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July 28, 2014, 05:52:44 AM
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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Off Topic Discussion  |  Being ethnic(?) makes you less...human? « previous next »
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Author Topic: Being ethnic(?) makes you less...human?  (Read 6743 times)
Allhallowsday
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« Reply #45 on: November 16, 2008, 10:25:00 PM »

...One of my lifelong friends is gay, and has been for years.  We hang out together several times a year, and his sexuality does not stop us from being friends.  I'm being dragged out the door, will talk more later.
Dragged...?  Not dragged outta the closet...?   BounceGiggle   Wink  Lookingup  Uhm, jus' kidding.   Lookingup  Your lifelong friend is gay and "has been for years," so y'think something "turned" him gay?  Please advise.  Just curious. 
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« Reply #46 on: November 16, 2008, 11:22:46 PM »

Muggers, carjackers, gangbangers, klansmen, etc., are all of the same ilk, and yet you are going to tell me that a group who kills a minority is worse than a group who kills in a turf war or just for profit? Sorry, but I can't agree.

Would you like to point out where I specifically said that? I said no such thing.

You argue that we need special laws to target racially-motivated crimes. They don't include random muggings that result in murder, gang warfare, or anything like that. Your argument for those laws implies (to me) that you consider racially-motivated crimes to be somehow worse than others. If that is not your intent, then please clarify why we need special hate-crime legislation.

Not only did you say
Quote
The two cases you cited are not exactly comparable. I know, I made the comparison originally, and it was a poor choice.

but you followed it up with
Quote
Sorry, but having to make special laws to deal with murder to give it more "bite" with juries is what is sad. As far as I am concerned, murder is murder, and the laws on the books are sufficient for prosecution.


That's a contradiction. If murder is murder, then the two cases I cited should be comparable regardless.

Not so much a contradiction as a matter of relevance. In my original post I brought up the hate crime/crime of passion comparison. That was not as relevant to this discussion as the mugging/carjacking/gangbanging comparison. You wanted to make the motivation behind the crime the main focus, and the motivations in my modified comparison are more similar and therefore more relevant. How is a racially motivated murder any worse from profit-motivated murder?

Quote
*...the laws on the books are sufficient for prosecution.

7 youths stab an Hispanic man to death and at best one is facing manslaughter charges. If you reversed that and the victim was white and stabbed to death by Hispanics, how many would not be looking at murder charges? That is sufficient?


*If you feel I quoted you out of context, please let me know.

I never said that the case in point was handled correctly; in fact, I was supporting your contention that these murderers are indeed murderers, plain and simple, and they should be prosecuted appropriately. The law is not the problem in this case; the problem lies with the handling of that law. I've never understood prejudice; it just makes no sense to me. As such, I may be naive in wishing that those in authority would treat all people the same, even while knowing better. But I've never seen retributive legislation that works; that is, any law that is passed to "make up" for past sins generally gets abused (either through being ignored or through overzealous prosecution) more often than not. Laws relating to hate crimes are aimed almost exclusively at whites (all the cases that I've seen, at least), as if to say that no other ethnic group in this country kills for racial reasons. I simply don't believe that we can put extra weight on certain laws to make up for past behavior or for (hopefully) fading attitudes of bigotry. In my dream world, noting a person's skin color would be nothing more than a casual observation, certainly no call to judgment. I try to live my life to that end, and, to me, special hate crime legislation is just as bigoted as any other law aimed at a specific ethnic group. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, Menard; I'm just trying to explain my motivation for opposing hate crime laws.

