Saturday, 22 November 2003


In some nations, crimes which are motivated by 'hate' or prejudice against a certain group are outlawed. Some examples of 'hate crimes' include the Matthew Shepard murder a several years ago in the United States.

Of course crimes against minorities should be enforced. Nonetheless, is there truly a need to isolate certain crimes as 'worse' simply due to their motivation? I'll offer an example:

Let us state that one person is assaulted for his wallet. In another instance, a gay man is assaulted simply because he is a homosexual. Should the latter crime be treated in a more serious fashion simply because 'hate' against a certain group of people was involved? In my mind, no.

In BOTH instances, an assault occured. Ergo, the perpetrators of both crimes should be charged with assault. In a free society, I don't believe any person should be punished for what they think or believe. It should only be actions that infringe on people's right to person and property that should be considered crimes.