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Muda69

The Sad Redundancy Of 'Hate' Prosecution

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https://inpolicy.org/2019/03/morris-hate-crimes/

Quote

Juxtaposition isn’t everything, but it’s an often-overlooked tool that can help us think about public events. It can be provocative, even illuminating. Comparing two stories together can lead us to insights we might have missed by absorbing them separately, each without the context of the other.

Consider two road rage incidents in Indianapolis, both ending with gunshots causing death.

In one case, Dustin Passarelli followed a car driven by Mustafa Ayoubi into a parking lot off of I-465, after, he reportedly told police, the car flew up behind him and he heard a bang, and he thought the other driver threw something at his vehicle. He said he wanted only to talk about the incident, but witnesses said the two exchanged words and Passarelli shot Ayoubi through his car window, then fired again when he tried to flee.

In the other, two drivers started flipping each other off on East 38th Street after one driver, according to police reports, swerved to avoid a sewer cap. The other driver, Andrew Holder, apparently took that as a sign of aggressive driving. When the two cars finally stopped at a light, Holder allegedly pulled and fired a handgun. The first driver then pulled his own gun and fired back, missing Holder but hitting and killing Brandy Brock, a passenger in Holder’s back seat.

In each case, an innocent person died for what amounted to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That is hard enough to process with cause-and-effect rationality. But relatives of the victims want us to consider questions that add another level of complexity.

Witnesses said that during the Ayoubi shooting, Passarelli, who has been charged with murder, shouted anti-Muslim slurs, including “Go back to your country.” Ayoubi’s sister wants a hate crimes investigation, but the prosecutor says even though he’d like to, he can’t do that because Indiana is one of five states without a hate crimes law.

The driver whose bullet killed Brandy Brock isn’t being charged because it was Holder, the driver of her car, who fired first, and Indiana’s self-defense law is very strong. A person who “reasonably believes” the use of unlawful force is imminent is not required to retreat and is justified in using reasonable force.

Brock’s mother thinks that is small comfort for the grief she is feeling.

I’d ask questions of prosecutors in both cases. Would tacking on a hate crimes designation change anything in a case where the victim is dead and the shooter is already charged with murder? And, just how ironclad is the Hoosier self- defense law – does it justify any sort of response, even one that recklessly results in the death of a bystander?

But we don’t have to get too deeply into consideration of hate crimes or self defense to see that what ties them together is that we are asked to bring a degree of subjectivity into the equation. We have to read the minds of the people pulling the trigger. Did this one really have hate in his mind? Did that one really believe peril was imminent? I’m not sure the criminal justice system is capable of such psychic detection, even if we sometimes think a persuasive case can be made for the effort.

Equal justice under the law is a noble goal but a difficult task. The simple act of making the punishment fit the crime for the right criminal is seldom as straightforward as we think it should be. Throw hate or fear mixed with white hot anger into it all, and I see a maze that can be impossible to negotiate.

I agree with Mr. Morris.  Designating crimes as 'hate' crimes is a redundant and fruitless exercise.  A crime is a crime is a crime.

 

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The term "hate" in so-called Hate Crime laws is used euphemistically. The existence of actual "hatred", in the sense of an emotion or feeling, is not required. It is the targeting of the victim specifically because he or she has the characteristics of one of the protected "classes" or categories covered by the law that is required. That targeting could be completely dispassionate from an emotional perspective,  but still fall under a "hate crime" law. 

Moreover, the idea that a hate crime law requires some sort of psychic detection or mind reading power is silly. Our criminal justice system regularly requires juries and judges to reach conclusions about the mental states of defendants -- did the defendant act intentionally? Was it a knowing act? Was the act committed maliciously?

Because humans have never had mind reading powers, and defendants rarely admit having committed the act with the particular mental state that will put them in prison, we ask jurors and judges to reach conclusions about the defendant's mental state inthe same way that you, and I, and all humans reach conclusions on a daily basis about the mental states of other folks we interact with: we ask them to infer the defendant's mental state from the things the defendant did and said, as established by the evidence. 

