Do We Really Need Hate Crime Laws?

Commentary Love and hate: the two most prevalent human emotions. Every human on the planet, save those afflicted with serious mental health issues, has experienced these feelings. They cannot be legislated and neither emotion is in itself considered to be a crime. It is what some people do with their hate that is the problem. The eruption of hate into criminal behavior resulted in passage of a federal hate crimes law back in 1968. It has been amended several times over the years to include crimes committed against someone based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identification. All but five states—Arkansas, Indiana, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Wyoming—have passed their own version of a hate crimes law. Some of the states passed legislation that established new hate-fueled offenses, while others enhanced sentences for criminals who were found guilty of acting out of hate when …

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