It is hypocritical to be against hate crime laws and to be against terrorism

Sure, it is right to be against people flying planes into buildings and blowing stuff that is not theirs, those acts are crimes, but not against terrorism which means creating a climate of fear as that would legislate against thought not just the acts, which seems to be what most people complain about when they complain about hate crime laws.

Right. I’m against hate crime laws, but I am in favor of punishing people for crashing planes into buildings or blowing up things.

I don’t care if they crash planes into the buildings for jihad or because some guy in the building was banging his wife. Punish the crime; not the thought.

Hate crime laws have some small, limited use when it comes to relatively minor crimes, like vandalism.

To use a simple, crude example, a guy who spray paints “Eminem Rules” on a subway car deserves a lighter punishment than a guy who spray paints a swastika on a synagogue wall.

Or, a guy who throws eggs at the dean’s house while pledging a fraternity deserves a lesser punishment than a white guy who throws eggs at the house of a black family that just moved into his neighborhood.

But once you get beond minor crimes, motives no longer matter to me. A mass murderer is a murderer, and I don’t care WHY he killed people.

Think of the Matthew Shepard case. All we know for SURE is that two creeps murdered Matthew Shepard in cold blood. Why did they do it? Well, they’ve changed their story on that a few times. MAYBE they did it because he was gay, but MAYBE they did it because they wanted money for crystal meth.

Is one of those reasons better or worse than the other? I can’t see how. I say they deserved the death penalty no matter why they killed him.

If we aren’t going to consider the criminal’s mindset then I guess we’re going to have to completely revamp criminal law.

But in considering the criminal’s mindset, don’t use a protected class of thought as a penalty enhancement.

How about this law: If a person commits a crime and while doing so believes that he is furthering the will of Allah, then that adds 5 years to the criminal sentence. Fair? We are only punishing a mindset here…

What “protected class of thought” is being used in hate crime legislation? For that matter, what is a “protected class of thought,” and where are they defined by law?

Why on earth do you need separate laws to take the criminal’s mindset into account?

One might argue, why not? The law has always taken intent into account; if it didn’t, there wouldn’t be any such thing as “manslaughter.”

According to Wikipedia mindset or Mens rea “is usually one of the necessary elements of a crime”…

…but IANAL

A finding of manslaughter suggests only that the killer didn’t intend for his victim to die, which is really irrelevant to what we’re discussing here.

SUPPOSE the creeps who killed Matthew Sheppard had only meant to beat him up, and leave him unconscious by the roadside. Suppose further that Shepppard died of hypothermia before anyone could find him or help him. That would probably be manslaughter rather than murder. But again, is beating a guy within an inch of his life for being gay inherently worse than beating him within an inch of his life because you want his money?

I don’t see it. Enlighten me.