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Resolved: Hate crime enhancements are unjust in the United States

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- +You can only justly punish crimes based on intent.
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Revision as of 14:02, 15 February 2008

Overview

Definitions

A hate crime is a crime, usually violent, motivated by prejudice or intolerance toward a member of a gender, racial, religious, or social group. In this resolution, hate crime "enhancements" refer to a heavier punishment if a crime had been committed out of racial hatred or other prejudices. For example, normal graffiti would not be punished so severely, but if a swastika was sprayed onto a Jewish temple, there is clear racial hatred behind the crime and the person would be punished much more severely. This pertains to all other aspects of crime, i.e. a lynching would be punished much more severely than a regular homicide. The United States justice system does recognize hate crimes and punishes them more severely.


Hate crime enhancements do not treat citizens fairly or equally

Affirmative

Hate crime enhancements are unjust because it punishes two equal results (i.e. assault vs. racial mugging) with different punishments.


Negative

Hate crimes enhancements are not unjust. Hate crimes should be given a more severe penalty because the harm done to the victim and society is greater.

Argument

Hate crime enhancements violate the 1st Amendment

Yes

Hate crimes are crimes that are based on an idea that the perpetrator had prior to the crime. The crime itself is no different from any other crime except that it is punished harder. Why is it punished harder? Because we are punishing an idea. This is unjust and our own constitution states this. In the 1st Amendment to the constitution we are granted the freedom of speech and thought among other freedoms. Our whole system of government is based on be able to think and speak freely without being coerced by any outside influence. That’s why the 1st Amendment was added.


No

As for the freedom of speech; hate crimes are a clear violation of this. A person does have the right to express themselves, but not in a way that would prevent others from exercising their own rights. A hate crime is the ultimate attempt to limit another's freedom of expression. A hate crime is an attempt to silence the very idea that a particular person has the right to exist or to live a particular lifestyle. The idea that a person has the right to violate another person's rights for the sake of their own free expression inherently contradicts itself. The freedom of expression can never extend to the point where you are allowed to silence opposing ideas and viewpoints. Therefore, in order to uphold the first amendment, hate crime enhancements are not only just, but are in fact necessary.


Argument

You can only justly punish crimes based on intent.

Yes

No

Argument

Yes

No

References:

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