically motivated crimes such a terrorism or assassination.  The difference between a man being put to death hinges on whether he killed a political figure out of passion or from political intentions, between simple murder and perhaps even treason.

The original intent of Hate Crime Legislation was not to deter violent crime against minority groups.  Tougher sentencing, harsher punishments, and even better prosecuters don't deter crime.  Hate Crime Legislation was a check by the federal government against local prosecutors, allowing the federal government to step in and ensure the case was being handled fairly.  This prevents biased prosecutors and judges from "dropping the ball" in regards to minorities, preventing racism from tangling the legal system where possible.  The question is not whether the life of a black person is worth defending more than a white person, but whether the defense will be equal without government oversight.  Hate Crime Legislation is a way for the federal government to show a lack of confidence in state legal systems.

My disagreement with Hate Crime Legislation does stem from my general belief that harsher sentences are useless as a deterent for crime.  I also feel that state governments should be allowed to show themselves capable of fairly handling such high profile cases without the government tying up its own prosecutors.  An appeals courts should have a federal representative should the case go further than a simple trial, ensuring that no mishandling occured and to root out fouplay against such minorities.  While racism, sexism, discrimination on sexual orientation, and other forms of "isms" still rear their ugly heads across the government bodies of this coutnry, there can be no recovery unless trust is shown.  The state prosecutors have to be trusted and allowed to prosecute these cases without "daddy" looking over their shoulders.

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2007, 05:26:33 AM »
I'm not up to debating it right now and here, but in my opinion the hate crime legislation does far more good than bad and as long as America has such legislation in any form, sexual preference should surely be included.

Offline Monica

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2007, 01:52:48 AM »
I see this argument as having as much credible circumstance as proposing an extension that would protect abortion advocates, and those working in abortion clinics. While they (any such group) are well deserving of protection from violence, filing down hate-crime laws to the point at which its just a list of who we need to protect and why is absurd. We do have, believe it or not, a general state of enforcement and prosecution for every-day violent acts. Of course homosexuals need to be protected when the prying jaws of opposition raise a violent hand, but they deserve it just as much as anyone else with a varying stance on any little matter does; and if we define their need to be protected from hate-crimes, it just creates a pathway for further branching.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2007, 03:00:10 AM »
 But if some groups are not specifically named for protection, then many of the ones who do hate crimes against them will either get off free or lesser sentances. It protects those who are being targetted because of what race/gender/sexual preference/relgion they are.

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2007, 07:20:26 AM »
I see this argument as having as much credible circumstance as proposing an extension that would protect abortion advocates, and those working in abortion clinics. While they (any such group) are well deserving of protection from violence, filing down hate-crime laws to the point at which its just a list of who we need to protect and why is absurd. We do have, believe it or not, a general state of enforcement and prosecution for every-day violent acts. Of course homosexuals need to be protected when the prying jaws of opposition raise a violent hand, but they deserve it just as much as anyone else with a varying stance on any little matter does; and if we define their need to be protected from hate-crimes, it just creates a pathway for further branching.

Homosexuality is not a 'stance' on a 'little matter' but something fundamental to a persons sexuality. It's one of the most annoying things when all kinds of homophobes use phrases like 'homosexual lifestyle' to describe it.

As for abortion cliinics, I'd think that people making attacks on aborton clinics should be targeted by laws concenring terrorists. I'm pretty sure that when it comes to being harsh on terrorists, USA is not missing anything.

Also, I don't think there is anything bad with the hate-crime law branching into a list of groups needing protection, as long as the legislation works both ways and takes the criminal's motif into account. Not 'harsher sentence for beating up a homosexual' but 'harsher sentence for beating up someone *because* of their sexual preference'.

So for example:
A black guy gets beaten up by racists - hate crime
A black guy gets beaten up by muggers who beat up everyone - not a hate crime
A white guy gets beaten up by the same muggers - not a hate crime
A white guy gets beaten up for being white - hate crime

And why? Because folks who commit crimes that specifically target a group they hate are so bad that they need every punishment they can get. I'm pretty sure it's much easier to re-form someone who commited crimes out of greed than someone who commited them out of hatred.

Offline Elvi

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2007, 08:35:55 AM »
You've hit the nail on the head there Celestial.

Hate crimes are very specific.
A racist targets a person because of their ethneticity and that is the only reason they commit the crime against them.

