“I personally met with the department’s senior leadership and the civil rights division to discuss a spate of murders around the country of transgender individuals,” US AG Jeff Sessions told the 2017 Hate Crimes Summit in Washington, D.C.

I specifically directed that the files of these cases be reviewed to ensure that there is no single person or group behind these [firearms-related] murders, or to what extent hate crime motivation lies behind such murders. I receive regular updates on the status of that review.

The LGBTQ community is in the uncomfortable position of having to cheer the Trump Administration for its proactive stance on “hate crime.” Yes, well, what’s the big deal about “hate crime”?

Is hate crime any worse than crime crime? Shouldn’t all crime be treated equally? Or do we want to spend federal dollars protecting special classes of people, to investigate not only the crimes criminals commit, but their motivations as well?

Apparently so, thanks to the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (an expansion of the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law). From 2010 through 2012, the Act allocated $5 million per year to pay state and local agencies to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.

What’s your take? Does crime motivated by a victim’s “actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability” merit special attention?

83 Responses to CapArms Question of the Day: Hate Crime?

  1. The “hate crime” against transgenders is telling them a destructive, irreversible surgery with no proven record of results (which is no longer preformed by its creating institution for such reason) is a cure.

    • ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^THIS!!!!\

      many have pointed out that labeling some crimes, especially against minors/gays, is basically saying that those peoples victimization is somehow worse than others which codifies this entire “im gay/minority so everything i do is special” mentality.

  2. In a word……No! Crime is crime and additional tax payer dollars do not need to be spent for “special” investigations of this type. If you kill someone, you are a murderer regardless of why you killed. Already laws for that.

    • Hate crimes are attacks on the members of a group, not just one individual. Starts shit like feuds, race wars and genocide. A lot worse than typical crimes, need to be nipped in the bud.

  3. If having a hateful mindset can enhance the sentence that you receive, then doesn’t that make hateful thoughts a crime in and of itself? I think most of us would agree that it does not.

    • The issue is not the emotion, but the denial that those in some certain class are fully human, because only the sub-human deserve being targeted for merely being what they are. It’s hate in the Old Testament sense of a commitment not just to harm or damage but to exterminate.

      And that goes beyond any other crime, because it isn’t a crime against a person but a denial that the target is a person at all. At that point it verges on a denial of the very foundation of the Republic, that “all men are created equal”.

  4. Hate crime on transgender? That’d be bad, but how common?

    If a transgender plays their part well enough to fool some drunk person enough to get them to take them home, then the “hate crime” of murder is a euphemism for destroying the evidence.

  5. Much like the way it’s better to be hacked to death with a machete than to be shot with a g un, it’s also better to be killed by someone who doesn’t hate you or have prejudice toward you.

  6. I do not recognize any compelling reason to apply harsher fines or prison sentences based on alleged “hate”.

    What I do recognize is that law enforcement should prioritize solving cases when the motivation means there will be a string of crimes. Whether the motivation is “hate”, mental illness, terrorism, or just abject disregard for human life is neither here nor there.

    Saying it another way, it makes sense to prioritize cases which have a high probability of repeating or repeating more frequently versus events with a relatively low probability of repeating or which repeat less frequently.

  7. I have a fundamental problem with the concept of “hate crime”. It flies in the face of the 14th amendment equal protection clause via its implementation. The simple fact is that few, if any, “minorities” are ever charged under hate crime statutes when they commit racially based attacks against white people. (Something that’s ten times more common than the other way around.) That means that if you’re not a member of a “protected class” a crime against you is seen as a less significant offense. That’s the definition of unequal protection.

    • Worse, a common Progressive meme is that designated minorities are incapable of racist behaviors.

      And that if it happens, the victim of a violent attack ‘had it coming to them’, because of their ‘privilege’…

    • Agree, but didn’t you write “Just get rid of all the amendments after the 10th. The CotUS was fine as written.”?