You do say, "I don't know exactly what classifying a crime as a hate crime does exactly, but if it gives more teeth to the prosecution of such crimes where juries most likely won't, then it is something that is needed to balance out the system, at least until we can do a better job at balancing ourselves; it may be the only justice victims of such crimes get." My problem is not so much with the intention of such laws as with their execution and lifespan. It is rare to ever see a government body repeal a law of any kind, and laws to "balance things out" doubly so, because they are somehow "special." Do they serve justice? Rarely. As ghouk said, our system is geared toward people, and people are flawed. A jury who is willing to let a manslaughter charge suffice in a case like this is still going to be likely to do so if the prosecutor labels it a hate crime. As I said in another post, you can't legislate morality, and to add to that, you can't legislate the bigotry out of someone. In my view, the best way to stamp out "hate crimes" is to get to the root of the problem and work to erase bigotry, not through legislation, but through personal example, one person at a time. Will my way work? Not always, but then, neither will hate crime legislation. Both approaches are flawed to some degree. Mine makes more lasting sense to me, but then I've never really understood most people's motivations, so take it for what it's worth.
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ghouck
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« Reply #47 on: November 16, 2008, 11:36:48 PM »

Even though minors only make up a small fraction of criminal trials in the US, IIRC, they account for half of the number of cases that end with Jury Nullification (where a jury hands down a verdict of innocent not due to the belief in innocence, but rather due to not agreeing with the law or the punishments that could be imposed).

I have a question for you, ghouck (just simply because I don't know).

I have understood that, depending on the state, juries may be restricted to limited options if they decide the defendant is guilty.

If that is the case, do you know if that has had much of an influence on juries finding defendants not guilty as they felt the charges they could use did not fit the crime?

As well, along those lines, can a jury, I guess depending on state again, return a verdict with a greater charge than what the prosecution was seeking?

Well, the charges MUST fit the crime, else the person is NOT guilty. It's not weather a person is guilty or not, but rather guilty of the CHARGES levied against them. So if they're accused of 1st degree murder (premeditated murder, murder to further the commission of a crime, or murder of a peace officer/public servant), and the jury finds the evidence shows MURDER, but not the variables that are required to justify 1st degree, the jury must find them innocent of 1st degree murder. Some (most) states allow a person to be brought up on multiple charges for the same crime, even though in the end only one will fit, some do not allow this. Some allow juries to ask for a lesser charge or something like that, and many do not. No state allows a jury to RAISE the charges, however, some have ways of tackling on "aggravators" that can raise the sentence. Not entirely sure how that works.

Some states do not allow jury nullification, I'm not sure exactly how they deal with it. I do remember talk of a big case, maybe someone involved with Ruby Ridge or Waco, where the jury found them not guilty, and the judge told them they couldn't do that and sent them back into deliberations. Not sure how that worked (IIRC, Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme had some similar weirdness in her trial, or maybe some other looney chick.)

Some states, mine for one, only uses juries to determine GUILT, and the sentencing is done with judges alone. We often have a number of unsentenced inmates at the prison where I work. So once the jury finds a person guilty, there's no telling how much time they get, nor does the jury have any idea beforehand.
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ghouck
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« Reply #48 on: November 16, 2008, 11:47:17 PM »

Hate crime laws generally aren't pushed and passed on the basis of murder in the first place. They're more often pushed because of gang beatings (which do lead to deaths, but not even remotely the majority of the time), and crap like that (The legislation pushed in Alaska was started in response to a bunch of videotaped "native paintballing" incidents, where stupid white kids videotaped themselves shooting natives, some homeless, with a paintball gun, specifically targeting natives). Like all laws, they get expanded upon, or rather the 'condensed version' the the public hears is a bit different that the expanded version. More than one state had it's law passed soley on basis of stopping "Gay bashing". .
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Menard
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« Reply #49 on: November 17, 2008, 12:42:49 AM »

You argue that we need special laws to target racially-motivated crimes. They don't include random muggings that result in murder, gang warfare, or anything like that. Your argument for those laws implies (to me) that you consider racially-motivated crimes to be somehow worse than others. If that is not your intent, then please clarify why we need special hate-crime legislation.

I do think racially motivated crimes are worse, but not necessarily in all instances, and not necessarily when the crimes are comparative. If you want to get an all or nothing definition from me, that's not going to happen as I neither think like nor make statements of the ilk that 'murder is murder',  'crime is crime', 'amen and god bless'.

Your example of the random mugging is a good example of where the victim is a random mugging that ends in murder. Though I don't necessarily believe in such randomness in muggings; not that the perp knew the victim, but I doubt that you'll often hear a mugger screaming 'oh goddamn, it's a homeless guy'.

