Originally Posted by Phoenix
This post really sums up why I'm opposed to "hate crimes". This "hate crime" legislation is on the books because some want additional punishment for what is thought to be the traditional racist crimes of majority upon minority. But by very definition then, the law treats the murder of innocent collateral bank robbery victims as lesser crimes. I can't buy into that. Tell that to a parent of a dead child who was not killed as a result of legislature-defined "hate". I want the death penalty for a racist pig who kills someone because they are a different color. And I want the death penalty for a bank robber who kills someone because they just happen to be standing in a teller line.
The law should busy itself with penalizing horrible actions not branching off into a whole new wing of law trying to get to motivations behind actions.
So you don't think pre-meditated murder (say, a guy who lays out every step of kidnapping, raping, and murdering a young girl) should be punished more severely than aggravated assault with a weapon or manslaughter? After all, they all result in death of a victim.
My point is not to mitigate murder, but to point out that motivation (no matter how you slice it) does and should affect sentencing. The first example above should never see the light of day again; while the 18 year old kid who gets pressured into a gang and shoots someone in a holdup should pay his debt to society (a severe debt), but should also have a chance to produce in society at a date some point down the road.