This bill passed the House and is now on its' way to the Senate.http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31680
" How Will New Hate Crimes Bill Affect Your Free Speech?
by Gary Bauer
"This week, the House of Representatives passed The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HR 1913), which adds gender, gender identity
, sexual orientation
, and disability to the list of protected categories under federal hate crimes law."
"There are many problems with this legislation, not least that if it becomes law it would federalize law enforcement by allowing the federal government to intervene in local criminal matters when a crime is deemed to be motivated by hatred of this or that disadvantaged group."
"House Democrats rejected
10 Republican amendments to the bill, including provisions that would have added senior citizens
, pregnant women
, unborn children
and members of the military
, to the list of protected groups.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced an amendment that would have barred pedophiles
from special protection under the statute, but Democrats took it out of the final bill
"By punishing thoughts instead of actions, hate crimes laws, or “bias-motivated crimes” as they are sometimes called, raise several questions: For instance, how will the federal government determine causation?
What if, say, a homosexual were attacked by someone who believes homosexuality is a sin, but the attacker wasn’t motivated by the victim’s homosexuality but by something else entirely? What if the homosexual is attacked by someone from his or her protected class?
In the notorious case of Matthew Shepard, for whom HR 1913 is named, a probable drug-related killing was assumed to be a hate crime because Shepard was gay. Only later was it revealed that the perpetrators were motivated primarily by drugs and robbery, not by Shepard’s sexual orientation. Correlation does not imply causation.
Read the rest of that article at the link given.
I guess one
of the things that bothers me about this bill is the recurring question that keeps coming to mind - what - or who - will be the next "protected" group?
Sociopaths? Multiple offenders? Radical Islamists? Left-handed people?
It's the precedent of adding arbitrarily-chosen groups for "special" protection
that bothers me.
That, and this (this is the exact wording of the bill as passed by the House off the Thomas website):
" (b) Certification Requirement- No prosecution of any offense described in this subsection may be undertaken by the United States, except under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or any Assistant Attorney General specially designated by the Attorney General that--
`(1) such certifying individual has reasonable cause
to believe that the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person was a motivating factor underlying the alleged conduct of the defendant; and
`(2) such certifying individual has consulted with State or local law enforcement officials regarding the prosecution and determined that--
`(A) the State does not have jurisdiction or does not intend to exercise jurisdiction
`(B) the State has requested that the Federal Government assume jurisdiction;
`© the State does not object
to the Federal Government assuming jurisdiction; or
`(D) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence.
Folks, "reasonable" cause is not
the same as "probable"
cause (probable cause requires a much higher evidentiary standard - see http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/m013006.pdf
The above quote clearly reflects the fact that this "law' would
(1) supercede individual State law-makers/enforcers desires to not
prosecute a given case (see 2A, above) and
(2) allow the Federal Government to arbitrarily jump in and add additional sentence-time
to anything that had already been decided by a jury and a regular judge whose job it already is to hand down a correct sentence
.You NEED to contact BOTH of your State Senator's and oppose passage of this bill.