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The Holocaust Museum and Domestic Hate Crimes

Update: Here's the complaint charging von Brunn with murder.

CBS Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen writes in Vanity Fair today on the Holocaust museum shooting and state of domestic hate crimes.

Hate—and hateful, violent action—is on the rise not in response to government’s gross negligence (Waco) or overzealousness (Ruby Ridge), but because of who our current leaders are, what they stand for, and the policy choices they are making. [More...]

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Federal Hate Crime Law Passes House

For the reasons expressed here, I'm disappointed to report that the Hate Crimes Law has passed the House. It's H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

As if murder doesn't already carry life in prison? As if assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, using a bomb or firearm in commission of a crime don't already carry stiff sentences?

At least the bill stops short of authorizing a penalty of life plus cancer.[More..]

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House Passes Hate Crime Legislation, Bush Signals Veto

I'm no supporter of federal hate crime legislation. We need to get away from mass federalization of crimes that are better left to the states. I also object to laws that punish thoughts behind the crime in addition to the crime itself.

The penalty for murder is life or death. Sex offense penalties are already sky high. Why make them higher?

Nonetheless, the House of Representatives today passed hate crime legislation. President Bush has signaled he will veto it. Fine by me.

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