Likewise, for a "hate crime", we simply ask jurors and judges to look at the evidence regarding the defendant's actions and words to determine if it supports the reasonable inference that the defendant targeted the victim because the victim was black, gay, a foreigner, a Christian, etc., etc.(whatever the classes or categories are that the statute covers.)

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10 minutes ago, Wabash82 said:

The existence of actual "hatred", in the sense of an emotion or feeling, is not required. It is the targeting of the victim specifically because he or she has the characteristics of one of the protected "classes" or categories covered by the law that is required.

And exactly what benefit is such a designation, like "hate crime" supposed to bring to society?  

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The same benefit that results from having similar designations in our civil laws dealing with hiring, or sales of real estate, or the renting of hotel rooms. 

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2 hours ago, Wabash82 said:

The same benefit that results from having similar designations in our civil laws dealing with hiring, or sales of real estate, or the renting of hotel rooms. 

I don't understand.  Can you please give me an example?

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31 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

I don't understand.  Can you please give me an example?

Equal housing provisions, equal hiring provisions, etc. 

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1 hour ago, Muda69 said:

I don't understand.  Can you please give me an example?

Sure:

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

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12 minutes ago, Wabash82 said:

Sure:

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

So if somebody of a different racial group from my own deprives me of life, liberty, or property that is a "hate crime"?

 

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15 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

So if somebody of a different racial group from my own deprives me of life, liberty, or property that is a "hate crime"?

 

You were correct in your earlier post: you don't understand.

You asked for an example of a law that benefited our society by extending protections to a specific "class" of people, so I gave you an example. (14th Amendment specifically singles out the class known as "citizens" in the privileges and immunities clause, as distinguished from broader "persons" entitled to protection under equal protection and due process clause.) 

I am not sure how you wound that back to your comment above about hate crimes. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Wabash82 said:

You were correct in your earlier post: you don't understand.

You asked for an example of a law that benefited our society by extending protections to a specific "class" of people, so I gave you an example. (14th Amendment specifically singles out the class known as "citizens" in the privileges and immunities clause, as distinguished from broader "persons" entitled to protection under equal protection and due process clause.) 

I am not sure how you wound that back to your comment above about hate crimes. 

 

 

Because I still don't understand exactly benefit(s) the classification of "hate crime" bestows on American society.  Is it the belief that such a classification is an effective deterrent, that somebody from the racial majority whose is about to or is plotting to harm an individual from a racial minority will suddenly stop and think "gee, I'm about to commit a hate crime, I had better not do this thing."?

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Because I still don't understand exactly benefit(s) the classification of "hate crime" bestows on American society.  Is it the belief that such a classification is an effective deterrent, that somebody from the racial majority whose is about to or is plotting to harm an individual from a racial minority will suddenly stop and think "gee, I'm about to commit a hate crime, I had better not do this thing."?

 

 

 

Yes, that's one likely benefit.  It is axiomatic that increasing the negative consequences of some action can be a deterrent to someone taking that action if he was on the fence or slightly leaning toward doing it.  $200 fines for speeding don't stop all speeding, but they certainly do deter more potential speeders than $5 fines do.  

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10 minutes ago, Wabash82 said:

Yes, that's one likely benefit.  It is axiomatic that increasing the negative consequences of some action can be a deterrent to someone taking that action if he was on the fence or slightly leaning toward doing it.  $200 fines for speeding don't stop all speeding, but they certainly do deter more potential speeders than $5 fines do.  

Have their been objective studies performed which prove or disapprove this benefit of deterrence?

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5 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Have their been objective studies performed which prove or disapprove this benefit of deterrence?

Proof of the benefit of deterring speeding?

Or proof that increasing the cost of doing a certain thing generally results in less of that thing happening (i.e., deters it from happening as frequently)? 

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1 minute ago, Wabash82 said:

Proof of the benefit of deterring speeding?

Or proof that increasing the cost of doing a certain thing generally results in less of that thing happening (i.e., deters it from happening as frequently)? 

That hate crime laws effectively deter hate crimes from being committed.

 

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Hypothetical question - If racism (the MW definition) is not a 2 way street (as some on this site have opined), if an African American hated me because I was white and murdered me (as some on this website would probably celebrate - LOL) would he then be able to be charged with a hate crime?