In the example where it is a random mugging that ends in murder, or it is a targeted hate crime where the victim was murdered for their difference, the end result is much the same; the victim was murdered without an ounce of consideration as a human being.

Where the difference is, is in who the victim is and how that affects how the murderer will likely be charged. Is it fair if the victim is Hispanic for the perp to get nothing more than manslaughter, while if the victim is white they can be facing murder charges?





Not so much a contradiction as a matter of relevance. In my original post I brought up the hate crime/crime of passion comparison. That was not as relevant to this discussion as the mugging/carjacking/gangbanging comparison. You wanted to make the motivation behind the crime the main focus, and the motivations in my modified comparison are more similar and therefore more relevant. How is a racially motivated murder any worse from profit-motivated murder?

You are still saying that murder is murder. If murder is murder, then there should be no difference in the relevance of one crime to another. You can't say 'murder is murder, but one is more relevant that the other'.

Make up your mind. Is murder murder, regardless, or are there degrees of murder? The law seems to think there are degrees of murder; which includes the motivation behind it.

 

You do say, "I don't know exactly what classifying a crime as a hate crime does exactly, but if it gives more teeth to the prosecution of such crimes where juries most likely won't, then it is something that is needed to balance out the system, at least until we can do a better job at balancing ourselves; it may be the only justice victims of such crimes get." My problem is not so much with the intention of such laws as with their execution and lifespan. It is rare to ever see a government body repeal a law of any kind, and laws to "balance things out" doubly so, because they are somehow "special." Do they serve justice? Rarely. As ghouk said, our system is geared toward people, and people are flawed. A jury who is willing to let a manslaughter charge suffice in a case like this is still going to be likely to do so if the prosecutor labels it a hate crime. As I said in another post, you can't legislate morality, and to add to that, you can't legislate the bigotry out of someone. In my view, the best way to stamp out "hate crimes" is to get to the root of the problem and work to erase bigotry, not through legislation, but through personal example, one person at a time. Will my way work? Not always, but then, neither will hate crime legislation. Both approaches are flawed to some degree. Mine makes more lasting sense to me, but then I've never really understood most people's motivations, so take it for what it's worth.

No, I don't know what classifying a crime as a hate crime does. I do know that if someone is a member of a minority, their chance at getting justice is lessened. If there are laws on the books that can overcome that imbalance when the crime is hate motivated, I don't see that as a bad thing, with the big 'if' being 'if it can work'.

The only thing I know about upping the severity of a crime is when I worked in security years ago and we had to deal with protective orders. My only understanding of what those protective orders did, as they really didn't protect the victim, was that should someone violate the order, the charge would be upped to the next level; theoretically, if they could be charged with assault 4, assault 3 would be recommended. That most likely is an over-simplification of it.

There is an assault 2, in our state, reserved specifically for assault against a peace officer; and it is a felony. If there is an option to do the same for the victim of a hate crime where they might not otherwise get a fair shake due to inherent discrimination among jurors, shouldn't the option at least be considered? Shouldn't these youths who murdered this Hispanic man simply because he was Hispanic face felony charges at the least rather than walking on misdemeanor assault*?

*Again, I'm speculating as my knowledge of the legal system and its specifics is limited.

I think Morgan Freeman said it well when asked about overcoming racism as he replied to a question from Mike Wallace...
Quote
“Stop talking about it. I'm going to stop calling you a white man,” Freeman says to Wallace. “And I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man."

Even a casual observation of differences is noticing a difference. I won't see prejudice nullified in my lifetime, and it will never truly disappear as it is human nature to notice things that are different and look for things that make us better than others. I do think it can and will improve vastly as we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

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ghouck
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« Reply #50 on: November 17, 2008, 02:05:35 AM »

Quote
If there is an option to do the same for the victim of a hate crime where they might not otherwise get a fair shake due to inherent discrimination among jurors, shouldn't the option at least be considered?

