Skip to comments.A Deadly Amendment to the Hate-Crimes Bill
Posted on 08/07/2009 11:55:49 PM PDT by nickcarraway
The GOP added a death penalty clause to the Matthew Shepard Act in hopes that a debate over capital punishment would derail the legislation.
The Senate has joined the House in expanding the definition of "hate crimes" to include attacks on gays and lesbians. In doing so, however, it attached an amendment that would make some hate crimes punishable by death. Democratic congressional leaders should insist that the provision be removed.
Also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, the legislation empowers the Justice Department to assist states and localities with the investigation and prosecution of crimes motivated by the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity, just as it currently does with crimes motivated by racial bias. In April, the House approved the bill as a stand-alone measure. The Senate version is part of a defense authorization bill.
The bill also establishes federal penalties for some hate crimes, which provided an opening for an amendment by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to allow death sentences for certain hate crimes that end in the death of the victim, whether the death is intentional or not. Republican strategists apparently see this as a kind of poison pill -- they're hoping that when a conference committee meets to reconcile the House and Senate defense bills, it will discard the Shepard Act rather than be sidetracked by a debate over capital punishment; if that happened, the measure would have to be approved all over again by the Senate as a separate bill. A better outcome would be for the committee to simply strip Sessions' amendment from the act.
Conservatives oppose the Shepard Act on two grounds: that it's unnecessary and a violation of the rights to freedom of speech and religion. They're wrong on both counts.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Thanks, RINOs. What a beautiful enabling action, giving the liberals the power to kill for thought crimes, while also letting them complain that this “goes too far” while they vote for it.
loads of leftist organizations want it stripped like the homosexual taskforce group. So, at least we will not get the death penalty for disagreeing with president obama.
I’m curious how and where the lefties are getting their purported statistics on how “bad” an issue this is vs. veterans, the handicapped, etc. And especially, do they include enraged responses to unwelcome homosexual overtures? And are these the same people who would say of course they oppose sexual harassment?
...loads of leftist organizations want it stripped like the homosexual taskforce group. So, at least we will not get the death penalty for disagreeing with president obama.
Yet, in the mean time, the principle of death for thought crimes has been put forward, to simmer until ready for the table.
That’s one exeption to their opposition to the death penalty that most Democrats can agree on. The GOP is full of morons. No wonder we have to get in the streets and protest under threat of injury.
Perhaps he could explain why a "hate crimes" bill is needed for crimes that already carry a life sentence or the death penalty. I'm missing the point on why those sentences need to be beefed up based on the thoughts of a criminal when the actions of the criminal already justify removal from society forever.
Madness has leaped over the aisle to the republican side.