The Problems with Hate Crime Legislation

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Introduction When the topic of hate and bias crime legislation is brought up two justifications commonly come to mind. In her article entitled “Why Liberals Should Hate ‘Hate Crime Legislation” author Heidi M. Hurd discusses the courts and states views that those who commit hate and bias crimes ought to be more severely punished. She takes into consideration both sides of the argument to determine the validity of each but ultimately ends the article in hopes to have persuaded the reader into understanding and agreeing with her view that laws concerning the punishment of hate and bias laws should not be codified. Hate crime is described as a violent, prejudice crime that occurs when a victim is targeted because of their membership in a specific group. The types of crime can vary from physical assault, vandalism, harassment or hate speech. Throughout the article Hurd tried to defend her view and explain why there should be no difference of punishment for similar crimes no matter the reason behind it. Her reason behind her article came from the law that President Obama signed in 2009 declaring that crimes committed with hatred or prejudice should have more sever punishments. While the court has their own views to justify their reasoning behind such decisions, in the article Hurd brings up points and facts to prove the wrongfulness of creating such a law. However, though Hurd has made her views clear in the following essay I will discuss reasons why the penalties are justifiable, why they should receive the same degree of punishment, less punishment and my personal view on the topic. Greater Victims/ Secondary Harm When arguing that hate and bias crime should receive more punishment one of the main facts taken into consideration i... ... middle of paper ... ...roups more aware of each other in a battle to become more protected under the criminal code. Conclusion In conclusion, Heidi Hurd did a passable job in explaining both parts of the discussion. Based on her article I have come to the conclusion that this is a topic not easily solved. With every argument that the people in favor of hate crime legislation those against are able to oppose it with their own. It is simple not possible to generalize case because although they may be similar they are never the same. Discrimination, hate, and prejudice has always been and will continue to be a topic discussed for many years. Works Cited Culver, Keith Charles. Readings in the philosophy of law. 1999. Reprint. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 2008. Print. Hurd, Heidi M. (2001). Why liberals should hate ``hate crime legislation''. Law and Philosophy 20 (2):215 - 232.

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