Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lindsey Harmon Case

My problem with calling something a hate crime is that it requires the prosecution to go inside the mind of the assailant. I think the law was originally intended for clear cut cases. For example, if a car load of skin heads wait outside a gay bar and beat up the first person that walks out, it would be safe to assume the crime was motivated by hatred. However, these other recent cases are not as clear cut.

For this reason, I don't think the senseless attack on Lindsey Harmon meets the definition of a hate crime. The defendant knew Harmon. From the news stories, it seems as though she probably would have attacked her even if Harmon had been straight. I believe there was some other motive involved other than Harmon's sexual orientation. Having said that, people who are willing to stab others in the face should be put away for a very long time, regardless of their motives. Likewise, I think the black youths who attacked the white kid with the black girlfriend should also be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If Harmon's case is to be considered a hate crime, then certainly that one should be too.
Hate crime laws should be thrown out and judges should be able to impose stiffer sentences on senseless acts like the two crimes mentioned. We need to take as many lowlifes off the streets and put them in jail where they belong and certainly don't need crime labels to accomplish that.
Woman charged with hate crime over New Year's Day stabbing : Home: The Buffalo News

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