      • Yes, then it becomes a due process issue. It’s literallly impossible to prove, as a matter of law, what was inside somebody’s head at any given time unless you have their direct testimony and even that is scientifically questionable.

        Oh, and obvious trolling of cretins should be obvious.

        • Cretin…you got anything else in there? That’s getting pretty stale serge. But you could conclusively prove who transmitted an infectious disease to another person……sure thing bro.

        • This is one of the many “enhancements” that have been added to statues. Like if you murder a first responder, its an enhancement, basically it gives prosecutors another charge and increases the likelihood of a plea. Plus, it allows the federal government a second bite on the prosecution apple in case of a local jurisdiction chooses to not prosecute, or loses.

          I’m not a lawyer, but my wife was a prosecutor, and charge stacking is just a fact of the office. A single guy killed another single guy, one on one in a drug deal, and he got charged with 31 offenses, gun enhancement, 5 different versions of “killing” and kidnapping because he detained the guy before he shot him. At the end of the day, plea bargain for 70 years, after maybe 2 weeks of being charged.

        • “It’s literallly impossible to prove, as a matter of law, what was inside somebody’s head at any given time”

          And yet jurors are required to make that very judgment in almost every case, because of the principle that says the action had to be undertaken “willingly and knowingly”. It’s more overt in some cases, but until the authoritarian streak in our government started trying to avoid either or both of those requirements, it was always there.

      • Whoa whoa whoa… you expecting a logical, or even consistent argument from PwrBottom? You must be new here. His decision making process on his posts seems to be “Does this make me sound edgy? Does it make me sound like a badass SpecOps soldier of fortune? Ok, post it.”

    • Precise and to the point, my friend. This all started with the abolition of the death penalty. When that didn’t put a dent in the murder rate, they created the police as a special class. The murder of a police officer became a capital offense. Then they added senior citizens; etc., etc., etc. Today, it seems the only unprotected class is you & I.

      • The death penalty has never been successful in reducing the murder rate. Murders are not consi8dering the consequence when they commit their crime(s), and the penalty deters only a single individual. the same result is achieved, and at a substantially lower cost, by locking them up for life without the possibility of parole. Moreover, life sentences allow for the possibility of the correction of egregious errors in convictions and sentencing which errors, despite legal protections of the accused, still occur with frightening regularity. Too many times the Innocence Project has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that a convicted and condemned prisoner was not the perpetrator. Too many times the police ignore leads, having focused on “their man.” Too many times police, through endless hours of questioning, railroad suspects into false confessions. The police think they are “breaking down a suspect until he admits his crime, when all they are really doing is brow beating people into confessing just to get the questioning to stop. Too many times prosecutors have failed to turn over exculpatory evidence. The system is fraught with error, errors that are forever buried by an execution.

        • I’m still waiting for an explanation of why a death penalty costs more than the $0.20 for the bullet we can bill to the family.

        • Because of all the appeals they get all the way to the Supreme Court, which the state has to pay for versus just locking them up and feeding them a baloney sandwich. All those anti death penalty people filing appeals whether a prisoner wants it or not. People who forget about the victims and worry about the perpetrators, most of which will never be fixed and able to return to society.

          If you put them out in the general population, they might get murdered. Of course, I’m for promptly executing the one who did that deed.

          The appeals should be reduced to one review to make sure the perp got a fair trial and then off with his head within 72 hours.

          “String ’em up, it’ll teach ’em a lesson.”

        • What is this “appeal” garbage I keep hearing. Does the concept of “summary” in “summary execution” escape you? The overwhelming majority of murderers have rap sheets multiple pages long.

        • A death penalty judgment is expensive because we still in that case have some slight respect for the old adage — a favorite of one T. Jefferson — that it is better for a hundred (on one occasion he said “a thousand”) guilty to walk free than for one innocent to be punished; in the case of the death penalty, we do well to make it better a thousand guilty keep living than one innocent be executed.

