Enhanced Penalities for crimes?
This is a discussion on Enhanced Penalities for crimes? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I hope this is the proper place for this subject.
Anyone else here have a problem with this subject? I remember being taken to task ...
July 9th, 2009 04:23 PM
Enhanced Penalities for crimes?
I hope this is the proper place for this subject.
Anyone else here have a problem with this subject? I remember being taken to task many years back over my objections to the Violence against Women act. I felt the same way about enhanced penalties for killing a police officer. Now I have the same views on all the so called hate crimes. Every group wants something extra. It doesn't serve justice at all to do this.
I have called my representatives on this but don't expect any action.
July 9th, 2009 05:48 PM
Motivation for committing a crime does have something to do with the level of culpability, and the degree of punishment. We all know this intuitively when we sympathize with the main character in Les Miserable, jailed for stealing a loaf of bread.
It also goes the other way. We want to add to the punishment when we think
the motive for a crime was particularly evil.
Theft of a dog may be common low level theft. But if you take a blind man's seeing eye dog from him on the bus, you have stooped to a different level of low, and deserve a greater punishment.
In Texas, juries decide the punishment within very broad bands of time. This both results in disparities in punishment and the giving out of severe punishment to the truly deserving. It also allows a modicum of mercy when the jury feels it appropriate.
I think it is the nature of the evil that justifies enhancements.
July 9th, 2009 06:02 PM
How do we justify a person being less worthy of equal protection because of gender race ,religion, sexual habits or job title? Isn't this discrimination? Why should someone who attacts me get less of a punishment than he would have recieved for attacking you all else being equal?
Originally Posted by Hopyard
The enhanced punishment cannot be applied on a group basis if we expect to be considered equal in the eyes of the law. The example you gave is a good one, but it can only be applied fairly on an individual basis. If the person had killed the blind mans lap dog there would be no need for added punishment over a crime commited against a sighted person.
Isn't justice supposed to be blind? Is using discrimination really the only way we have of correcting discrimination? Doesn't that just bring more discrimination?
July 9th, 2009 08:53 PM
On enhancement of punishment
The enhancements are there as an assessment of the level of evil involved in the crime.
Originally Posted by mlr1m
E.g., Suppose a bunch of drunk teens are fooling around and in their drunkenness decide to tie one of their pals to the truck and drag him to his death. It is murder, no doubt about it. It was evil. But it may not have been deliberately directed at the person for any reason other than that he was too drunk to walk away before the game playing got out of hand.
Now, picture the same crime, but deliberately done because the victim was black, Jewish, white, Mexican, gay. It was done out of utter hate and contempt. Motive is part of what may be weighed in determining a punishment. Which is more evil--the guy who does an armed robbery for a loaf of bread or the guy who does an armed robbery because he is motivated by hatred (for example) of the Indian shop owner.
Motive counts. It may be taken into account in assessing penalty. Due to our history and to a variety of unfortunate high profile crimes, our society has determined that we will punish hate crimes more harshly than those motivated by less odious reasons. I see nothing wrong with that.
July 9th, 2009 09:17 PM
-Person A murders someone because the victim works at McDonald's
-Person B murders someone because the victim is a Jew
-Person C murders someone because the victim has brown hair
I don't really see how any of these three circumstances are inherently different, or how B is deserving of more punishment than A or C.
The loaf of bread thing is about mitigating circumstances, ie. we know they did the wrong thing but they had good reasons to do so. That is different from the issue of 'hate crimes', or increasing sentences because the particular reasoning of the murderer tends to fit with certain historical evils.
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July 9th, 2009 09:37 PM
I am not surprised.
Originally Posted by Hopyard
The fact is that motive is only important as circumstantial evidence to determine if a particular accused committed a specific crime. It should have NO impact and should be given NO consideration in determining punishment.
Many people here do not understand the concept of due process. It is that the proces should be the same for everyone. That is why jury nullification is an abomination and similarly why 'hate crimes' is anathema to our justice system.
July 9th, 2009 10:10 PM
Hate crimes are a liberal idea that has come to pass because most people lack common sense.
The fact that we have hate crimes only proves to serve that discrimination is alive and well in this country.
What the liberals see as "hate crimes" are not really hate crimes at all. Their definition of such only wants to put certain people into a protected class. As an example, much of the gay community want Bible Teaching Preachers to cease and desist from preaching what they see as wrong, when in fact the Preacher is only teaching what he believes to be right.Those people call that a"hate crime" when clearly any half wit can see that it is not.
