Hate crimes (also known as bias motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation.
Hate crime can take many forms. Incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or offensive graffiti or letters.
Some have argued hate crime laws bring the law into disrepute and further divides society, as groups apply to have their critics silenced. Some have argued that if it is true that all violent crimes are the result of the perpetrator's contempt for the victim, then all crimes are hate crimes. Thus if there is no alternate rationale for prosecuting some people more harshly for the same crime based on who the victim is, then different defendants treated unequally under the law, which violates the United States Constitution.
Hate crime laws generally fall into one of several categories: (1) laws defining specific bias-motivated acts as distinct crimes; (2) criminal penalty-enhancement laws; (3) laws creating a distinct civil cause of action for hate crimes; and (4) laws requiring administrative agencies to collect hate crime statistics.
In the United States federal prosecution is possible for hate crimes committed on the basis of a person's race, color, religion, or nation origin when engaging in a federally protected activity. Measures to add perceived gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability to the list have been proposed, but failed due to conservative opposition.
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously found that hate crime statutes which criminalize bias-motivated speech or symbolic speech conflict with free speech rights because they isolated certain words based on their content or viewpoint.
So our need for a special laws sometimes conflict with our other rights. Most hate crimes can only be apply to the state level, the federal limits that type of hate crimes.
When the DA of any state includes this charge it’s always with laws that already exist on the books. Those are the laws that we need to address and fight for. So when you get bashed there are laws already on the books to handle this type of crime, so why do we need a special law to go along with it. In most state the hate crime law only adds five years to the sentence.
Over the years we should have fought to have these laws apply to protect us instead of asking for special laws.
The hate crime laws isn’t use evenly anyway. Since it not use every time when a White and Black person gets into a fight, or when a Christian and Muslin get in one either. It’s never applies when two of the same gets into, is it. Just as if a gay person beats the shit out of a drug queen or another gay person. It can only be an assault charge, and the hate crime statue doesn’t apply. However it’s applied by law when a Str8 attacks a gay person.
Then there is hate speech:
Hate speech is a term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, moral or political views, socioeconomic class, occupation or appearance (such as height, weight, and hair color), mental capacity and any other distinction-liability. The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting. It is also sometimes called antilocution and is the first point on Allport's scale which measures prejudice in a society.
In the United States, government is broadly forbidden by the First Amendment of the Constitution from restricting speech. Jurists generally understand this to mean that the government cannot regulate the content of speech, but that it can address the harmful effects of speech through laws such as those against defamation or incitement to riot.
The fact that such laws apply only to the victimization of specific individuals has led to disputes regarding how such laws should be regulated, if they are to be regulated at all. Among those who hold that hate speech must be regulated, it is undecided as to whether hate speech should be regulated by the state or by voluntaristic communities. Criticisms of hate speech regulation include the view that such legislation would be unjust to those with controversial political or social views.
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