Skip to comments.Hate Crimes, Trayvon Martin, and Christopher Lane
Posted on 08/22/2013 4:53:05 PM PDT by vabible
In the United States, if you are convicted of a hate crime, your sentence is usually extended 15 years or so. This trend of criminalizing thought - as noble as it seems in the case of hate crimes - is a dangerous precedent. Allow me to explain.
The goal of the state in law and law enforcement is to seek justice for those who have been wronged. This is a simple statement that underpins conservative civic theory, limited government, and a victim- not criminal-centered approach to justice, but it certainly goes against most of legal philosophy today. And I am very well aware of the two counter-arguments that my multitude of progressive friends already want to point out, and declare this discussion over: personal responsibility of the criminal (such as in cases of mental illness), and deterrence of would-be criminals with stronger laws, i.e. hate-crime laws. I will address both at a later date, but in return I ask that you read these next few paragraphs and understand what they say:
Lets say that I am robbed of 1,000 dollars. The role of the government is to retrieve that 1,000 dollars, plus any damages (i.e. interest, opportunity cost, if applicable) from the thief, who would have to pay with his freedom (i.e. incarceration) if he has already spent that money. The motive of the thief is irrelevant. If the thief robbed me because I am an Asian-American, should he have to pay me more? If that is the case, then the court might as well be making a subjective claim on my intrinsic value as a race-dependent variable. What about other motives? What if the thief robbed me because he hates people who live in my neighborhood? Or because of his religion? Why aren't those criminalized? Is racism worse than religious fanaticism? And are we trending towards criminalizing thought beyond hate crimes? That is moving into the territory of statist censorship. Criminalizing thought is wading into waters that are the territories of God, not man.
The state's role in law enforcement and the courts is to judge actions. Only God can know and judge the heart and mind, and He will. It is not our responsibility. Murdering someone as the result of a racist motive, is no worse than murdering someone as the result of religious fanaticism, or boredom - as long as the killing fits the legal definition of murder - i.e. it was premeditated. Just ask the dead victim's family, if you don't believe me. The judgment of the sin of hateful thought will be done by the Almighty, and is beyond our capacity as mortals to accurately execute.
Let's delve into how it is beyond our abilities to judge actions. An unfortunate result of criminalizing thought is that it is emotionally charged, and it exposes our own biases. Take Obama and Al Sharpton. A few days ago, two black kids, James Francis Edwards Jr. and Chancey Allen Luna, shot a white man, Christopher Lane, as he was walking in the street, from behind, due to boredom, without even making any eye contact with him, and killed him. Is this any worse than if they hunted him down and shot him? No - he is dead either way, and retribution demands their own lives, in a fair world. James Francis Edwards Jr. revealed that this killing may have been racially motivated, as in April 2013 he had tweeted 90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.
But Obama and Al Sharpton, who had publicly sympathized with Trayvon Martin, and promulgated a narrative that his killing was racially driven, have been radio silent. Obama has said that Trayvon Martin could have been him. Who does he sympathize with here with the murder of Christopher Lane?
Obama's and Sharpton's silence reveal that they are biased, and if we are honest with ourselves, we are biased too. I don't have a problem with Obama not coming out and saying "I could have been Christoper Lane." We are all human and have our biases. Where the damage was done when we made race an issue in the death of Trayvon Martin. Follow my logic here, as this is the crux of the argument.
Obama and Sharpton made a value-statement when they introduced race into Martin case. They in effect communicated that they value Martin's life more because he is black. That's fine, but it shouldn't affect legal processes - its personal private opinion. What happened was just as tragic if Martin were white, Asian, or Hispanic. All life is equal, and all deliberate taking of life requires the same retribution. Obama and Sharpton betray their biases in their value statement when they stayed silent in the case of Christopher Lane's killing. Again, this is not a problem - we all have our biases - but when we introduce value statements on human thought into our legal system, we bring in our own baggage and biases. Let's leave all of that back home and work on our hearts as a personal matter, and focus on external justice - and not the criminal mind - in our courts.
I’m bored as hell with these black on white murders. Did you see the damned twitters? This was a racially motivated random killing of a wonderful young man from Australia!!
If only more people understood this...
when a productive individual is killed by thugs, I say the productive person was worth more than the thugs. In Trayvon’s case, the productive person survived and the thug died.
I agree with this.
But then I think, therefore if a ten year old kills someone they should face the death penalty right ?
If a 10 year old commits murder, he’s too broken to fix. Euthanize him.
>>This trend of criminalizing thought - as noble as it seems in the case of hate crimes - is a dangerous precedent.
The ship of “thought crime” has long sailed. It was a “precedent” 25 years ago.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.