Tag: hate crimes laws
Two things I already knew: Sen. Jeff Sessions is a danger as the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate's Hate Crimes bill is ill-conceived legislation.
Things I now know: It's worse than I thought. The ACLU reports the Senate yesterday approved an Amendment by Jeff Sessions expanding the use of the death penalty for hate crimes. (Why not just life plus cancer as a penalty while he's at it?)
From the ACLU and then an action alert to get this removed.
The U.S. Senate yesterday passed an amendment extending the death penalty for certain hate crimes. The amendment, sponsored by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), was added to the hate crimes amendment to the Defense authorization bill that passed last Thursday. In a letter sent to Senators, the American Civil Liberties Union urged lawmakers to oppose this misguided and wrong expansion of the federal death penalty.
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The ACLU has now weighed in on the Senate's passage of the Hate Crimes Law. In a nutshell, the ACLU says the House version is okay but the Senate version is not.
the Senate version of the hate crimes bill lacks the strong protections for speech and association included in legislation passed by the House of Representatives in June. The American Civil Liberties Union believes that without the speech and association protections included in the House bill, the Senate hate crimes legislation could have a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech and membership.
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The New York jury deliberating the case of DeWight Lee, charged with killing of Lateisha Green (legal name Moses Cannon), a transgender person, rejected the prosecution's argument for Second Degree Murder (with or without the hate crime attached) and returned a guilty verdict of First Degree Manslaughter (with the hate crime enhancement.)
The manslaughter finding was a determination that DeLee was only intending to seriously injure -- not kill -- someone when he fired one shot from a .22-caliber rifle into the car in which the victim was sitting with two others.
The murder charge accuses DeLee of intentionally killing Cannon. First-degree manslaughter would require a finding he only acted intentionally to cause serious physical injury but caused the victim's death instead. Second-degree manslaughter would mean the jury found DeLee acted recklessly by consciously disregarding the risk posed by his conduct [More...]
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Crimes committed out of hatred or bigotry toward the characteristics of any individual or group cannot be tolerated. They must be condemned in the strongest possible language. Law enforcement must be encouraged to prosecute such crimes to the fullest extent of our criminal laws. Yet, whether we should enact more criminal laws with stiffer penalties and which would authorize greater intrusion into our constitutionally protected areas of free speech, free thought, free association, and personal privacy, is a matter that should be studied carefully and thoroughly before any action is taken.
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