Why We Have Hate Crime Laws

I just read this wonderful article by Michael Dorf on FindLaw about Bush’s threat to veto the proposed hate crimes bill. He points out that, while it is possible to argue against hate crime laws in general on the basis of constitutionality, Bush’s real motive is more likely homophobia. Well, that’s a little obvious, but it needed to be said.

Anyway, I was listening to Thom Hartmann on Friday, and he and his callers were talking about the veto and why we need hate crime laws in the first place. Thom said that the reason we have harsher punishments for crimes motivated by hatred towards a certain group is because it is intended to spread fear. (Which, BTW, is not prohibited by the First Ammendment; see Virginia vs. Black. Fuck off, libertarians.)

True, but the main reason we must have federal hate crime laws is because local law enforcement (especially in conservative areas, where hate crimes are more likely to take place) tends to turn a blind eye to crimes against blacks, gays, transexuals, etc. Hate crime laws allows the federal government to step in and investigate a crime when the local authorities fail to do so.

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1 Comment »

  1. You have a little nice blog.

    Asher Heimermann
    http://blog.asherheimermann.com

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