In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Hating hate crime legislation

If I simply believed in self-advancement, I should support hate crime legislation. After all, while it is highly unlikely, improbable well, only somewhat possible, that I will die as a result of some violent altercation with a white person, it might fit my sense of vengeance to know that there's a possibility the schmuck would face a harsher jail sentence for killing me than I would for killing him. That by sole nature of my heritage and skin pigmentation, I actually have an advantage over whitey since it's always possible he gets a hate crime enhancement to his sentence. If personal gain is all it came down to, I should support hate crime bills because it helps me out.

Unfortunately, I can't help but also be worried about what's right and wrong and few things are more repulsive than hate crime legislation. It enshrines into our legal system an inequity under the law, where the life or well-being of one person is of more value than another simply because of the color of their skin or who they choose to fuck or, as was recently passed by one fucked up state, whether the person is homeless or not. You could argue that the legal system is not always fair right now as it stands and you would be correct. There will always be inequities due to who can hire the most expensive lawyer or who is smart enough to game the system. The fact is that despite the fact these inequities exist, they should be confronted and then mitigated or fixed as best as we are able. We should always strive toward a goal where all people are treated equally under the law regardless of race, creed, fuckbuddy, or whether they own a splitlevel. It is a betrayal of everything to now add this distinction where a black man's life would be worth more than a white man's.

The reason I've even got hate crime legislation on the mind is due to an entry George C made on facebook a while back and a recent court case. You can see a rundown of the case here but the basic idea is a bunch of white teenagers got into a fight with a mexican guy in his 20's and the latter ended up a corpsicle. The DA, in my opinion, stupidly decided to charge this as a hate crime and the jury slapped his ass down, refusing to convict. In my opinion, this was the right call without even a shadow of a doubt and I'm fucking offended that a hate crime enhancement was ever a part of this court case. I'm only slightly less offended by the fact that these activist douchebags are trying to use this ridiculous case as a rallying cry. If anything, it's a clear example of why hate crime legislation is wrong; wrong in this case and wrong for the american legal system. The idea that you can be charged with a hate crime for being attacked by some asshole on the street is ridiculous. In both circumstances, the mexican guy charged the other group, being the first to initiate and then re-initiate violence. The fact that he couldn't count to realize he was outnumbered, I can only chalk up to the fact that he was a Darwin Award waiting to happen.

Even as far as hate crime justification goes, this one was weak and I have no doubt we'll see more of this. Prosecutors will feel an incentive to use these enhancements as a way to try to bully juries into convicting. Paint the defendant as a racist, and they must be guilty, right? The fact that it was the other guy who actually started the fight doesn't mean anything if he's a mexican and the other guys are white. WTF? As far as I know, there's no legal justification to attack someone unless in self-defense and it doesn't matter what the fuck they might have called you. In this case, both sides acknowledged the comment that started the altercation was one of the white kids asking the mexican guy's 15 year old girlfriend whether it was a little late for her to be out. Ya, the 25 year old's 15 year old girlfriend. That's another can of worms. Regardless, the mexican started the physical conflict and then started it again and got his ass kicked. Assault might be a fitting charge on all sides but after that, it's a case of just desserts.
Tags: crime/law, hate crimes, news, racism

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