The Pros And Cons Of Hate Crime

804 WordsNov 6, 20174 Pages
In the last few years, Florida has generated attention for many hate crimes. In 2013 Tavares Spencer, a resident of Tampa was found guilty of first degree attempted murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison for attacking a woman after she revealed she was transgender. Hate crimes are criminal acts of hatred towards individuals or groups because of religion, race, sexual orientation or other personal attributes. If the criminal act was motivated simply by the defendant's prejudice or hatred of the victim because of these factors, the criminal act qualifies as a hate crime. The Florida State Legislature believes that hate crimes against a specific class of people have the likely hood to cause greater harm to society. As a result, the…show more content…
There are many negative consequences of this law. First, many citizens could argue such law would be setting these victims apart, creating a special class of citizen whose attackers would face more serve punishments than other citizens for the same crimes based on the attributes of the victims alone. . This could be seen as providing unequal protection under the law. Equality of citizens in the eyes of the law would be called into question. Also, setting these victims apart would also possibly cause resentment, and therefore result in more hatred directed toward these individuals or groups. This hate crime law could be viewed as unfair. The American justice system is based on the principle that everyone is treated the same, and this law goes against that principal. Secondly, another negative effect would be it could be argued as unconstitutional. The Possible Constitutional Challenges to the law would be that this law would infringe on citizens first amendment. Such legislation would infringe on freedom of speech. This law would call into question where the future of hate crime laws could lead. If a citizen can be more severely punished for hate crimes, could they down the future be criminalized for other behaviors such as gestures, or certain speech that could possibly be seen as threatening toward people of specific attributes. criminalized. The freedoms of conscience and speech would be
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