Chapters 1 & 2 thorough outline

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Christopher Newport University
GOVT - Government
GOVT 204
Harry Greenlee

Chapter 1: Overview of Chapters:  Hate crimes laws were not the first legal remedie for prejudice-inspired offenses, some civil rights legislation dates to the end of the civil war.  Why hate crime laws are necessary\desirable come down to 3 assertions: o Hate crime offenders deserve increased punishments because hate crimes are worse than ordinary crimes o Hate crime laws will deter these offenses o The laws will have the symbolic effect of stating that this sort of behavior is unacceptable. Chapter 2:  What is a hate crime? o Not a crime in which the offender hates the victim. Most crimes involving hatred between the parties would not fall under the legal definition of hate crimes. Technically, the act does not need to be motivated by hatred at all. o Simplest definition: a criminal act which is motivated at least in part, by the group affiliation of the victim.  Arguments for Having Hate Crime Laws o Retribution: Hate Crimes are different from ordinary crimes  Victims may suffer more psychological trauma  There have been only a few studies that actually assess the emotional state of hate crime victims. The most we can conclude is that under some circumstances, hate crimes might be more traumatic than other crimes.  Victims may suffer more physical trauma  Hate crimes may have a wider impact  Hate crimes may spark retaliation and conflict o Deterrence  While the concept of deterrence is accurate, it suffers from a number of assumptions that are probably faulty. In any case, it is unlikely that many potential hate crime offenders engage in the rational weighing of risks and benefits that deterrence theory assumes.  Potential offenders will be aware of hate crime laws. o They can’t be deterred if they don’t know the law exists. o It’s unlikely that they know what constitutes as a hate crime.  Offenders believe that there is a reasonable likelihood of being caught and prosecuted.  A potential offender is not already deterred by the potential of being punished for the underlying crime, but would be by the addition of a punishment for a hate crime o Hate crimes involve only acts that are already punishable.  In the minds of would-be offenders, the risks of engaging in a hate crime outweigh the potential benefits o Symbolic effects  A strong third claim has been made that the laws serve a symbolic purpose. Of all the arguments made in support of hate crimes legislation, the symbolic argument is perhaps the most frequently given.  Probably the strongest argument.  Birth of Hate Crimes o Anti-Defamation League:  group that combats anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. With allies such as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Institute for Prejudice and violence and the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ADL began lobbying states to pass the statute. o Model statue contained 4 provisions:  Institutional Vandalism- aimed primarily at people who targeted cemeteries, community centers, and places of worship.  Intimidation- more revolutionary, a person would be found guilty of an intimidation if he or she violated some existing criminal law and if he or she committed the crime because of the victim’s group. While only certain groups were protected, this was a significant expansion on civil rights laws. Also acts as penalty enhancer, bumping up the seriousness of the underlying crime by one degree. Later modified this sectio
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