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Hate Crimes

Humphrey

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Not sure if this is where to post this, but....

Do you believe in the concept of hate crimes?

In RAV vs. City of St. Paul, Minnesota [505 US 377, 112 S.Ct. 2538], Robert A. Viktora, a white teenager and several of his friends burned a cross in the middle of the night on the lawn of the only black family in the neighborhood. He was arrested and charged with violating a law against hate-crimes such as burning crosses, displaying swastikas, etc on public or private property. The law defined these symbols as anything likely to cause "anger, alarm, or resentment in others on basis of race, color, creed, religion, or gender"

I don't know about you, but I have some issues with this.

Laws against these so-called "hate-crimes" violate the 1st. If you're allowed freedom of speech, it should be explanded to all forms of non-violent expression, be it cross-burning, be it swastika displays....As long as it doesn't interfere with something else (vandalism, arson, etc) you shouldn't be arrested for that. People aren't arrested for racial slurs, are they? Why should this be any different.

Also, something that can cause "anger, alarm, or resentment in others on basis of race, color, creed, religion, or gender" isn't well-defined. People can stretch something this vague to cover just about anything if they're creative enough.

That said, the teenagers could still be arrested on the grounds of arson and tresspassing, but to charge them with a hate crime is unconstitutional, methinks.

In the end, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against RAV, but strangely enough, none of them agreed on why.

To take it a step further, in Wisconson vs Mitchell [508 US 476, 113 S.Ct. 2194], Todd Mitchell and several other black guys were pretty worked up after discussing a scene in Mississippi Burning. Later, Mitchell allegedly said, "Do you all feel hyped up to move on some white people?" and consequently, the group beat a white kid unconscious and stole his shoes. Mitchell and crew were convicted of battery, for which the maximum sentence is 2 years, but under Wisconson's "hate-speech" law, he was sentenced to 4 years because he "intentionally selected the person against whom the crime...is committed...because of the race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry of that person."

How can it be considered constitutional to punish someone for their own personal beliefs?
 

Gardener

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Humphrey said:
Not sure if this is where to post this, but....

Do you believe in the concept of hate crimes?

In RAV vs. City of St. Paul, Minnesota [505 US 377, 112 S.Ct. 2538], Robert A. Viktora, a white teenager and several of his friends burned a cross in the middle of the night on the lawn of the only black family in the neighborhood. He was arrested and charged with violating a law against hate-crimes such as burning crosses, displaying swastikas, etc on public or private property. The law defined these symbols as anything likely to cause "anger, alarm, or resentment in others on basis of race, color, creed, religion, or gender"

I don't know about you, but I have some issues with this.

Laws against these so-called "hate-crimes" violate the 1st. If you're allowed freedom of speech, it should be explanded to all forms of non-violent expression, be it cross-burning, be it swastika displays....As long as it doesn't interfere with something else (vandalism, arson, etc) you shouldn't be arrested for that. People aren't arrested for racial slurs, are they? Why should this be any different.

Also, something that can cause "anger, alarm, or resentment in others on basis of race, color, creed, religion, or gender" isn't well-defined. People can stretch something this vague to cover just about anything if they're creative enough.

That said, the teenagers could still be arrested on the grounds of arson and tresspassing, but to charge them with a hate crime is unconstitutional, methinks.

In the end, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against RAV, but strangely enough, none of them agreed on why.

To take it a step further, in Wisconson vs Mitchell [508 US 476, 113 S.Ct. 2194], Todd Mitchell and several other black guys were pretty worked up after discussing a scene in Mississippi Burning. Later, Mitchell allegedly said, "Do you all feel hyped up to move on some white people?" and consequently, the group beat a white kid unconscious and stole his shoes. Mitchell and crew were convicted of battery, for which the maximum sentence is 2 years, but under Wisconson's "hate-speech" law, he was sentenced to 4 years because he "intentionally selected the person against whom the crime...is committed...because of the race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry of that person."

How can it be considered constitutional to punish someone for their own personal beliefs?


You do not understand the nature of free speech if you think these little shits have the right to select a specific individual because of their race and burn a cross on that person's very own property. Your last sentence is especially off base for the obvious fact that nobody is being punished for their "personal beliefs". The punishment is in response to their *actions* rather than their beliefs, actions that are in clear violation of their target's rights.

Free speech doesn't mean a person gets to do whatever they damn well please to somebody else. If this child wanted to express these particular beliefs, my suggestion is for them to stand at a street corner in a predominanty black neighborood and proclaim them loudly instead of slinking around at night in order to harrass. At least that would show the courage of his convictions, not to mention lead to the sort of response where he might learn a valuable lesson as to the natural reactions to his hate.
 

Humphrey

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I'm not saying they should have the right to take actions that, in your words, "are in clear violation of their target's rights." Inf fact, I specifically said:

Humphrey said:
Laws against these so-called "hate-crimes" violate the 1st. If you're allowed freedom of speech, it should be explanded to all forms of non-violent expression, be it cross-burning, be it swastika displays....As long as it doesn't interfere with something else (vandalism, arson, etc)

That said, the teenagers could still be arrested on the grounds of arson and tresspassing
If someone wants to hang swastikas from their house in a Jewish community or burn a cross on their own lawn, they shouldn't be arrested for a hate crime.

If someone burns a cross on someone else's lawn, they should be arrested and can be charged with arson or tresspassing, but their punishment shouldn't be made worse because it was a "hate crime"
 

GarzaUK

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lol humphrey you are going to fit in here nicely. Good Post!!! :applaud
 
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