          It’s also because we still have a trace of the sense of justice of the Old Testament, where the death penalty required actual witnesses of the act itself — not circumstantial evidence, not seeing the accused fleeing the scene, not fingerprints on a weapon, but actual witnesses. Atheists love to call the OT cruel because it has a death penalty; they fail to see the mercy in the limitation imposed.

          Besides that, there’s only one moral point for the death penalty: at the hands of the intended victim.

        • “The overwhelming majority of murderers have rap sheets multiple pages long.”

          Actually most murderers don’t — most murders are crimes of passion and not likely to be repeated. But most murders are committed by people who already committed one, because for some it’s a feeling of power that begs for a repeat. To put it another way, the majority of murderers aren’t repeat criminals, but the majority of murders are committed by a small portion of the murderers. So if you have a random murderer, the rap sheet isn’t likely to be that long, but if you have someone who has committed more than one a rap sheet rivaling the Book of Deuteronomy isn’t going to be a surprise.

    • Herein is a problem:

      “It flies in the face of the 14th amendment equal protection clause via its implementation.”

      The concept of punishing hate crimes is a defense of the conceptual foundation of the Republic. But the implementation can be a contradiction of the same concept.

      No one said liberty and equality were easy, or that the law is merely about justice and not about a message.

  8. I liked it when George W. Bush sent every taxpayer a tax refund check. I bought a gun with my refund. That was a more productive use of government money than than a hate crime research bill. Hey transgenders and LBGT folks, wouldn’t you like to get some money back from the government for hormone injections or makeup or whatever. Think about it.

    • Your refund was not the govt’s money. It was your money. W did you as much of a favor as a stick-up artist would if he tossed you a twenty after stealing your wallet.

      • Actually, not only is it not the government’s money, it’s not even his money, either.

        The federal government runs an annual budget deficit into the hundreds of billions (sometimes over a trillion) of dollars. That’s just “on budget” items and doesn’t take into account all of their shady shifting and spending of social security money today, rather than setting it aside to pay future benefits. Neither does it include all other unfunded liabilities, like when millennials default on their student loans that we’ll have to pay for.

        This all means that we’re all getting more in government services in the present than we’re paying for ourselves. Instead, we’re borrowing money today to be repaid by future taxpayers.

        That refund essentially came from his great, great, great grandkid’s piggy bank.

        • I can hear the ghost of Bernie in 2050 telling the kids of illegals that paying back the debt is racist because white people ran it up. It’s an open secret that the debt is never going to be paid. The first time an enemy state sinks a US aircraft carrier our superpower status goes poof and our economy is kaput.

        • The first time an enemy state sinks one of our aircraft carriers, we’ll see just how quickly a country can be turned into air pollution.

  9. We’ve discussed this on TTAG before. I think the court of TTAG opinion was split between “crime is crime” and “hate crime = automatic pre-meditation” as the predominant opinions.

    I tend to fall in with the latter. The act of killing someone simply because of who they are or what they represent carries a higher emphasis than killing someone out of sudden anger or passion. As such, it should carry greater weight into the sentencing.

    Case in point:

    Joe Bob didn’t set out to kill someone that day. But when Billy Ray beat him twice in pool and then got a big head about it, it just set his blood a boilin’.

    Joe Bob didn’t set out to kill someone that day. But when he saw that negro walkin’ down the sidewalk with his pants a saggin’, it just set his blood a boilin’.

    See the difference? Neither case is pre-meditated in the traditional sense. But the first was likely escalated in some way by Billy Ray’s behavior. The second case is purely a result of Joe Bob’s own prejudice. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I believe one deserves a significantly longer prison term than the other.

    • No. There should be no difference in sentencing in those cases because prejudice is not premeditation. It’s premeditation in the dumbed-down universe where liberal = govt registration list and words typically have no real concrete meaning.

    • Well even after reading that I cannot agree that murdering a person is different than murdering a person. Outcome of both is death to victim. Why you care about the circumstances is beyond me. Wrong is wrong.

