I noted how, in his remarks at a rally for the Jena 6, Solmonese linked the Jena 6 to the savage murder of James Byrd in Texas. Apparently, he sought to link the two so he could take a swipe at George W. Bush who opposed a Texas hate crimes bill. As if that opposition made him responsible for the murder.
Yet, the two injustices had little in common. In the Jena case, people were faulting prosecutors for excessive penalties in going after 6 black teens accused of assaulting a white peer. In the other, people faulted then Texas Governor George W. Bush for not signing a Texas hate crimes law despite the savage murder of an African-American in the Lone Star State. Two of those convicted of the savage crime were sentenced to death, the other to life imprisonment.
Chris noted my point about Solmonese’s attempt to use of “Jena 6 beating to draw hate crime analogies.” I had observed that the alleged injustice was not the absence of hate crimes laws, but the presence of prosecutorial excess. But, Joe just had to fit it into the hate crimes’ paradigm, perhaps to have another accusation to show his true left-wing colors by invoking the demon common to his fellow leftists or perhaps because he wants to see the world in terms of all his pet issues.
Unlike Chris, I oppose hate crimes, largely because they punish people not for the degree of violence of their assault, but for their thoughts when committing said assault. Not only that, such laws only relate to certain hateful thoughts. If you hate someone because he’s gay or she’s black and act on that animosity, you’re guilty of a hate crime, but if you hate someone because you don’t like his political views or her material success and act on that animosity, you’re not.
All that said, if such laws could enhance the penalties for those who commit truly violent crimes, I might consider supporting them. That is, if a hate crimes law in Texas could more quickly dispatch James Byrd’s killers to the nether regions while one in Wyoming would ensure that Matthew Shepard’s murderers aren’t eligible for parole until the year of James T. Kirk’s birth. (The only reason those two creeps get to remain alive is because Shepard’s parents asked the court to show mercy on them.)
It is primarily the longstanding liberal abuse of habeas corpus laws that has kept Byrd’s killers alive for more than eight years after their convictions. Funny how those on the left will cry for hate crimes laws, but not reform of habeas corpus which might make it easier to execute those who murder people because of their race, religion or sexual orientation.
All that said, it’s amazing how quick the HRC Chief is to compare the overzealous actions of a prosecutor to a hate crime. It suggests he thinks of everything in the paradigm of his group’s pet issues. And that he is always looking for an excuse to take a swipe at George W. Bush.
Doesn’t really sound like someone who is looking out for the welfare of the gay community, but is instead focused on a more narrow partisan agenda.