Punishing Hate Crimes: My Opinion
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As a lesbian I am confronted with hate crimes frequently. I recall watching a play on the killing of Matthew Shephard at the University of Maryland. After the play you could somewhat tell whom in the crowd was homosexual and who was heterosexual. The gays and lesbians were seeking each other's company and many where in tears. The play had shown to us what could happen to us any day and anytime just because of who we are.
Yes, in some way a crime is a crime and all crimes comparable to each other should be treated the same. However this is not possible. Take for example murders - there are first and second degree murders, pre-meditated or not. The law has looked at the reason for killings for many years. I believe HATE should be another reason to look at when considering punishment of the offenders.
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