Battlepanda: Hatin' on Hate Crimes


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hatin' on Hate Crimes

Hmm. I have usually shied away from advocating hate crime legislations on the ground that race-based legislation is usually invidious and the best way we can help minorities is to ensure the crimes against them are persecuted properly according to the laws on the books. But Radical Russ over at Pam's House Blend makes a good case.

Now, I still think there could be problematic grey-areas which results in hate crime legislation doing more harm than good -- how do you prove the intent was hate? Russ mentions rape as a kind of hate crime, which seems like an instructive example -- because in part of the increased disapprobation placed on the criminal who raped as opposed to ones who merely assaulted or stole, (as well as, of course, all sorts of other societal factors that stack the cards against the victim), the conviction rate for rape is very low and the burden of proof is very high. What would pursuing a conviction under hate crime legislation do to the conviction rate? Especially when determining an agressor's state of mind is not always as simple as in the case of that crazy kid who went berserk in the gay bar?