      • Except the law cares about the circumstances surrounding a murder. That’s why there are different degrees of murder and vastly different sentencing. Motive is important. Pre-meditation is important. Circumstances are important. While a corpse may be a corpse, how the imdividual it used to be met his or her end matters.

        Both the how and the why matter. A person who killed another during an argument can probably be rehabilitated. A husband who shoots his wife and/or her lover after walking in on them together can probably be rehabilitated. Even a person who kills someone in a robbery gone wrong can possibly be rehabilitated. But people who set out to do violence, they’re the ones that need to stay locked up longer. Or forever. Or be executed if there is concrete evidence of their guilt.

        In cases where one individual plans to kill another, I don’t think it matters whether they’re killing indiscriminately or because of hate. At that point, the pre-meditation is the same.

    • Don’t be that guy: the curmudgeonly longtime regular who has heard, discussed, and debated every topic, and so becomes not only bored with, but openly contemptuous of, anyone who ever revisits a question.

      • Ha! I’m neither half as curmudgeonly nor half the long-time regular as many on this blog. I don’t think I was being contemptuous towards anyone. I was just pointing out that there have been good discussions on this topic here before. The example I was specifically thinking of was when that dirtbag in Kansas shot those Indian guys at happy hour after getting worked up and shouting at them because he thought they were Arabs.

    • Yes, there’s a difference, but it’s not because of premeditation, it’s because violence against someone because they belong to some group you hate is a denial they’re a person: an attack on Billy Ray is due to seeing him as a person who pissed off Joe Bob, but an attack on the “nigger” is because Joe Bob denies that “niggers” count as human in the first place. The one is “merely” at attack on a person, the other is an attack on the foundation of the Republic.

  10. “All hate crime laws do is support the idea that blacks are different from whites, that homosexuals need to be treated differently from non-homos, that we aren’t the same.”
    “But instead we should all be treated the same, with the same laws, and the same punishments for the same crimes.”

    South Park addressed this pretty comprehensively almost twenty years ago.

  11. “Hate Crime” first came to my attention in the 1990s, when homosexual activists were lobbying for “Hate Crime” laws in my state. One of them was quoted as saying how terrible it was that somebody could burn down his house and only be guilty of arson. Not stated, but strongly implied, was the idea that it was A-OK with him if somebody burned down my house and was merely charged with arson.

    For that’s the whole point of “special laws for special people”, what’s good enough for you or me just isn’t good enough for them. And it’s a basic denial of equal protection under the law, whether you call it punishment for hate crimes, or LEO safety, or …

  12. ‘Hate Crime’ is just NewSpeak word completely fabricated by the far left social activist and signal boosted by sympathetic corrupt corporate media. Any actual crime that falls under this salacious term always fall under preexisting laws covering criminal harassment or some flavor of assault.

    The truly insidious nature of this problem is that actual crimes of this nature are exceeding rare. We’re talking a scant few across the nation each year. This is why Social justice Warriors, 3rd Wave Feminist, #BLM, the DNC, and any number of hundreds of leftist organizations have to conflate aggressive speech, impolite speech or even mere criticism as a form of assault. Social Justice, hate crimes, ‘progress’… none of these things are even connects or ideals. They’re tactics from a part of the most corrupt and anti-freedom segments of western society.

  13. Nah…but there ARE obviously “hate crimes” (like Nazis killing Jews,Gypsies or homosexuals). Thrown around way too much…

    • See, that’s kind of how I view it. Is murdering an individual a hate crime? No. About the only thing that would make sense as being a true “hate” crime would be genocide of whatever special status group.

    • I still call BS on it, given that how the same left that screeches about hate crimes institutionally refuse to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide at the beginning of WW1 and the Rwandan and Bosnian Genocides of the 90s. All three because they didn’t fit the exact narratives we’re constant fed about hate crimes. We’re not told about the Armenian genocide because it involved Islamist killing 1.5 million Armenians people. We’re not told about Rwandah because it was African’s killing 800K other Africans. And Bosnia… we’ll… we’re not told about that one because most of Bosnia looks like it could be anywhere in America. But America covered with landmines and mass graves pits. It was also much smaller at only about 8K people known dead. But that entire nation is now covered in land mines almost as much as Afghanistan is now. So many that it’ll take hundreds of years to find them, at the rate we’re going.