Sometimes it is very easy for everyone to say, "He/she did that because they were white/black.", when it's a simple case of mugging or theft or simply just not getting along with another person.

(And this goes the same for religion and gender issues)

What has to be done is for those who deal with the laws to look at the crimes and see if there was that sort of motive involved.

Offline Brittlby

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2007, 10:13:39 AM »
Because folks who commit crimes that specifically target a group they hate are so bad that they need every punishment they can get. I'm pretty sure it's much easier to re-form someone who commited crimes out of greed than someone who commited them out of hatred.

Based on what? Do you really think a stiffer punishment will serve to reform someone like that?

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2007, 10:35:49 AM »
Based on what? Do you really think a stiffer punishment will serve to reform someone like that?

Well, punishment has 4 purposes:
1)reforming - making sure the criminal won't dare commiting the crime again
2)deterrent - being scary enough so people won't try to commit the crime in the first place
3)isolation - keeping criminals away from the rest of populace, at least for a time
4)vindication - making the victim(and rest of society) feel that justice been done

When it comes to people commiting crimes out of hate, all four points apply, in my opinion.
In case someone will be fanatical enough that points 1) and 2) won't apply to them, point 3) can still make a difference. Point 4) might seem like it's the least important, but when it comes to hate-crimes, it can be important to show minorities that they won't be left alone by the society at large.

Now, my definition of 'reforming' is a very cynical one. Spend a few years in prison and you might not want to go back. I can agree that actually changing *this* kind of offenders attitude towards people can be near impossible. But if you can't make someone into a normal person, you can at least keep them from doing harm.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2007, 11:09:59 AM »
Based on what? Do you really think a stiffer punishment will serve to reform someone like that?

 Not neccessarily not, but it would get that person out of society for a longer period of time. In jail, they can't inflict their hatred on society.

Offline Monica

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2007, 12:22:32 PM »
Quote
Homosexuality is not a 'stance' on a 'little matter' but something fundamental to a persons sexuality. It's one of the most annoying things when all kinds of homophobes use phrases like 'homosexual lifestyle' to describe it.

And yet, it is one social facet among many that recieve hate. I was not saying the homosexuality is a stance that one takes, but that in the big picture of cultural targetting, it is only one part of a much larger scheme. Arguably, even preference or choice, things considerably smaller and of ones own concious effort, can be fundamental to a person's being-- and again, we have to define what social creeds must be protected by hate crimes. The current hate-crime laws tend to target factors that are broad and concrete, if we add hate-crimes against homosexuality, then it completely skews the original generality of the law itself.

Quote
As for abortion cliinics, I'd think that people making attacks on aborton clinics should be targeted by laws concenring terrorists. I'm pretty sure that when it comes to being harsh on terrorists, USA is not missing anything.

The line between hate-crime and terrorist attack is very, very vague. A part of this argument, too, is deciding the difference between them. And even if part of it is terrorist in nature, is it not still a hate-crime? Similiarly, abortion clinics being bombed are by no means even a majority of the hate-crimes against abortion advocates.

Quote
Also, I don't think there is anything bad with the hate-crime law branching into a list of groups needing protection, as long as the legislation works both ways and takes the criminal's motif into account. Not 'harsher sentence for beating up a homosexual' but 'harsher sentence for beating up someone *because* of their sexual preference'.

The reason the law poses a generality instead of specifically outlining the groups which they would determine need protection is that many groups deserve the treatment and protection of the law from such crimes, and such has been the case in hate-crime legislation already. I would agree if a generality about sexuality was added to the clause, but I would still ward against any specification there.

Also: your argument that one might recieve a harsher sentence *because* their crime was specifically targeting one facet of a said individual is already present in today's justice system WITHOUT further specification from a hate-crime legislation. Criminal motivs and purpose have always played some part in determining the degree to which the criminal might be punished, but the same problems posed there would be posed in this situation-- proving that it was, in fact, a hate-crime and not just a random act of violence. Granted, this is something that can usually be done with ease in most such cases.

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So for example:
A black guy gets beaten up by racists - hate crime
A black guy gets beaten up by muggers who beat up everyone - not a hate crime
A white guy gets beaten up by the same muggers - not a hate crime
A white guy gets beaten up for being white - hate crime

And why? Because folks who commit crimes that specifically target a group they hate are so bad that they need every punishment they can get. I'm pretty sure it's much easier to re-form someone who commited crimes out of greed than someone who commited them out of hatred.

