Against Hate Crime Laws, No. 1

Hate Crime Laws violate the principle of equality before the law

Hate crime laws will require judges to impose stiffer sentences where it is found that a violent crime was motivated in part by prejudice. This violates the ancient legal principal that the law must not discriminate, that everybody is treated equally.

A hate crime is defined as: “Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to, in whole or in part, be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on actual or perceived age, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender.”

Hate crime proponents believe that the psychological impact of a violent crime is always felt more deeply for a victim from a minority background and as a consequence the perpetrator must be punished more severely.

This is perhaps the most pernicious and obscene aspect of the proposed law. In essence this says to victims from non minority backgrounds that society regards their assault as less serious because they don’t happen to belong to a protected group. Does a victim really feel the pain distress and lasting fear that accompanies a violent crime any less because of the colour of their skin? Despite the claims of the hate crime proponents there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this grotesque assertion. 

Just laws respect not a person’s status or position in society. Just laws are rooted in principles of equality, specifically, that individuals should not be treated differently due the characteristics listed above. Hate crime laws achieve the opposite of what they intend to prevent. The discrimination against groups of people.

There are many countries in the past and present who treated their citizens differently based on their background, religion or skin colour, I don’t need to name them but I certainly don’t propose we join them.