Philosophy 1305F/G Lecture Notes - Mens Rea, Hate Crime, Pedophilia

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Week 12: Hate Crime Legislation
Christopher Wellman: “A Defense of stiffer penalties for Hate Crimes”
Hate Crime: in order for an offence to count as a hate crime the perpetrator must
have chosen the victim because of the victims membership in a targeted group
Three Questions that Wellman addresses
Should Jennifer’s motivation of group hatred be an aggravating factor taken
into consideration in the sentencing stage?
Should there be penalty enhancements for hate crimes?
Is penalty enhancement legitimate?
Wellman thinks yes to the above
There are 6 prominent theories of punishment Wellman considers:
Retributive, utilitarian, moral education, expressivist, restitutive, societal safety
valve
Only required to know retributive and utilitarian
Utilitarian Theory of Punishment
Punishing criminals is morally justified to the extent that such an institution
generally promotes a better state of affairs
Punishment works as a deterrent
1. Insofar as each of us wants to avoid punishment, the prospects of
punishment provides (additional) motivation not to perpetrate crime
2. Insofar as other are deterred from committing crimes we all benefit from the
security provided by the institution of punishment
The state is justified in inflicting harms on transgressions, despite the harms
inflicted because it provides for a more secure state of affairs
With regard to hate crime in particular, the utilitarian theory of punishment
Social Division
Members of a targeted group- insofar as enhanced punishments are not
legislated will feel that society tolerates the fact that some crimes will be
perpetrated out of hatred.
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