      No, I still maintain that the term ‘hate crime’ is just a made up word used as part of political tactics. Murder is still a capital crime no matter how you define it. Just as simple assault is still a crime. The very fact that people can selective justify one type of crime over another is not an argument for more punishment. It’s an argument against the morality of the people making these accusations and demands that favor how we treat people due to race.

      • Nah, The Left never shuts up about Armenia or Rwanda. WGAF about them? Not America, not our problem. Hell, don’t even care about most Americans TBH. We’re all responsble for ourselves here. We don’t need nobody and shouldn’t expect it.

  14. You all are missing the other side of the coin: if hate increases the penalty, the love (or warm feelingz) should _decrease_ the penalty.

    “Your honor, witnesses will testify that I gave him a hug and a kiss on both cheeks before I stabbed him in the chest and took his phone. How does community service look to you?”

    • This is a legit thing. Women statutory rapists usually are treated with kid gloves and get off easy.

  15. I used to love her but I had to kill… zir?

    Perhaps a crime of passion?

    OK, I’m gonna go sit in the corner now.

  16. The only legitimate “hate crime” law I support would be life in prison for any government official, elected or unelected, who deliberately acts to restrict, suppress or deny the free exercise of a constitutionally enumerated right.

    • Or violates their sworn oath “to protect and defend the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of California”. The foregoing oath of office for public servants is contained within the Constitution of the State of California. I suspect it may also be found in the constitutions of other states.

      • Undermining the rule of law and our constitution signals a deep and abiding hatred for the United States.

    • I’d kindly thank them to move to their own country and leave ours alone. No special rights for those people.

  17. No, the mindset of the offender does not justify treating him differently.

    Aside: There are far too many laws in force that criminalize acts that violate no one’s rights. I’m adamantly opposed to imprisoning anyone for a malum prohibitum such as lying to a govt agent or insider trading (especially if the insider trading laws explicitly excuse congressvermin from penalty for doing exactly the same crap).

  18. Those committing violent discriminatory attacks clearly pose a bigger risk to society at large in my mind than those with specific motives targeting specific individuals that they know. All violence should be treated severely, but the guy that indiscriminately beats up gays is a danger to more people than the guy that beats up a guy he gets into a disagreement with at a bar.

  19. I wonder if any studies have been done to find if a particular race or class has been disparately impacted by “hate-crime” enhanced sentencing? Maybe I can get the feds to pony up a few million and let me figure that one out for everyone?

  20. I don’t know how it works in other places, but in Colorado you can get a sentence enhancement even if the victims “Special Status” was not a motivating factor.
    A buddy of mine got into a fight with a dude of another race in a parking lot. Race was not part of why the fight started and they were both adult, willing combatants of a fight. At one point, they traded racial slurs and that made my friends sentencing substantially rougher. Not sure why the other guy didn’t get the same treatment, but when the smoke cleared, my friend was doing 6 months and the other dude was out on the street after court.

  21. I have no problem with a group being targeted by another group being called a hate crime. After all, the lefties have been doing this against conservatives for over 8 years, and they are still calling for violence against conservatives and POTUS.

    I would also label it a hate crime if the KKK were burning Black churches and similar acts.

    What I object to is the left adding every possible group, no matter how small and insignificant, to the list of protected groups yet ignoring Christians, conservatives, etc. We should go back to basics of the Constitution to determine what grouping may be considered protected, ie. race, creed, political persuasion, religion (except those who can not swear allegiance to the USA). All American citizens are supposed to be protected.

    • DaveW, you’ve accidentally articulated in a single simple statement: The arbitrary nature of the group distinctions, and their unconstitutionally discriminatory nature, and finally, the absurdity that result from arbitrary lawmaking; in this case being that the only rational end to the groups that must be added as protected under hate crimes statutes includes all people of all types where ever they are found, which ends us up right back where we started.

