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Hate crime is a term used to describe a crime which was committed on the basis of the sex, race, color, creed, sexuality or religion of the victim.

There is no true need for added penalty for killing someone because they were black as opposed to killing someone because they listened to Perry Como with the volume too loud. Both are just as heinous, but will be prosecuted differently. This is wrong.

Jessie Jackson was one of the proponents of the distinction and greater sentencing for those who commit hate crimes. This was in order to protect the black community. It is unfortunate for him that he failed to actually figure the statistics, which, in 1999, showed that approximately 70% of those found guilty of hate crimes were, in fact, black. The most puzzling part of this finding, though, is that about 15% of those hate crimes were against other blacks.

We do not need additional laws to define crimes as hate crimes or others. Once it has been determined that a person committed a crime with any degree of animosity towards the victim, it is irrelevant why the animosity existed, only that it did.

A point was made in another node that dragging a man to death behind your truck would be a form of terrorism against others of the same group as that man, but I disagree. In some cases this may be correct, but I am positive there have been others where only the twisted enjoyment by the perpetrator prompted the action. People do this same sort of thing to animals. Would it also be suggested that they are trying to terrorize other animals?

While the sentiment behind this movement is not mistaken, the implementation is unnecessary and sets a dangerous precedent for the further prosecution for thought crimes.

I learned something rather disturbing in my legal terminology and personal law classes when I had been studying to become a stenographer. I learned that it is against the law to plan a crime, even if you never commit and never intend to commit said crime. It is not quite as bad as doing it, but nearly. Oh, and even thinking about killing the President is a very bad thing. Of course I also learned the statute of limitations on robbery is 7 years, so if you can keep it hidden that long, it's yours. There is no statute of limitations on murder.