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Hate Crimes "The Reality Of It All"

1196 words - 5 pages

The age old question is can we all just get along? In my opinion he answer is no. In this world there is an infinite amount of opinions and ideas, and with that in mind people will consistently bump heads. Since there is no possible way to get around this predicament called hate, anger, jealousy, and envy etc. why not make a law that can limit the actions that come from these emotions. Many people have problems with the idea of hate-crime laws; some believe that it criminalizes thoughts and is an added punishment. In other words a crime is a crime and to me that assumption does not hold any weight. Two specific crimes that have been known as hate-crimes should be fuel enough to promote the idea of hate-crime laws. The first case is the James Byrd jr. and the other case is the Emmett Till case.Before one can talk about the severity of the two cases he/she should know exactly what a hate-crime really is. First of all the idea of the word hate is broader then it seems. Hate is expanded to hate towards gays, lesbians, woman, and people with disabilities, different races, and religions. When someone commits a crime against someone and the motive is part of one of these categories the idea of a hate-crime is committed. Even though I agree with the idea of hate crime laws it's a task to really implement this in the criminal justice system. Trying to convict someone of a one of these crimes would mean that either it is an outright act of hate, or someway the police would have to know what that person was thinking at the time. This is why many believe that this would criminalize thought. That is why the first amendment is usually brought up and is always tested. This is an argument that will be contested for a very long time.The first case that is an outright example of a hate-crime is the James Byrd Jr. case. On June 7, 1998 some detectives were notified about a dried brown substance on the ground. What had happened was that James Byrd Jr. was walking home after a family celebration at his sister's house, and it was an hour or two after midnight. He was picked up by three white men who had offered him a ride and he was not too far from his house. Byrd rode in the back while John William King, Shawn Allen Berry, and Lawrence Russell Brewer were in the cab of the truck. Both King and Berry were 23 and Brewer was 31. King then drove to Huff Creek Road where he turned onto a dirt road. It is said that Berry asked King what is he doing and King replied, "Fixin to scare the shit out of this nigger." Berry stated that King stopped and all three of them exited the truck, and he also stated that Brewer and King began beating the Byrd, while he watched. Berry said that he ran a short distance away. Shortly thereafter King drove the truck with Brewer riding passenger then Berry entered his truck and since he didn't see Byrd he asked was they going to leave him out there and King replied, "We're starting the Turner Diaries early." The Turner Diaries is West Virginia...

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