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Hate Crime or Biased Crime is usually defined as “an act of violent fury of impatient attitude and raring dogmatism, intends to do harm and restrain people for belonging to some particular race, having a specific ethnicity and nationality, following some peculiar religion, living with any disability, and holding a different sexual orientation”. (Gerstenfeld, pp. 49-52) It is mostly happens when an infuriated and potent individual victimize a target for belonging to or sharing above-mentioned specifications. Hate crime can be viewed as taking two different states. On a general note, hate crime implies to the condemnable criminal activities, which are infuriated and incensed by strong feeling of hatred and detestation of one or more mentioned specifications. The second form of hate crime is the hate speech, the speech described as committing a crime. Hate crime occurrences may include physical damage, swaggering, black mailing, verbal abuses, affronts, or sickening graffito etc.
Over the last few decades, hate crimes have undefeatedly appeared as one of the most burning social issues in demand of a quick and thorough solution to it. In many countries like Canada, the United States, and most part of Europe, there are laws that impose additional punishment to the offenders of hate crimes than for the crimes committed due to other causes, for the same criminal activity. No wonders, why hate crimes and the punishments pertaining to it are that controversial all over the world. Critics opposing to this particular school of thought find these laws breaching and violating the norms of fundamental human rights. It eats away the ethnic and moral balance of society. People not belonging to the hate-crime-laws-doctrine use the non-fallacious argument that averring the punishment due of hate crimes and biased motives give rise to crime punishments that does not come under the umbrella of hate crimes.
Recently, the supreme court of America nemine contradicente determined that hate crimes legislative acts that recognize biased or motivating speeches, as a criminal activity is a threat to fundamental rights of speech. (Hall, pp. 73-74) Because of the fact that they make people devoid of certain words and quarantined from their school of thought or basic mindset. Opponents to hate crime laws are of the opinion that these provide unnecessary punishment for bad values. As many people argue that legislative acts for racial and religious issues has provoked discourtesy and umbrage in prevailing societies. Moreover, this is not an end to it, these provisions give birth to an unjustifiable dual standardization of legislature, by predicating that it is more agonizing to do harm to one class of people than to hurt the other class.
Another critical factor attached to hate crime offenders is not every state of United States has enforced hate crime laws, the states that have ordained these laws have a few loopholes as well by not including all the classes present in the crime statistics of FBI. It is the case with the Great Britain as well; victimized targets are discriminated for their sexual orientation. In such circumstances, these omissions give rise to more unfairness and injustice. In addition to that, once hate crime laws are demonstrated and founded properly their inner circle keeps on increasing in terms of endangered communities. A group of people argues that hate crime laws discredit the law itself and divide the oneness of society.
On contrary to these oppositions, many a people consider it as the one of the most rewarding laws to the cause of humanity. They argue that it is not always the hate or the opinion that is penalized but the crime so the course of human right is not violated at all. They believe that it is not the expression, idea or the thought which is being suppressed, but the consequences of these thoughts that would make any hate crime offender punished. The expression or the thought is only the key that leads to that torturous path and is not the exact reason of imposing extra punishment. They are of the opinion that the additional penalty is imposed due to the additional harm the criminal causes, contrary to the same crimes committed under other motives. They render much harm and hurt to the victims so they are completely deserving for some extra penalty, “heavier punishment for the bigger crimes” is the most fundamental rule of crime sentencing. (Bernhardt, pp. 23-25)
They argue that this is necessary for hate crime offenders committing vehement offensive crime to face such penalties more severely than the non-hate offenders who did for some other cause. Let us take an example of two criminals, all hurt and badly injured. Then, you go to one of them and give him the news that as you committed the hate crime, you are going to be punished more badly then your fellow. Punishment for hate crime offenders can be rationalized with the fact that hate crime induce greater personal and societal trauma. This can be justified as a right punishment because hate crimes cause terrible torture and trauma to one’s life, not only physical but mental and psychological as well. And gradually, societies begin to get affected.
As the paper has seen the matter, extra punishment for hate crime offender should not be imposed. No doubt, diamond cuts a diamond but not the human. Hate crime offenders need to be treated psychologically with care and due concern and not to be punished vehemently. Because an eye in return of an eye will always make this world blind but love conquers everything.
Bernhardt, William. Hate Crime. Ballantine Books, 2003.
Gerstenfeld, Phyllis. B. Hate Crimes. Sage Publications, 2004.
Hall, Nathan. Hate Crime. Willan Publishing, 2005.