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Quote by comedian and host of Politically Incorrect, Bill Maher. Crime is crime. If someone is murdered, the murderer should face the same consequences ilregardless of his motives. (Except, ofcourse, for distingushments between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree murder.) We don't need hate crime laws, we allready have laws against murder, assault, etc. And they work. If you get caught, you pay the price. If someone beats me up because they hate me, and get 3 months in jail like normal (I don't know the actual normal sentance for assault, that's just for an example), and then someone beats up a gay man because he hates him, and gets a year in jail, how is that fair? Distinguishing between motives and punishing those you don't like harsher than others is not equal treatment under the law, and it is the government prosecuting thought crime.

During the 2000 United States Presidential election, the NAACP ran an ad attacking George W. Bush's record on hate crime legistlation. And, implied that his voting against it was to blame for the gruesome murder of James Byrd, Jr.. James Byrd's daughter said they she felt like George W. Bush had killed her father. What they don't tell you is that the current laws in Texas are stricter than those proposed by the hate crimes legislation. Another thing they don't mention is that 2 of the 3 men who participated in that sick display of cruelty were given the death penalty, and the third given life in prison. What more do you want? We are limited by current technology in the fact that we can't resurrect human beings so that we can kill them twice, and, personally, I can't think of a harsher non-lethal punishment than spending the rest of your life in an American prison.

Murder is murder, assault is assault, crime is crime, hate crime is thought crime.

Saige: You're correct. Thoughts, in-and-of themselves are not illegial, and I never said that they were. The point is that a distinction is made between the criminal who kills a man because the victim is a homosexual, and the criminal who kills a man for some other (and equally stupid) reason. That is, in the denotative sense of the word, discrimination. No one (and no, don't take that literally, ofcourse there are a few nuts in cabins in the backwoods of North Dakota who would...) has ever claimed that if a homosexual is murdered that less action should be taken. The point is that the same action should be taken as normal. If you take a different course of action because of the criminals' thoughts, that is thought crime. You are changing the punishment because you don't like the persons' social views. Hitler killed roughly 7 million human beings. Lenin did the same. Is Hitlers' crime worse than Lenins'? No. Murder is murder. The taking of a human life is horrible no matter what the motives. It isn't fair to the criminals or the victims to differentiate between motives.

Dazey: It is not just to punish someone more than normal because of what might happen or what has sometimes happened in other cases. If additional psychological damage occurs in any crime, then I am in favor of additional punishment. Across the board, though, not just in hate crimes.

Geez: Creating an atmosphere isn't a crime. Does history tell us that "violent crimes against minorities help create a frame of mind in which discrimination is easier"? Please give examples and/or studies from the field of criminal psychology to back up your claim. Violence is an abstract concept, so I don't know how you intend to "kick it's ass", but, if you did, that would either be obviously hipocritical, or unjust (mob rule). Intimidating people and "tearing a hole in the delicate fabric of society" (Oh my God, can you be more melodramatic?) aren't crimes either (in and of themselves). Any way you slice it, you're still discriminating against people whose opinions you don't like. It's a slippery slope, and I hope I'm not around the day we let the government start deciding whose philosophy of the week is worthy enough while dissenters are locked up for thought crime.

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