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Ga. Court Throws Out Hate Crimes Law (1 Viewer)


Benevolent Dictator
DP Veteran
May 19, 2004
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Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Source: Yahoo News

ATLANTA - [size=-1] The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously threw out the state's hate crimes law Monday, calling it over-broad and "unconstitutionally vague." [/size]

[size=-1] The four-year-old law calls for stiffer criminal penalties for crimes in which a victim was chosen because of "any bias or prejudice." [/size]
The 7-0 ruling came in the case of a man and woman convicted of an assault on two black men in Atlanta's Little Five Points neighborhood. [/size]

[size=-1] Angela Pisciotta and Christopher Botts were convicted of beating two black men while screaming racial epithets in 2002. The trial judge sentenced them to six years in prison, plus an additional two years under the hate crimes law. [/size]

[size=-1] Pisciotta and Botts appealed to the state's highest court in April. Their lawyers argued that the hate crimes statute should be struck down because almost any crime involving prejudice falls under its scope. [/size]

[size=-1] The court wrote Monday that it "by no means condon(es) appellants savage attack on the victims in this case or any conduct motivated by a bigoted or hate-filled point of view," but that "the broad language" of the law didn't pass constitutional muster. [/size]

[size=-1] Originally, the legislation defined a hate crime as one motivated specifically by the victim's race, religion, gender, national origin or sexual orientation. [/size]

[size=-1]That language was removed by the Legislature and replaced with a section defining a hate crime as one in which the victim or his property was targeted because of bias or prejudice.

What violent crime is NOT a "hate crime"? Every violent crime is target torward some type of individual. Was Robin Hood committing 'hate crime' because he stole from the rich? Absolutely, should it be labeled as such? No. By allowing the term 'hate crime' it moves the country back into the past when actions were indeed based on race, gender, national origin, or sexual orientation. By removing this term, it shows the world that we have matured as a nation instead of dwelling on the past.
Unfortunately, it appears as though the hate crime law was removed because of vague wording, not because they suddenly woke up and realized that differentiating between murder and hate murder was a bit ludicrous.

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