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PUNISH THE CRIME, NOT THE THOUGHT
NY Post ^ | July 27, 2009 | Editorial

Posted on 07/27/2009 2:33:15 AM PDT by Scanian

Senate Democrats achieved one of their longtime goals this month -- an ex pansion of federal "hate crime" law.

Tacked on as an amendment to the defense-appropriations bill, the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Prevention Act -- named after a gay man murdered in Wyoming in 1998 -- includes essentially the same legislative language that Sen. Edward Kennedy has long pushed.

It expands federal hate-crime protection to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

Now, it's easy to think hate-crime laws are harmless. After all, why not outlaw "hate" for one group or another?

One problem, of course, is that laws can't make hate disappear. Another: They encroach on free-speech rights.

Even more troubling, these laws force prosecutors to try to read minds: Was a particular crime committed out of hatred for the victim's identity -- or for some other reason?

Hate-crime laws are also hard to apply evenly to all groups, as experience has shown. And federal versions introduce yet another problem: In effect, they take the power to prosecute crime away from states.

Somewhat surprisingly -- but to its credit -- the ACLU strenuously opposes the bill, finding it overly broad.

"An otherwise unremarkable violent crime should not become a federal hate crime simply because the defendant visited the wrong Web site, belonged to a group espousing bigotry or subscribed to a magazine promoting discriminatory views, however wrong and repugnant those beliefs may be," the group says.

Alas, the ACLU does back a House version with slightly broader protections for religious speech and association.

Meanwhile, the man convicted of killing Matthew Shepard is serving two life sentences. In other words, justice was served at the state level -- without the need for a federal hate-crime bill.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 111th; bhohomosexualagenda; hatecrimes; homosexualagenda; thoughtpolice

1 posted on 07/27/2009 2:33:15 AM PDT by Scanian
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To: Scanian

Punish the criminal, not the weapon.


2 posted on 07/27/2009 3:28:12 AM PDT by Carley (OBAMA IS A MALEVOLENT FORCE IN THE WORLD)
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To: Scanian

Checking my handy dandy pocket Constitution. Nope, not finding a grant of power for Congress to enact legislation in this area. Once again, the Feds are usurping what is purely a State’s Rights area.


3 posted on 07/27/2009 3:46:55 AM PDT by Federalist Society
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To: Scanian

There’s going to be a whole generation of nine year old’s with Federal rap sheets...and that’s not even scratching the surface.


4 posted on 07/27/2009 3:56:46 AM PDT by csense
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To: Scanian

Hate-crime laws are also hard to apply evenly to all groups, as experience has shown. And federal versions introduce yet another problem: In effect, they take the power to prosecute crime away from states.

Ah there is the rub.
That is the entire puprose of Federal Legislation on Hate crime. To take power away from the people and give it to the Federal Government


5 posted on 07/27/2009 4:12:16 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Coming to You From the Front Lines of Occupied America)
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To: Scanian
It expands federal hate-crime protection to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

So what happens if I insult a one legged lesbian woman who has gender dysphoria. Do I get the full treatment?

6 posted on 07/27/2009 4:12:57 AM PDT by csense
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To: Scanian

The purpose of this legislation is to put normal people in jail for their normal opinions, and allow a certain select group to express their hate for normal people.

Ministers who quote the bible, beauty contest winners and authors will be subject to arrest for saying what the majority of people accept.


7 posted on 07/27/2009 4:46:42 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: Leftism is Mentally Deranged

Thought Crime legislation is all part of the libs spiral of silence on free speech.


8 posted on 07/27/2009 5:08:09 AM PDT by 6SJ7 (atlasShruggedInd: ON)
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To: csense

I’d reccomend you do it just as you step over the border into another country, hopefully one without an extradition treaty...


9 posted on 07/27/2009 7:19:30 AM PDT by Vanders9
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