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Do you agree with Heidi M. Hurd's assignment, which she presents in "Why Liberals Should Hate 'Hate Crime Legislaiton'," that hatred and bias are not justifiable targets for increased criminal sanctio

Do you agree with Heidi M. Hurd's assignment, which she presents in "Why Liberals Should Hate 'Hate Crime Legislaiton'," that hatred and bias are not justifiable targets for increased criminal sanctions?

Use teh following scheme to mark essay assignents. It describes the basic components that you should include in your essay: You position on the issue; Arguments for your positions; objections to your arguements; Responses to the objection; Writing, grammar and style. 

Defending a position crafted in consideration of what a thoughful opponent might say is the core of the discipline of philosophy and of good essay writing. Such objections can be drawn from research into the contending positions on an issue, such as you might uncover as you consider the different ethical outlooks covered in this course, your imagination, research or conversations with others. 

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Hate Crime Legislation


Institutional Affiliation:


Hate Crime Legislation

When hate crimes occur, the families are deeply affected, and so is the local

community. There are also many instances where activities are brought to a halt, and there is

tension in the local communities, something that causes racial tension. Local authorities can

be unwilling or unable to investigate in such a matter and prosecute those involved properly.

In this stage, the Department of Justice will step in and will do what is historically rightful

and the role that they ought to play in the Democracy - prosecute. There is also the concern of

the rising hate crimes that have been fostered over the past several years. It is, however, to

repeat it that hate crimes will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted under the law. Also,

when local authorities are not able to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for

such crimes, then the Department of Justice is expected to step in and do so. More recently,

than at any time in history, there has been an opportunity to pass legislation providing

resources for local law enforcement to combat hate and violence (Heidi, 2001).

Unfortunately, extremists have brought fear and dishonest rhetoric into the conversation,

misleading and causing panic in tactics they have been doing for a long time.

My Position:

However, the agenda adopted from the highest level from the government has made

the free society responsible for what those at the top do. People, hearing the truth ought to

better understand why hate crime laws have the support of most of the Americans (Heidi,

2001). In the first place, the assumption that America does not have any federal regulations

put in place bias-motivated crime s is a lie. Under Federal Law 18, in the United States Code

section 245, passed in 1969, states that crimes are covered when the victims are selected due

to their race, color, religion, or of their national origin. It also includes them exercising their

rights when it terms of activities as voting or in attending school. The truth, however, is that

the hate crime has protected Americans from bigotry for decades (Maroney, 1998). Many

groups, however, support this legislation as it provides additional protection against selective

crimes where the victim is selected because of their religion or race, and color (Marcus-

Newhall, 2002). Though it is a lie that this can criminalize people's thoughts, the truth is far

from it, and this would not criminalize thoughts or speech but would only do so for violent

acts. The hate crime statutes only apply to violent crimes including those that cause bodily

injury or those resulting to death or involve the use of a firearm. It is however time for

Congress to expand the federal hate crime to include women, those with disabilities as well as

the LGBT community. It should also protect against crimes perpetrated due to one's race,

religion, or nationality. A strong stand must, however, be taken against violence committed

against others just because they are themselves (Marcus-Newhall, 2002). The governments'

purposes in the first place are to protect every citizen no matter their sexual orientation,

disability, color, race, or religion.

As she also puts it, hate crimes take a community to do it as many different people

make up the society, and therefore, it means that there are greater wrongs. Those who commit

such crimes are to get the blame and should pay for their offenses. It also seeks to make them

more blameworthy as one who premeditated the crime as compared to the one who

committed it. In this case, when one commits a hate crime, it is because of their biasness. Not

only that, but they end up being more likely to be found guilty of the crime as compared to

them committing the crime because of some maybe more personal reason.


There are elements of a crime, with two fundamental aspects being the mens rea and

actus reus. The two need to be proved that something is indeed a crime, and they can be

translated to mean guilty mind and guilty actions, respectively. According to Hurd, there are

discoveries in the mens rea due to the hate and bias crimes committed (2001). Also, she states

the three sets of legal doctrines providing the motivation to mens rea. The first includes the

courts considering motives as the base for bringing about the penalties for what they think

was wrongdoing. The second doctrine is the deliberation of the offenders to the penalties,

which also require the same amount of motivation to commit a bias or crime. In other words,

it is different when an offender premeditated a killing than when it found out that the killer

committed the crime while in a particular state of emotion or for various reasons ( Heidi,

2001). Lastly, the intentional crimes usually need the same motivation when it comes to hate

and biased crimes. They indeed do require fact finders and essential in finding out why the

offender committed the crime.

Though people motivated by hate and bias are seeking some particular state of affairs,

Hurd's response to this is that an offender can be motivated to commit crimes either through

hate or through prejudice, without necessarily having specific future affairs. As seen in her

response, a person's thought harbored against a person or a group of people is equivalent to

harboring mental states lasting a period and not just momentarily. To be a racist, therefore,

means that one has continued character traits that show over time. However, there are specific

crimes that do not need one to have any biased disposition. Instead, an offender can have an

intention without having the disposition in or to perform it.


In criminalizing character, there are enacted crimes, especially when there is some

harmful activity to either community or a victim, especially in a way that no other

communities capture. It can be said that there are two ways to justify hate crime legislation.

The first can be to claim that the victims of hate and bias-motivated crimes are harmed more

than victims of other crimes. As a result, hate-motivated defendants, therefore, should be

punished for perpetrating more significant harms and wrongs in the world. The second is to

claim that the defendants working out of bias or hate are to be heavily punished than other

motivated defendants. There are also sorts of harm that advocates of hate crimes have used in

justifying the penalties, such as hate crimes produce more significant physical injury to their

victims than other motivated crimes. Therefore, such perpetrators require no more

punishment. Another argument includes the use of bad temper as a proxy for more injury.

The biasness however in this is that whether a crime involves assault and whether it produced

severe damage, they should be provable than whether the defendant committed the attack due

to a bad temper due to racial hatred. It becomes easier to, therefore, prove physical injury as

well as how serious an assault was as compared to if the offender was in good mental states.


Heidi, H. (2001). Law and Philosophy: Hate Crime Legislation. 20(2), 215-232

Marcus-Newhall, A. (2002). Perceptions of Hate Crime Perpetrators and Victims as

Influenced by Race, Political Orientation, and Peer Group. American Behavioral Scientist,

46(1), 108-135

Maroney, T.A. (1998). Struggle Against Hate Crime: Movement at a Crossroads. New York

University Law Review, 73(2), 564-620

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