What amazes me is that the strongest proponents
for hate crime legislation are the same people and
organizations who will be your most vociferous
critics. These are the people who always want
everything both ways. While blaming and criticizing
police officers for just about anything you can
imagine, they want to use you as a tool for their
social and political agendas.
When you become a police officer, you'll find out
very quickly how selectively hate crime laws are
prosecuted. Fortunately, you won't see that much
use of hate crime statutes, because it's simply
impossible to quantify hate.
One need only look to history to see the social
devastation from the ultimate hate crime...mass
murder on scales of thousands and millions. Don't
ever forget that those hate crimes were committed
by governments...the lawmakers.
|Hate crimes are usually defined by race, religion,
sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality,
age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation.
|Categories of Hate Crime Laws
1. Laws defining specific bias motivated acts as
2. Criminal penalty enhancement laws.
3. Laws creating a distinct civil cause of action for
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. 45 states
and the District of Columbia have statutes
criminalizing various types of hate crimes. 31 states
and the District of Columbia have statutes creating
a civil cause of action, in addition to the criminal
penalty, for similar acts. 27 states and the District
of Columbia have statutes requiring the state to
collect hate crime statistics."
So much for the purity of law. As a police officer
you're going to see a lot of different motives for
persons committing crimes. Not surprisingly, hate
will be among those motives in greater or lesser
I don't know about you, but when I look at the
definitions of hate crimes, and the categories of
hate crime laws, it scares the hell out of me. Talk
about double edged swords. When one considers
the fact that any crime committed is a hateful act in
varying degrees and that motive has always been
an aggravating or mitigating consideration, where is
the need for additional legislation based on
something as subjective as hate.
"Fortunately, you won't see that much use of
hate crime statutes, because it's simply
impossible to quantify hate." ~ Barry M. Baker
In case you're not already aware, a person's motive
for committing a crime is not an element you need
to identify or prove in order to prosecute and
convict a person for the crime committed. When
you think about this, you can see a purity of
American law which is often overlooked or ignored.
How much simpler and unbiased can it be than to
determine two things through factual, provable
evidence: Was a crime committed, and did the
defendant charged commit the crime?
Okay...it's fine that the law is pure, but let's move
back into the world of reality. A defendant's motive
for committing a crime has and always will be an
important element for you to identify. Prosecutors,
judges and juries will always want to know why the
crime was committed.
Motive is a double edged sword: Motive can be a
mitigating circumstance or an aggravating one.
Let's say a man, with no prior criminal record, robs
a bank. He'll probably want the jury to know that
the IRS has garnished 80% of his wages; his house
is about to go into foreclosure, and his two
ex-wives are suing him for additional child support.
On the other hand, if he robbed the bank solely to
fund a weekend of escapism and debauchery in
Atlantic City, the prosecution will do its best to play
on that motive.
|Copyright © 2019 Barry M. Baker