Personally, i don't agree with manipulating the system to compensate for the people. The system is OF the people, flaws and all. The pendulum swings, , for a while the juries are lenient for one reason, then later strict because of what the leniency did. Systems don't swing, they're solid, , so when the pendulum swings back, we have the OPPOSITE discrimination, except now it takes an act of congress to fix. The biggest 'human flaw' problem with the system comes into play LONG before sentencing: It's in witness statements (or lack thereof). Getting people to testify, and do so accurately, , and to APPEAR accurate and neutral, , is a greater hurdle.

Quote
Make up your mind. Is murder murder, regardless, or are there degrees of murder? The law seems to think there are degrees of murder; which includes the motivation behind it.

Sure there are. If you kill someone in an argument, that's likely murder 2, no chance for the death penalty. Of you PLAN to kill them, or kill them to facilitate a crime, it's murder 1, and some states DO have a death penalty for it.

It's just not as simple as 'murder is murder', our laws are based largely around INTENT. The REASON someone performed a crime is highly important, which is necessary especially when you get into lesser crimes and the gray areas. Obviously, if you're driving down the road and lose control of your car and kill someone, it's handled differently than it would be had you just plainly blasted someone, or even lost control because you were drunk. Which brings quite a problem. Two REAL cases: A guy runs a bootlegging operation in a dry village. He's pressured by a known thug and felon. The thug is known to be assaultive, threatening, and carry a gun (illegally, since he's a felon). SOMETHING happens, looks like the thug was trying to rob him, and the thug gets killed. Because the guy is a SMUGGLER and protecting illegal goods, he gets 99 years. See, in many states, if you are COMMITTING a crime, you forfeit your rights to defend yourself with deadly force, or even possess a firearm. Possessing illegal goods was the crime he was committing,therefor not legally allowed to defend himself with the only force the was suitable. 

Another guy, family church-going guy gets drunk and head-ons another car. Kills 2, injurs one. Gets 22 years, 10 each for the deaths, 2 for the vehicular assaults.

Sound fair? So, a s**tbag, felon thug's life is worth 99 years, innocent person driving down the highway minding their own business, 10 each.
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« Reply #51 on: November 17, 2008, 06:52:51 AM »


Personally I find the act of going out, hunting someone down to hurt them purely based on their race is particularly heinous and if there is a legislation in place that punishes someone just that little bit more for doing such a thing, then I'm for it.  Again, there's different categories of murder, and whilst murder may be murder in some people's eyes, I do think motivation is an important factor in bringing down punishment.

Still, I find it hard to get too worked up about these sort of things.  From what little of my experiences with the courts there doesn't seem like there is any rhyme nor reason anyways, and I try not to get myself up in a lather about it, unless it's just plain stupid.

Just a technical question somebody can maybe clarify for me: did these people only get charged or have they been sentenced yet?  Also, what can you get as a maximum for manslaughter compared to murder?  I mean, there's alot of facts on this specific case which we're missing as to why they were charged with manslaughter as opposed to murder etc, so I wonder what led the prosecutor's to choose their charges.



As for the gay marriage thing, well...

 Lookingup

I don't see how this is an issue at all.  I mean I DO see how it's an issue, but I've yet to hear a single credible argument [in my own humble opinion] about why it's a bad thing and should not be the case.  Sure I understand people's varied opinion on it, but, I dunno, it just escapes me why it's such a big deal for people... [ok so it doesn't escape me but still...]

To me, marriage was and always has been a partnership between two people who love each other [all the better if they happen to be of legal age right?  Wink].  To say that marriage is between a man and a woman seems purely based on the fact that this happens to be the people in the majority.

My partner was talking to me today about new legislation here that protects people in domestic relationships [that is, living together] from emotional, financial and physical abuse.  This law is interesting because it protects people regardless of what their relationship is, same sex or hetero.  Yet this courtesy isn't extended to same sex couples when it comes to classifying their relationship.

I don't know how it is in the states, but from what little I understand of it for us here, the law in this country isn't applied evenly when it comes to same sex couples.  Say my partner died, and happened to be a man, by law I am not entitled to the same rights as if my partner was a woman.  That is just ridiculous to me, and is one of the reason's why I am pro gay marriage.