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1 hour ago, Muda69 said:

That hate crime laws effectively deter hate crimes from being committed.

 

I don't know. I would imagine that they have been around long enough in some States to allow that question to he studied. Sounds like a good research project for you this weekend.

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1 hour ago, swordfish said:

Hypothetical question - If racism (the MW definition) is not a 2 way street (as some on this site have opined), if an African American hated me because I was white and murdered me (as some on this website would probably celebrate - LOL) would he then be able to be charged with a hate crime?

Nothing hypothetical about it.  Yes, if cause could be shown that that is what drove it. 

https://blavity.com/black-man-charged-with-a-hate-crime-after-an-altercation-with-white-woman-he-believed-to-be-a-white-supremacist

https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdga/pr/usisraeli-man-indicted-hate-crime-and-threats-jewish-community-centers-israeli-embassy

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/z4jadx/can-you-commit-a-hate-crime-against-a-white-person

 

However, hate crimes can also be performed against people for non-race or non-ethnic reasons like crimes against gays or transsexuals or, in some jurisdictions, disability, and religion.  It is also possible for a Latino person to be charged with a hate crime against a Black person.  Or an Israeli-American charged for anti-Semitic threats. Again, hate crimes are not tied to any definition or perceived definition of racism.  Hate crime legislation usually never mentions the issue of racism directly.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Wabash82 said:

Sounds like a good research project for you this weekend.

I would be, but I'll be out of town with my spouse.

 

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37 minutes ago, foxbat said:

However, hate crimes can also be performed against people for non-race or non-ethnic reasons like crimes against gays or transsexuals or, in some jurisdictions, disability, and religion.  It is also possible for a Latino person to be charged with a hate crime against a Black person.  Or an Israeli-American charged for anti-Semitic threats. Again, hate crimes are not tied to any definition or perceived definition of racism.  Hate crime legislation usually never mentions the issue of racism directly.

 

So only certain "protected classes" can effectively be hated by another protected or unprotected class.  Got it.  Whatever happened to justice being blind?    

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Whatever happened to justice being blind? 

Great question. Would make a great political slogan. "Let's Make Justice Blind Again"

Edited by gonzoron
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1 hour ago, swordfish said:

Hypothetical question - If racism (the MW definition) is not a 2 way street (as some on this site have opined), if an African American hated me because I was white and murdered me (as some on this website would probably celebrate - LOL) would he then be able to be charged with a hate crime?

Your hypothetical requires us to know the specific language of the possibly-applicable "hate crime" statute. Typically, these statutes say something like, "If in committing the underlying crime [in this case, the murder of dear old SF, may he rest in peace], the perpetrator was motivated by prejudice against the victim based on the victim's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability, then a sentencing enhancement of "x" years will be added on." 

So if your hypothetical perpetrator made it clear in connection with killing you that he was motivated by prejudice against you because you were white, then he could be charged with a hate crime.

But none of that addresses the point Gonzo has made that form a functional definition perspective, "black racism" is a non-issue in this country. 

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1 minute ago, Muda69 said:

So only certain "protected classes" can effectively be hated by another protected or unprotected class.  Got it.  Whatever happened to justice being blind?    

Don't know.  Tell you what ... when Blacks get charged and sentenced at the same rate as their White counterparts for something like weed, then I'll be happy to believe that it is blind.

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1 minute ago, foxbat said:

Don't know.  Tell you what ... when Blacks get charged and sentenced at the same rate as their White counterparts for something like weed, then I'll be happy to believe that it is blind.

But nobody should be charged and sentenced for something like weed.  Government has no business dictating what an adult individual should choose to put into their body.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

But nobody should be charged and sentenced for something like weed.  Government has no business dictating what an adult individual should choose to put into their body.

 

 

True, but we can't get something that simple to have justice blind, so I'm not holding out hope at this point for bigger items.  Not pessimistic; just living in reality as a necessity.

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10 minutes ago, foxbat said:

 just living in reality as a necessity.

Kind of like using airplanes and cars instead of bicycles and imaginary high speed trains but still working for a Green New Deal.

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