Not necessarily. To many, a crime is a crime is a crime is a crime, and in terms of psychological therapy, even in this minor division there are many exceptions. Many would argue that, committing crimes with no real intent is far more disturbing than targeting any one person-- because that CAN be reformed. Truth be told, many bigots can be turned from this habit, and can be generally good people. Every day criminals though, committing violence without heed to any real social factors, are typically far more dangerous. However, specific attacks like those in hate-crimes show premeditation and narrow-minded intent, so while they may not necessarily be more dangerous, they are treated with greater concern by the American justice system.

« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 12:26:51 PM by Monica »

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Gotta Love Compassionate Conservatives . . .
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2007, 01:24:48 PM »
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The current hate-crime laws tend to target factors that are broad and concrete, if we add hate-crimes against homosexuality, then it completely skews the original generality of the law itself.

I have no problem with all sexual preferences being protected under the hate crime legislation. But right now, it's only homosexual people that are targets of hate-motivated attacks. Other groups do not suffer problems of this magnitude.

I think that when it comes to law, achieving the goal should be more important than ideology. Making law less 'general' is not a bad thing if it makes it more efficient.

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The line between hate-crime and terrorist attack is very, very vague. A part of this argument, too, is deciding the difference between them. And even if part of it is terrorist in nature, is it not still a hate-crime? Similiarly, abortion clinics being bombed are by no means even a majority of the hate-crimes against abortion advocates.
Well, 'terrorism' is not about the motif but about the deed. Using violence to intimidate a fragment of populace to agree with your wishes is terrorism. It doesn't matter if you use threat of bombs or threat of a knife. If someone uses threats of violence against any legally operating institution they're technically a terrorist.
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The reason the law poses a generality instead of specifically outlining the groups which they would determine need protection is that many groups deserve the treatment and protection of the law from such crimes, and such has been the case in hate-crime legislation already. I would agree if a generality about sexuality was added to the clause, but I would still ward against any specification there.
I'm pretty sure that the moment someone would get beaten up for being heterosexual, there would be no problem adding this part to the legislation.
Myself I think that the protection should also apply to such minorities as fetishists, polyamorous people, crossdressers and such.
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Also: your argument that one might recieve a harsher sentence *because* their crime was specifically targeting one facet of a said individual is already present in today's justice system WITHOUT further specification from a hate-crime legislation. Criminal motivs and purpose have always played some part in determining the degree to which the criminal might be punished, but the same problems posed there would be posed in this situation-- proving that it was, in fact, a hate-crime and not just a random act of violence. Granted, this is something that can usually be done with ease in most such cases.
Hate crime legislation is necessary to make *sure* those people get a harsher sentence. Not every judge in America is sympatethic to every minority there is and often having clear guidelines makes giving a verdict simpler. And sometimes judges too can be racists, homophobes, or whatever other haters.

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Not necessarily. To many, a crime is a crime is a crime is a crime, and in terms of psychological therapy, even in this minor division there are many exceptions. Many would argue that, committing crimes with no real intent is far more disturbing than targeting any one person-- because that CAN be reformed. Truth be told, many bigots can be turned from this habit, and can be generally good people. Every day criminals though, committing violence without heed to any real social factors, are typically far more dangerous. However, specific attacks like those in hate-crimes show premeditation and narrow-minded intent, so while they may not necessarily be more dangerous, they are treated with greater concern by the American justice system.

There's no such thing as commiting a crime 'with no real intent', unless someone is mentally ill.
There's always a motif. Either greed, substance abuse, personal revenge or ideological hatred. People who actually *believe* that hurting others is positive are the hardest to reform.
Also, I don't understand how hate-crimes can be called a 'habit' and I know that bigots are statistically less likely to be good people outside their bigotry.

Please understand, we're talking here about people who actually go and search out for a member of a specific minority to attack them. Skinheads, KKK members, lynchers, people who believe they'll waging a 'holy war' of some sort.
It's not about punishing a thug more because the guy he mugged turned out to be a Buddhist, it's about dealing harsher punishment to a special, really dangerous kind of criminals. There's no reason to defend them regardless of ones political orientation.