Personally if all the laws were applied evenly to both same sex and the so called 'normal' couples, then I don't think the gay marriage issue would have nearly as much bite as it does now.  I love my girlfriend, but whilst I may want to marry her, I don't need a certificate to tell me that she and I are together.  But at the same time I personally feel it's my right to be able to get that piece of paper, that ring, that whatever to prove it if I so wish.  This shouldn't change if my partner was a man.

Anyways the only argument I heard on gay marriage from the opposite side of my fence that carried any weight with me, however little, was that the act of marriage was a religious title and not a civic one, and as such needed to be condoned by church and not government.  This I do disagree with, but it may be an imperfectly valid point in terms of legislation.

Eh... This thread reminds me of what I hear about your Congress in various jokes: you have a bill to vote for and people just tack on all these completely unrelated issues to it in order to get their particular agenda through.

Oh and karma for Tars for his interracial relationship status.  I'm with ya on that one!
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« Reply #52 on: November 17, 2008, 08:27:15 AM »

Personally if all the laws were applied evenly to both same sex and the so called 'normal' couples, then I don't think the gay marriage issue would have nearly as much bite as it does now.

Actually, gay couples in Canada were entitled to spousal benefits in Canada for some time before gay marriage was legalised. Didn't really lessen the controversy. What bothered me more than anything was that the decision was made by the courts, and parliament didn't really have much choice. Laws should be made by the democratically-elected government, not by a judge. But that's really a broader issue.

As to the murder charge, Ghouck makes an excellent point. You can only lay a charge that is likely to stick based on the evidence. If your only witnesses are the perpetrators and the dead victim, and your scene was demolished by paramedics trying to save the guy, that might be a problem. I don't think it's fair to say that race was a factor in the charges, or that the charges would have been more severe had the races been reversed. Might be the case, but there's no evidence to support the charge. Interesting parallel, actually.

For me, I don't think attacking a random person based on race is necessarily worse than attacking any other random person. The scary thing here is a gang of teenagers who get their kicks from roaming the streets and attacking a stranger who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is scary psycho behaviour no matter who is involved.
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« Reply #53 on: November 17, 2008, 08:47:21 AM »

You argue that we need special laws to target racially-motivated crimes. They don't include random muggings that result in murder, gang warfare, or anything like that. Your argument for those laws implies (to me) that you consider racially-motivated crimes to be somehow worse than others. If that is not your intent, then please clarify why we need special hate-crime legislation.

I do think racially motivated crimes are worse, but not necessarily in all instances, and not necessarily when the crimes are comparative. If you want to get an all or nothing definition from me, that's not going to happen as I neither think like nor make statements of the ilk that 'murder is murder',  'crime is crime', 'amen and god bless'.

This is the first instance where you have qualified your initial contention that racially motivated murders are worse than non-racially motivated murders, and I'll accept that. However, that initial statement is indeed along the same lines as "murder is murder," so please don't make belittling statements like this. It doesn't further your argument. In context, my statement stands that racially motivated murder is no worse than any other random murder. I qualified that in my response after admitting that my initial comparison was faulty. Of course there are degrees of murder; ghouk put it better than I did, and I agree with his assessment, so please take his sentiment as my own in this case.

Quote
Your example of the random mugging is a good example of where the victim is a random mugging that ends in murder. Though I don't necessarily believe in such randomness in muggings; not that the perp knew the victim, but I doubt that you'll often hear a mugger screaming 'oh goddamn, it's a homeless guy'.

Neither will you find a gang of white kids screaming, "oh, no, he's only half Mexican!" Of course muggers target certain victims; so do bigoted thugs.

Quote

In the example where it is a random mugging that ends in murder, or it is a targeted hate crime where the victim was murdered for their difference, the end result is much the same; the victim was murdered without an ounce of consideration as a human being.

Where the difference is, is in who the victim is and how that affects how the murderer will likely be charged. Is it fair if the victim is Hispanic for the perp to get nothing more than manslaughter, while if the victim is white they can be facing murder charges?