If a man be dragged behind a truck until he dies, then whoever did it should be found guilty of murder. Whether the person be black,white,gay,mexican or whatever should have no bearing on the final outcome.
I believe that God created us all. If things were as they should be, the color of a man should have no bearing at all on how he is treated.
If we had a system of Justice that cared only about the fact that Justice was served, there would be no such thing as a "hate crime".
I find it odd that this country existed for over 200 years and all of a sudden someone decided that a hate crime was something that need to be punished more harshly than the same crime that didn't have "hate" in it.
Its a bunch of crap.
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July 9th, 2009 11:32 PM
Its not just liberals. We put extra penalties on the killing of people holding certain jobs. We even put higher value on the killing of dogs by saying they are police officers.
Originally Posted by HotGuns
If we are all supposed to be afforded equal protection then we need to stop this type of discrimination. I have had people tell me we need to have these differences as a deterrence, so thats why you get death for killing a police officer in some places. Shouldn't we want to have the same type of deterrence for killing anyone?
July 9th, 2009 11:42 PM
Always drives me crazy when a public figure is "assassinated". No, they were murdered. The motive was political, but it is still murder. The whole term "hate crimes" is moronic. Do you commit a violent crime against someone because you like them? LEOs are no more special than any other citizen of this country. If one gets killed they will already have more attention paid to the crime than everybody else in the country. Equal protection under the law. I can see a future where these laws are challenged based on including everyone except a minority of the population.
July 10th, 2009 01:42 AM
We cannot invoke "enhanced" penalties for crimes against members of priviliged groups without, by definition, denying equal justice to victims of unpriviliged groups.
Such people of privilige used to be called "royal", "noble", or simply had enough money to buy themselves extra special treatment.
I've known many people who were targets of crime because of their ethnicity, (white) why do they deserve less justice?
July 10th, 2009 09:26 AM
One little note since LEO's were mentioned; They don't get nor ask for special treatment.
Yes, the penalty will be stiffer if you assault, injure or kill recklessly or intentionallya LEO during the performance or because of his duties
That is the way it should be.
If I'm out mowing my yard and get whacked for no reason connected to being an LEO, then I'm no different than anybody else. But, if I get whacked while working, or get killed off duty as a direct result of me being a police officer, thats a different story.
The problem I have is this. Lets say a gay guy get beaten in a typical bar fight. After the fact, the loser of the fight claims he is gay and now its a hate crime. The original fight had nothing to do with the guy being gay, it had to do with the gay guy acting a fool and the regulars at the bar kicked him out. Now it is being pursued as a hate crime. That is wrong, and it happening a few miles down the road from me right now.
July 10th, 2009 09:42 AM
Special treatment, enhancements are there for LEOs
This is clearly not correct. It may be correct where you live, but in many other states assaults on LEOs and corrections officers are punished more harshly than assaults on the rest of us It is necessary to do so to maintain order. And with good reason. Society has an interest in doing all it can to protect both.
Originally Posted by SIXTO
In NY, at a time when it had an extremely limited death penalty, the exceptions were for killing a policeman or a corrections officer in the line of duty.
Society has decided that it will not tolerate hate. This is good. It makes us all better. It makes our country better. And so we have enhanced the punishment.
The equal protection clause doesn't apply. It may sound as if it does, or it should, but it is about something else. You are not entitled to receive the same punishment as your cell mate. Justice demands that the circumstances be taken into consideration. Even when we use "mandatory guidelines" as they did until recently in the Federal system, there was a score card used to differentiate between convicts and attempt to come to a just punishment that fitted that circumstance.
I truly think many of the folks who object to enhancements for hate crimes secretly hold the hate, but are too embarrassed or cowardly to say so openly. Others just don't realize the implications, or fail to comprehend that we can not have a utopian society.
July 10th, 2009 09:47 AM
Is hate worse than a complete indifference to others' life and safety?
July 10th, 2009 09:50 AM
Yes it is, read the rest of my post.
Originally Posted by Hopyard
July 10th, 2009 10:15 AM
IMO, "enhanced" penalties for certain degrees of heinous acts are intended simply as additional disincentives for criminals.
Originally Posted by mlr1m
The only problem I have is that they don't seem to dramatically reduce the incidence of those crimes ... that, apparently, something far more certain (permanent) might required for certain of the worst crimes, before the disincentive effects are seen. For these most-heinous crimes, I'm an Old testament sort, so long as it's equally, swiftly and effectively applied.
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