In criminal justice class, I learned that motive does not have to be proven in a criminal justice case, nor is it the business of the government to judge on count of motive.

When you are convicted of murder, the official stance of the government is that it does not matter if you killed someone for drug money, for money to feed your kids, randomly, in a psychotic rage, because the victim was black, because the victim was gay, because you were in a hurry to get to work and wanted to drive on the sidewalk as a shortcut, because you saw murder on TV and thought it looked cool, or because the victim slept with your wife. The victim's rights were violated equally no matter what the reason was. It has nothing to do with morality -- the reason murder is illegal is not because it is "immoral" by some rich white guy's standards but rather because it severely violates the rights of the victim.

Passing hate crime legislation would allow the government to pass moral judgements on people. This is not the place of the government. Who decides what is moral and what is not? It certainly shouldn't be those in Washington - everything would be legal! I do think it's immoral to kill someone because of their race or sexual orientation. But do I want to have my government enforce my morals or rather protect my rights? Seeing as how everyone has a different set of morals, I'd like to stick to the Constitution and protecting our rights.

In the eyes of the government, every murderer is equally guilty. And unless you want the government to start forcing someone else's morality onto you, I suggest you fight to keep it that way. This is America. We condemn actions, not thoughts or speech.

rgladwell: Intent != Motive. The different degrees of murder are based upon how calculated and cold-blooded the murder was and with what intent the crimes were committed. They are not based on why the person committed the crime. And I assure you that my stances on additonal punishment for paedophiles and the War on Some Drugs (stances which I have not expressed on here yet) are quite consistent with my argument here.