I already answered this once. Of course both criminals should be charged the same for committing the same crime. The problem in this particular case wasn't the law; it was the handling of the law. We don't need more laws; rather, we need better handling of the laws we have. Passing more laws won't end prejudice, and where bigotry is widespread enough, those in authority will still ignore the new laws aimed at racially motivated crimes.

Quote

Not so much a contradiction as a matter of relevance. In my original post I brought up the hate crime/crime of passion comparison. That was not as relevant to this discussion as the mugging/carjacking/gangbanging comparison. You wanted to make the motivation behind the crime the main focus, and the motivations in my modified comparison are more similar and therefore more relevant. How is a racially motivated murder any worse from profit-motivated murder?

You are still saying that murder is murder. If murder is murder, then there should be no difference in the relevance of one crime to another. You can't say 'murder is murder, but one is more relevant that the other'.

Make up your mind. Is murder murder, regardless, or are there degrees of murder? The law seems to think there are degrees of murder; which includes the motivation behind it.


You're pushing me for a declaration that you refused to make earlier in your argument. Please see above.

Quote


I think Morgan Freeman said it well when asked about overcoming racism as he replied to a question from Mike Wallace...
Quote
“Stop talking about it. I'm going to stop calling you a white man,” Freeman says to Wallace. “And I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man."

Even a casual observation of differences is noticing a difference. I won't see prejudice nullified in my lifetime, and it will never truly disappear as it is human nature to notice things that are different and look for things that make us better than others. I do think it can and will improve vastly as we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

So noting that someone has red hair instead of brown is prejudice? Casually noting differences isn't the problem; the problem arises when we use preconceived notions to rush to judgment on someone upon noting those differences. If I am trying to describe someone so that a friend can identify him, saying that he's black is no more prejudiced than saying that he has black hair. I'll put this as painfully as possible: You and I agree on this  TongueOut. Why are we arguing this point?
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« Reply #54 on: November 17, 2008, 10:09:21 AM »

Laws that deal specifically with race issues are almost always doomed to be futile because by nature they exist in an effort to equalize inequalities that are insuperably inherent within the human species itself. We humans possess a hubris that makes us think it is within our power to change reality itself. We also live in a fantasy-enshrouded age wherein we feel that if we want something to be true and say enough times it is true, and punish those who dare point out the differing state of reality, then somehow, magically, the desired state of affairs will manifest.

The enforcement and even the wording of most hate crimes laws are also highly one-sided. As is the very perception of racism itself.

For instance when I was in high school the local Archbishop, a good man with I'm sure the best intentions, came out with a definition of racism which he wanted announced to everyone so that we could "examine our consciences and conduct" with a mind to correction. His definition of racism was something like, "racism is when a proportionally superior race holds negative opinions or undertakes the practice of acts of discrimination against a numerically inferior race."

Even as a high schooler I thought, wait a second, only the majority race can be racist? Not a minority? Isn't saying a minority population isn't capable of racism somehow denying that group its full capacity to possess human feelings? And isn't that itself racist?

My points here as I step into this very tiring and unresolvable quagmire of human xenophobia being that some of the worst racists have been members of minority groups, and some of the worst would-be (but seldom so labeled) hate crimes I've heard of have been those perpetrated by representatives of a minority ethnicity against a majority ethnicity.

While a white on black/Hispanic/Asian/gay incident will make front page news and outrage a community programmed to be outraged, an equally vicious assault by someone from a minority ethnic group on a white person rarely brings on much an outcry.

Don’t get me wrong, an attack is an attack and should not be overlooked, but where is the equality in legislation when it comes to race-related violence?

From what I read of the incident at the start of this meandering thread, the perpetrators of the crime were absolutely in the wrong, social anger is justified, but where is that same outrage at the many thousands of, say, black on white maulings that go on yearly? I doubt more than a few whites have heard of most of the appalling race-hate-based murders of whites that should reign in infamy. Why? The media doesn’t touch them. It plays better to tell of “rednecks” or “rich white kids” battering “helpless” African Americans, or Mexican immigrants. And frankly, yeah, I’m a little tired of that.

