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Week 12 - Hate Crimes

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Western University
Philosophy 1305F/G
Adam Yates

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.  Social Unrest Members of the targeted group – insofar as enhanced punishment are not legislated will feel increasingly eligible for violations of their rights solely on account of their membership in a group  Enhanced penalties for hate crimes is justified on utilitarian grounds There is a cost of the societal division and social unrest due to hate crimes Enhanced penalties will deter the perpetration of hate crimes at the same time attend to marginalize the oppressed society Retributive Theory of Punishment The justifying aim of punishment is to serve justice The criminal should be punished – apart from the consequence that may come – simply because the criminal deserves it. There are two elements to crime: guilty act and guilty mind… Therefore, there are two ways to say that hate crimes are morally worse than ordinary crimes To the counterpart crime and to the counterpart criminal 1) Hate crime are morally worse than counter part crimes without hate The guilty act itself is morally worse with the motivation of group hatred Hate crimes are especially harmful because of the vicarious victims they claim Vicarious victims The extent to which members of the targeted group identify with the victim each will feel the personally slighted by the crime  Each member is victimized  Each group member will feel liable or eligible for violation solely based on being a member of the targeted group Each member has more than an impartial interest in justice being done 2.) Perpetrators of hate crimes are morally worse than perpetrators of the same crime absent of the motivation of hatred; the guilty mind of the hate criminal is especially depraved  He thinks there is no difference between motivation and intention  But there is a distinction that should be made Example of Ally and Barry  Most would agree that Barry is more deprived than All
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