Hate Crime and the Legal Process: Options for Law Reform
Hate crime legislation are the only thing that helps the people of the a United States from seeking out to do these tremendous acts of violence. Hate crimes do effect almost everyone in a society/community. Hate crime legislations were brought to attention around the year 1970 and is part of the civil right act to which made it illegal to treat someone by force,injure,intimidate, or to interfere with someone’s religion or gender etc.
Section Two: Claims Supporting hate crime legislations
The reason why people agree with these hate crime legislation is because people are judged by who they are as a person and also what they do. According to Michael Shively, “In nearby Queens, Nicholas Minucci, a Caucasian, fractured the skull of African American Glenn Moore… and robbed him in June 2005”. Witnesses testified that Minucci used a racial slur before and during the attack. In October 1998, near Laramie, Wyoming, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney robbed, beat, and tied Matthew Shepard, a gay man, to a fence. Five days after the attack, Shepard died from his injuries”(Shively A. 8-13). This is an example of how people in all states are affected by these different groups of people. Due to the fact that Matthew Shepard was a gay male in Wyoming he was an easy target for a hate crime and a robbery.
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No matter who a person is most of the time there are affected because of their religion and color.If someone is guilty for a crime then they should be accountable for their actions. Either if it’s just a fine they should ben pay the full price or it should be jail or prison for them based on the crime. In the state of New York “On Monday morning, a man shoved a New York City Transit worker down a staircase at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, screaming that she was a terrorist. (Burch) Many people on a daily basis are brought up to court for these voice and physical arguments or conversations in which they might say a negative thing or two to the people or group around them. Anyone has the right to a voice but it’s not fair to someone who they target or make infront of.
The last reason why someone will for hate crime legislations to be more severe in all 50 states.People support this issue because not only one person gets offended or brutality hurt but the people around them also get affected. Many people of the public which cause hate crime don’t get convicted and the race,gender,religion which they forward there hate to doesn’t get the word out because so many discriminators are not convicted of the horrific crime which they have committed.“Being black in U.S. society means always having to be prepared for antiblack actions by whites—in most places and at many times of the day, week, month, or year. Being black means living with various types of racial discrimination from cradle to grave”(Burt et al.).In many states around the country they are many examples of people being harassed in their own communities and around there own homes for example African American males and females are still facing racial slurs like slave or the use of the N-word.
Section Three: Claims Opposing hate crime legislations
Many people have a totally different approach on hate crime legislations some people tend to believe that hate speech isn’t considered a type of hate crime. People believe that them saying random things that they think is right to say is part of the first amendment when actually it’s not covered under the first amendment .“Laws that attack the perpetrator’s motives are why hate crime prosecutions carry an air of “thought crime,” as the jury hears evidence of what books the defendant reads.Defense lawyers, for their part, sometimes end up trying to convince the jury that their client had some other violent motive not disfavored by the law.”(Mclaughlin A.11) Even if a person who is on trial for a case which is related to a hate crime has to have evidence to back them up saying that they had other intentions and not some to injure someone badly. Another reason why people disagree with hate crime legislations are because a person thoughts should not be the reason why they are being on trial for. “Removing motivation from the picture would also prevent defendants from claiming that their acts were a hoax or a joke. Hoaxes are something of a trend — in two sensational cases this year, an Israeli teenager and a left-wing journalist were each arrested for making multiple bomb threats to Jewish community centers. Hoaxes are just as harmful as the real thing, and they should be subjected to the same punishment.”(Saini A.19) this shows that people motivation that they get from their thoughts shouldn’t put them into the position of them going to jail or prison. Also when on stand a person should heave all the evidence pointing at them if there are guilty and toward the other person if he/she is innocent. “The Shepard Byrd Act makes it a federal crime to willfully cause bodily injury, or attempt to do so using a dangerous weapon, because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin.”(“Laws and Policies”).If someone doesn’t have enough evidence against them then they shouldn’t be arrested and incarcerated.
Section Four: Author’s Argument
Hate crimes legislation should be more severe in all 50 states because people in all states are treated unfairly due to their race/ideology.If someone is charged with a crime that discriminates against others who is treated harshly in a mentally,physically or emotionally. A crime against someone’s race should be known as a hate crime.To help resolve this issue many people could do many things for examples Adults can Set a good example for others by showing respect through actions and thoughts.Don’t repeat racial stereotypes Help anyone who would thank you for helping them with even small things,young kids say hello to many people be kind to your peers & student It should be done in a good manner without screaming and other type of language people would think it’s disrespectful. It would help people to be together,to be united as one.