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Thread: Hate Crimes

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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Hate Crimes

    So this morning I found people talking about this story on Twitter. (Daily Mail link)

    It's about a former Liberal Councillor who called her ethnically Asian opponent a "coconunt", implying they were betraying their ethnicity to pander to the white majority. She was later convicted of racial abuse, and has admitted she shouldn't have said it.

    Let's ignore during this discussion the ludicrous Mail reporting, which is based on continuing their bollocks on how it's okay to be racist, as well as trying to get us to feel sorry for the councillor because she's a mum and had a stroke at one point, as though that's relevant.

    Now, firstly, I can see why her opponent was offended. If I was accused of my opinion being somehow false, constructed or inappropriate just because of the colour of my skin I'd be livid.

    But then I started thinking about the idea of hate crimes in general. Is it really fair to make the motivation for a crime form part of the punishment?

    Someone being assaulted, say, for being of an ethnic minority is obviously a sickening thing, but is it inherently worse on the part of the attacker than if he'd done so because he'd been looked at funny, or just attacked someone for fun? More depressing, certainly, but is it more malicious or nonsensical? Does the victim come off any worse?

    Then there's the fact that the whole thing is tied to freedom of speech. Can we really have words or accusations as being criminal? Surely a racist should be criticised, ostricised, harangued and mocked, but not convicted?

    Would like to hear your thoughts on this.
    Last edited by Howe_zat; 12-06-2011 at 05:52 AM.
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    nah ****
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Racial attacks are much, much more hurtful and damaging to society than random attacks. Of course they should be punished more severely.
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! benchmark00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Racial attacks are much, much more hurtful and damaging to society than random attacks. Of course they should be punished more severely.
    Yes.
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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Of course they're hurtful and damaging to society. Perhaps I didn't make that clear properly. What I got to wondering is if we can punish people as individuals for their crime's motivation. On principle, that gets us into very murky waters, doesn't it?

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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Brings in a massive complication when convicting people who have mental illnesses doesn't it? Like do you punish someone who is clearly not with it mentally the same as someone who is a cold calculated killer the same for comitting the same crime?
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    Of course they're hurtful and damaging to society. Perhaps I didn't make that clear properly. What I got to wondering is if we can punish people as individuals for their crime's motivation. On principle, that gets us into very murky waters, doesn't it?
    Well if we distinguish between an accident and a deliberate action in law, then surely we're already doing it?

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Minefield.

    Personally have no objections to people who call anyone by racial epithets being convicted of something but if I (as a straight male WASP) had the crap laced out of me by a white bloke I don't think it sits very well that he'd get a lighter sentence than if he'd done similarly to an Asian or black chap.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
    Brings in a massive complication when convicting people who have mental illnesses doesn't it? Like do you punish someone who is clearly not with it mentally the same as someone who is a cold calculated killer the same for comitting the same crime?
    Doesn't that question imply that a cold calculated killer is "with it"? The point at which we waive the notion of personal responsibility is quite arbitrary.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    Minefield.

    Personally have no objections to people who call anyone by racial epithets being convicted of something but if I (as a straight male WASP) had the crap laced out of me by a white bloke I don't think it sits very well that he'd get a lighter sentence than if he'd done similarly to an Asian or black chap.
    Not necessarily. It's the motivation that matters, not the colour of each party's skin. Remember Woodgate and Bowyer?

    Minefield indeed.

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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Well if we distinguish between an accident and a deliberate action in law, then surely we're already doing it?
    It's not quite the same though, surely? In a case where something is accidental or deliberate, we're distiguishing between whether or not the perpetrator thought about it beforehand.

    In these cases, we know that the crime was pre-meditated, but we're looking at punishments based on what that thought was. That's where the unease comes in.

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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Any intent-based crime is fairly difficult to prove. Dangerous assumptions can be made when a person of one race/sexuality etc attacks a person of another. It's a tricky area.

    I don't have anything more useful to contribute at this point but it is an intteresting subject. I have a lot of thoughts on it.
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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! benchmark00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    Of course they're hurtful and damaging to society. Perhaps I didn't make that clear properly. What I got to wondering is if we can punish people as individuals for their crime's motivation. On principle, that gets us into very murky waters, doesn't it?
    Well it's all about mitigating circumstances when it comes to sentencing. Are you going to apply the same sentence to a person who has shown remorse for a crime as someone who shows no remorse? Ofcourse not, just like you're going to offer a harsher penalty to someone who has displayed more morally abhorrent tendencies despite it being the same crime.

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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    When I used to move in the heavy rock circles, a few people I knew got done over for having long hair, wearing make-up, dressing differently, that sort of thing.

    Should that be dealt with more severely than a random assault too? Genuine question.

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