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Extra Penalties For Hate Crimes Are Justified

1402 words - 6 pages

Any crime motivated by a bias against a person or group based on their ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, religion or another characteristic is a hate crime. These crimes can either be committed against the people themselves or their property. When someone commits a hate crime they are targeting a group of people not just one individual. That’s why hate crimes have extra punishment. The punishment for hate crimes are very insignificant considering the deviant who committed a hate crime targeted an entire group of people. Hate crimes are very serious offensive but determining where to draw the line can be difficult. Hate crimes are very serious and can have lasting effects on victims.
There are both state and federal laws that prohibit hate crimes, but proving an assailant committed a crime in prejudice is very difficult. Any type of crime can call for some form of punishment, from fines and short prison stays for misdemeanors to long term imprisonment for felonies. Once it has been reviled that an accused willfully committed an offense, proof must be given that indicates the crime was influenced by prejudice against a specific characteristic in order to show that it was also a hate crime. When this can be proven, the harshness of the crime automatically increases. People often wonder why hate crime punishment is harsher than for crimes that are not motivated by any type of bias. The basic reason for this is that most crimes are directed at an individual, but hate crimes are against an entire community. A burglar who breaks into a random home does so for personal gain, and usually doesn’t even know who lives in the home they are invading. Conversely, a person who chooses a victim based on a particular bias is singling out a characteristic that is common to a particular group of people “Hate crimes are message crimes. Gay men beaten outside of a gay bar are rarely robbed” (Lieberman M). Hate crime laws cracks down on these types of crimes in the hopes of deterring people from committing them.
Hate crimes are very serious offensive but determining where to draw the line can be difficult. In court it is hard to make a hate crime accusation hold wait. When someone attacks someone or their property it is a crime, however if the victim is a homosexual or other group targeted by hate they can press hate crime charges. Many believe this is absurd because what if the assailant is attacking the victim and has no idea that they are targeted by hate groups. For the assailant it is extremely hard to defend himself by proving he did not attack the victim out of hate for their gender, race, or sexual orientation. Hate crime laws create inequality by choosing special groups of people who are more worthy of protection. The Constitution already guarantees justice and equal treatment for all. A law that gives extra protection and special treatment to special groups of people for their religion, sexual orientation, age, or race is unjust. All people should be...

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