      Also, the very idea that legal things, specifically protected as enumerated rights, such as holding racist beliefs, can somehow lead to enhanced punishment for violating the law is as sick and wrong as a concept can be, and has no place in American jurisprudence. Likewise, the racism inherent in insisting that a violent crime is worse when perpetrated on a member of a protected class versus someone not a member of a protected class is so obviously and disgustingly racist that it is difficult to contemplate that such is in fact the case in many locations.

      Further, the idea that two people, one from a protected class and one not, could be sentenced differently for the same crime based entirely on their race is flatly and totally wrong, and to the degree that this is allowed to stand, what we have is defacto legalized racism.

      • I actually agree with you, and, I probably worded my post badly. I’m thinking that all law abiding human beings, which the Founders wrote the Constitution to cover (they tried and hung the criminals), deserve equal protected status. Still, the Constitution makes it a point by protecting rights; religious rights, speech rights, arms rights, political rights. Not of any “protected group” but for everyone.

        • Agreed. There should not be specific protected classes that exclude members of a broader class. Race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation, and others I’m sure I’m missing are all protected classes. A black guy killing a white guy because he’s white is every bit the hate crime as a white guy killing a black guy because he’s black. The motive is still race. It should be treated the same.

          And I still maintain that killing someone because they’re a member of any of the above classes is worse than killing someone because they’re an asshole. Asshole is not a protected class.

  22. From the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, quote:

    “The Equal Protection Clause is part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The clause, which took effect in 1868, provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws”.

    A primary motivation for this clause was to validate the equality provisions contained in the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed that all people would have rights equal to those of all citizens. As a whole, the Fourteenth Amendment marked a large shift in American constitutionalism, by applying substantially more constitutional restrictions against the states than had applied before the Civil War.

    The meaning of the Equal Protection Clause has been the subject of much debate, and inspired the well-known phrase “Equal Justice Under Law”. This clause was the basis for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court decision that helped to dismantle racial segregation, and also the basis for many other decisions rejecting discrimination against people belonging to various groups.

    While the Equal Protection Clause itself only applies to state and local governments, the Supreme Court held in Bolling v. Sharpe (1954) that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment nonetheless imposes various equal protection requirements on the federal government.”

    Where does it allow for a special class of people for extra protection?

    Not that the Constitution is followed any more but this seems to be a pretty clear violation of the 14th.

    • Hate crimes are attacks on the members of a group, not just one individual. Starts shit like feuds, race wars and genocide. A lot worse than typical crimes, need to be nipped in the bud.

  23. I came here to say no, but if the government is just spending money to make sure these crimes aren’t getting overlooked by bigotted judges I kind of see where they are coming from. :/

    Still, though. That seems a silly notion. We think there are people who will be better motivated by money than the fact that people are being hurt? And we want these people in power? I will stick to my ideals and say no, no crime is a special case and the law should be applied to punish all wrongdoers.

  24. “Hate crimes” are almost understandable and deserve to be punished harshly, as should “regular” crimes. I think that “love crimes” should be the crimes that are punished the most severely.

    I have no idea what “love crimes” might be, but not knowing anything about a subject never stopped a legislator from passing a stupid new law. So I say, punish love crimes! For the children!

  25. All “hate crime” laws depend upon reading the mind of a criminal, and adding punishments if it is discerned they were thinking “non-sanctioned” thoughts.

    I’ve no idea how this concept became accepted by a thinking public. (Hmmm… I may have just had an idea….)

  26. True liberals don’t believe in crime, Crime requires a level of personal responsibility. Liberals don’t believe people are responsible for their own actions. It’s always someone else fault. That’s why they believe they need to make all of our decisions so they can protect us from ourselves.

  27. The government and the congress, both sides, put in the hate crime laws to passive the black, wet backs, homosexual, women and the jews. The white straight males are the losers.

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