Dangerousman wrote:Hate crime is an attempt to criminalize and punish thought.
Not exactly, no. You can think
whatever you want, as long as it doesn't lead you to commit a crime.
The law doesn't care if you spend your whole day, dawn to dusk, mentally soaking in hatred for blacks or whites or gays or straights or whatever. The law doesn't care if you publish those thoughts far and wide. It's only when you commit a violent crime
that the law takes notice.
Again, the analogy is to first-degree vs second-degree murder. In both cases the murderer kills someone intentionally. What is different is their thought process.
I wonder how some people would feel if the legislature enacted a hate crime enhancer for when the crime was motivated by a hatred of say, Republicans?
Such a law would be written to allow a hate crime enhancer for when a crime is motivated by hatred based on political beliefs, or partisan affiliation, or ideology, or something equally neutral in its wording
. Thus, the law would discourage attacks on Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, and Communists, not just one specific party.
And in fact, as of 2007, the ADL reported
that four states' hate-crime laws do include "political affiliation" (California, Iowa, Louisiana, and West Virginia).
Isn't there a slipperly slope when you pick and choose what sort of hate qualifies for "hate crime" and not just enhance all crimes that were motivated by hate?
Probably. That's one of the arguments against such laws. On the other hand, "slippery slope" arguments only get you so far.