There’s a trio of thugs on trial here in Atlanta for what, by all accounts, was a savage beating of a pair of brothers last year in the Little Five Points neighborhood.
Actually, all three people charged in the beating have already pleaded guilty to six counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal damage to property. Those pleas came without any sort of plea agreement, and each of the three attackers face 15 years in prison for this crime.
Yet they are still on trial. Why? Because they are also charged with a “hate crime” because, apparently, this attack was motivated by the victims being black.
The evidence in the “hate crime” trial so far shows that these three do appear to be racist idiots, as witnesses said the defendants shouted things like “If you ain’t white, you ain’t right” after police broke up the beatings.
If the judge determines that “racial bias” drove the attack, the three defendants could get as much as five years added to their sentences.
As you might have guessed, I am not a fan of “hate crime” laws.
First off, the existence of “hate crimes” laws means that if these scumbags hated hippies rather than blacks and chose to beat up a couple of hippies in Little 5, they’d be facing 5 years less in prison. And that’s not right.
My head is just as valuable as a black guy’s head. And if someone cracks my head open on a fire hydrant, that person should be punished as strongly as if he had cracked a black guy’s head open on a fire hydrant.
Secondly, Does anyone think “hate crime” laws are actually a deterrent? “Gee, I had better not beat the crap out of that black guy, because I have KKK material at my house, and I’ll end up with 5 more years in prison because of it.” Right.
Thirdly, Isn’t it logical that the existence of “hate crimes” just serves to fuel the hatred that exists in the racist population already? The racist who believes the rights of whites are being taken away or whatever probably just gets that idea reinforced when “hate crime” laws are passed.
I understand the goal of “hate crime” laws. We, as a society, want to emphasize that we will not tolerate racially-motivated attacks. But passing laws that enable judges to tack more time on to a sentence when a crime was committed by a person who held certain opinions about the person he was attacking is wrong.
My suggestion is to make the maximum penalty for all felony crimes life in prison (I’d say the death penalty, but that’s another discussion) and leave it up to the judge to decide the appropriate penalty for the specific crime’s circumstances.
That way, a person who commits an assault because, say, the person he assaulted had just broken in to his car would get an appropriate sentence for that crime and a jackass racist who randomly picks black people to beat up can get the book thrown at him.
•: AJC Story
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