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A little more drama than strictly necessary - Input Junkie
September 19th, 2009
10:07 am

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A little more drama than strictly necessary

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From:redbird
Date:September 19th, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
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Do you not see a difference between assaulting a stranger because of their (actual or perceived*) membership in a group that the criminal dislikes, and crimes committed for profit (e.g., mugging, or killing someone because you're named in the will) or personal animosity?

Or do you just think the law needs improvement? It may, as may other laws where intent is relevant to whether something is a crime, and if so, how serious a crime. But I haven't noticed people saying "'Depraved indifference' is a very strange phrase. What other kind of indifference to human life is there?" or "Why does it matter whether the person was shot in the course of an armed robbery?"

*A couple of years ago, gay-bashers murdered a straight man because he was walking down the street holding his brother's hand.
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From:nancylebov
Date:September 19th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
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Do you not see a difference ....if he saw a difference, he'd agree with you. Treating a possible difference of perception as a failure doesn't strike me as a useful teaching method, and even if it were useful, I still detest it and would rather if you don't do it in comments here.

In re improving the law: I'm wondering if there could be a set of standards for amount of violence which would automatically establish groups as eligible for hate crime status. It would probably still end up with a political process-- especially since hate crimes seem to require a premise, and interpreting just what's going on in people's minds, especially when it affects punishment levels, is going to be a political process. On the other hand, it still might look and be more fair.
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From:redbird
Date:September 19th, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
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Sorry, that was meant as A or B: either he sees no difference (in which case he doesn't think there should be such laws), or he sees a difference but thinks current law is not a good way of addressing it.

And then there might be more than one reason he'd think that, including "mindset shouldn't be relevant," "we don't have a good way of finding state of mind," and "the categories are wrong."
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From:nancylebov
Date:September 19th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
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It's ok.

One more example of the label being misleading: there's science fiction with no science-- van Vogt would be a good example and I think, so would Peter Hamilton.
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From:kgbooklog
Date:September 19th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
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I'm wondering if there could be a set of standards for amount of violence which would automatically establish groups as eligible for hate crime status.

Current or historical amounts? Right now, I get the impression there is more violence directed towards abortionists than Jews, but that's a very recent phenomenon.
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From:nancylebov
Date:September 19th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
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It would be complicated-- historical would count, but there would need to be some sort of rule for that fading with time.

There are at least two reasons for hate crime laws-- one is the sense of threat felt by the victims and members of the group the victim is in, and the other is that hate crimes make hate crimes seem normal to potential perpetrators.

The historical aspect is much more relevant for the first factor than the second.

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