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Friday, March 23, 2012


Mark Anderson

One of the main problems with this case hasn't really been focused on. Zimmerman and the police both thought that Trayvon Martin didn't belong in the neighborhood. He lay in the morgue for three days as a John Doe after being killed. His father tried to contact and find him. The police didn't use his cell phone to try phone numbers or anything. That's why their botched case came forward. This hasn't been mentioned that much but it's crucial. He was a high school kid with skittles and an ice tea, it was raining but he should have keep his hoodie off, you don't want to look too suspicious in any gated community in Florida.

Tim Higgins

To put it mildly, the burden of proof now falls on Mr. Zimmerman to show that he is not guilty of murder

Are trying to rewrite the constitution? I believe you are innocent until proven guilty.


Here is the problem with this atrocious law.

Suppose Ravi thought watching a fat kid having sex was funny. He puts the webcam. What's his motive? Does he want the kid to feel afraid or intimidated of him? No. He's just find it ridiculous. He's a jerk, he's invading privacy, but he is not intimidating anyone, and more importantly, what you seem to ignore is that he has no INTENTION of intimidating the fat kid.

Is this a "bias intimidation" case? No. First problem: the blatant "unequal before the law" status of people according to these stupid "hate" crime laws. Fat kids are unequal before the law because they aren't named as a special category.

Suppose Ravi puts a webcam to watch the president of Rutgers have adulterous sex with the cleaning lady. He thinks it funny. Shows it to his friends. The whole campus thinks its hilarious. Is he trying to intimidate the president? No. Did he have any intent to intimidate the president? No. Is this a "bias intimidation" case? No.

Suppose Ravi puts a webcam to watch a homosexual roommate having sex (which is not this case, because in my opinion kissing is not sex). But just to make all three examples the same here, we're talking sex. Ravi thinks its funny. Is he trying to intimidate the homosexual roommate? No. Did he have any intent to intimidate the homosexual guy? No. Is this a "bias intimidation" case? According to this insane law, yes.

That's a lie.

This law is absurd.

Exactly what did Ravi do different in these three cases? Nothing!

Exactly what was different about his motive or intent in these three cases? Nothing!

In none of these cases did he intimidate someone nor did he have the intent to intimidate. Yet there is a law that says he can be convicted of having had the intent to intimidate someone when he didn't.

This law says that the real intent, the truth, is irrelevant. The person is going to be convicted even if they are innocent of any such intent.

Ravi's lack of intent to intimidate was recognized by the jury, wasn't it? But the law says reality is irrelevant. Even though he had no such motive, and is thus innocent of such an intent, he must be convicted.

This is atrocious.

These "hate" crime laws must be scrapped now.

It is completely unacceptable to have a law that instructs a jury to convict a person based on a lie.

We need to contact our representatives to correct this horrible legislation. The people who wrote this law have violated the most basic principle of justice.

The State was given a license to convict innocent people. Might as well get some branches, light up a fire, and burn some witches.

larry kurtz

Incremental deterrence until the legislature gets to chilling effect: classic. It's why Democrats need to control the bench when earth haters control the legislatures.

D.E. Bishop

I too support hate crime laws. And I am troubled by the Ravi case. I don't know his motives, I haven't seen him, spoken with him, noted his demeanor. I don't know if the verdict is correct. I know that it is troubling.

Often times in these hate crime cases, intent is pretty easy to infer. The criminal says, "I'm going to humiliate that fa**ot,. . kill a raghead. . ." or something similar.

Today there was a young black man walking down the sidewalk near me. He was wearing a hoodie. His pants were a little baggy, but not bad. I wondered, is he in danger right now? It was a very strange thought to have, and it shook me a bit.

I've seen some of the comments, blog posts, etc., that try to blame that boy. They say things like he shouldn't have been there, shouldn't have been dressed like that, shouldn't have looked suspicious, deserved it, etc. Very sick stuff.

I wonder what was going on with the killer? He's been in a lot of trouble with the law himself, much more than the victim. He's done a lot of "citizen policing" before. He sounds like the scary guy.

That killer needs to be arrested, charged with murder, and tried fairly.


D.E., I do not see this as a hate crime. I do see it as murder, most likely second degree murder. I believe the term "hate crime" is ridiculous. If you kill someone, it is murder. If you get sent to prison for life, what are they going to do? Keep you for another 10 years? If you are sentenced to death, are they going to kill you twice?

Ken Blanchard

Mr. Higgins: the presumption of innocence means that the prosecution must first make its case. Once it has done so, THEN the burden of proof rests on the accused. I am arguing that the facts as they are reported constitute a pretty good case against Mr. Zimmerman.

Alessandra: I agree that hate crimes law shouldn't make a difference in this case. That is because secretly filming someone having sex and then publicizing the film is an atrocious invasion of privacy, regardless of who is having sex with whom. If that isn't illegal, it damn well ought to be. If any reasonable person can conclude that Mr. Clementi's suicide was a result of Mr. Ravi's action, then a case has been made for a homicide. Practical jokes can be a lot of fun, but someone who attempts one has to take responsibility for his actions. If instead of a few laughs someone dies...

D.E. Bishop

Dugger, I believe the purpose of hate crime laws is deterrence, similar to the death penalty. It is true that such a law does not change a death penalty or life without parole. It does however, affect every other criminal charge.

If we believe that harsher penalties serve as a deterrence, then sentence enhancements for hate crimes should be equally supported.

Ken Blanchard

I agree with Mr. Bishop on conservative grounds. I think that hate crimes laws are useful because in our times people often believe that "the other" has no social protection. I think that such laws can protect everyone. Any X who assaults any Y because X hates all those Ys needs to know that the law will come down on him like a ton of bricks precisely because of the reason he done it. It doesn't matter which groups X and Y belong to.

Bill Fleming

Meanwhile, the real issue is the "stand your ground" law, and whether or not both Martin and Zimmerman were acting in self defense. It could be that the incident has the appearance of a "hate crime" when in fact (in this particular case) it was not. It could be that both people were acting in a perfectly "legal" manner in accordance with a particularly bad state law that stands in the way of justice for no particularly good reason.

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