And as I said at the start, equality between genders, races, individuals is an impossible fantasy. Sure we all deserve the same civil rights, the same chance to pursue happiness, but efforts to level a playing field in life are only going to go so far and are sometimes the very agents that expose the inherent inequality in human populations. The more good we try to do, the worse we make it. (Cough---the mortgage mess!)

Send violent criminal to jail, whatever their race, income, creed. But if you’re going to have hate crimes laws, apply them equally.
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« Reply #55 on: November 18, 2008, 02:56:41 PM »

Quote
but where is that same outrage at the many thousands of, say, black on white maulings that go on yearly? I doubt more than a few whites have heard of most of the appalling race-hate-based murders of whites that should reign in infamy.

Your doubts are wrong. I hear just as much about violenct perpetrated against whites by people of minority races as vice-versa.

Quote
Don’t get me wrong, an attack is an attack and should not be overlooked, but where is the equality in legislation when it comes to race-related violence?

The 'equlaity' isn't supposed to be in punishing a black person for attacking a white person, or in punishing a white person for attacking a hispanic person, but rather to punish ANYONE , HARSHLY if their MOTIVATION for that attack is RACE. 'Motivation' is the key word. I get what they tried to do, but it's kind of like throwing the baby out with teh bathwater.

Quote
Send violent criminal to jail, whatever their race, income, creed. But if you’re going to have hate crimes laws, apply them equally.

Well, the laws DO apply to everyone. We can make Jena-6 / white surburban ganster comparisons all day long, but the fact is that plucking two polar cases out of the many, many there are to choose from. I currently have a  few workers that are in for a hate crime, one is doing 14 for shooting someone in the face with a pellet gun, racially motivated of course. The implications the people of minority race don't get beaten with 'hate crime' stick is false.
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« Reply #56 on: November 18, 2008, 04:15:13 PM »

Ugh, I can barely follow all of the various strands of this discussion anymore. 

To Ghouk:  Great job describing the various degrees of homicide.  To answer a question of yours, I highly doubt there's any state where juries participate in sentencing.  Traditionally juries are finders of fact who determine guilt or innocence, then the judge sets the sentence.  Sometimes he is required to look at mandatory aggravating/mitigating circumstances from the sentencing guidelines of the state.

To Dean: They have only been charged right now.  They would have to be convicted by a jury before they would be sentenced.  I'm too lazy to look up New York's actual sentences, but in general you could get life or the death penalty for murder, while manslaughter could bring a sentence of "only" 10-15 years.

To Menard's original question: I don't know why they charged him with manslaughter rather than murder, but I doubt it had anything to do with racial prejudice.  Prosecutors are paid to get convictions (and to please the mayor).  Of course, we only know the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the facts of the case.  Ghouk raised one possibility: prosecutors thought juries might be reluctant to give a teenager a life sentence, and find a reason to acquit, so they decided to charge him with a crime that would make it easier for them to convict.  Here's another strong possibility: prosecutors agreed with the defense that they wouldn't charge him with murder if he would testify against the other members of the gang in their separate trials.  Remember, the final charges are as much a product of negotiation between the prosecutors and defense as anything.

On gay marriage: I'm not getting into it (neither the issue, nor the institution!)
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« Reply #57 on: November 18, 2008, 05:37:19 PM »

I believe a way to put it into a better perspective is to point out that how much money you have has a much greater impact on the difference in charges/sentencing. Like I said, if the defense can convince a prosecutor that the prosecutor will FAIL at the higher charge, they are more likely to try for a reduced charge. This is what GOOD lawyers do, and when they do it WELL, they charge more for it, excluding the poorer people from their service. I mean, Vince Neil KILLED one person and severely injured 2 others from DWI, 30 F-ing days in jail, of which he served HALF of. I had an employee that was drunk and killed a drunk woman that was passed out and lying in the middle of the road, he got 10 years (a 'dime' in prison lingo  TeddyR ). Of course he didn't have 2.6 million dollars to pay out in restitution either.

So, all in all, when comparing these cases by RACE, we should pay attention to the WEALTH of the defendants and see the pattern that shows.
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