Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Matthew Shepherd Act lands in Purgatory

Regarding the Matthew Shepard Act (S 1105) which is included in the conference report of the Department of Defense Authorization Act (HR 1585) to be sent to the President's desk for signature:

I'm mystified that legislation like this has to be fought for and strategically maneuvered to keep it from dying. Bizarre. Like hate crimes are okay as long as they're confined to certain federally approved minorities? And verbal or physical abuse of those minorities is a form of free speech and must be protected? I wish I understood the complex logic behind the resistance to hate-crimes legislation. I wish I understood why the absence of such legislation is essential for the safety and well-being of the nation. But I don't.


DJ said...

If you understood how the legislative branch works, you'd also have an ulcer...

Catnapping said...

Frankly, I'd like to see all violent crimes treated as hate crimes. I'd like to see anyone who hurts ANYONE go to prison.

A man hits a cop, he goes to prison for years; he hits a neighbor, he goes to jail maybe a few days; he hits his wife or his kid, they send him counseling.

Our prisons are filled with non-violent check-forgers and petty thieves, while rapists and other violent thugs are walking the streets.

Let's make violence a crime. Let's put people who attack other people in prison for 10 years minimum...first offense. If they do it again...they get a choice: life without parole, or euthanasia.

This goes for beatings, robbery, rape (This would include pedophiles since they are rapists, period.), and drunk driving.

Murder and attempted murder would be life without parole, first offense. (I've never understood how botched murder attempts should bring lighter sentences.)

Decriminalize MJ, so that we can empty our prisons of political prisoners. Sentence petty non-violent criminals to community service. God knows, we could use the help.

Once we start addressing all violent crime severely, we won't have need to make new laws protecting targeted groups. We need to teach our children that ANY intent to harm others (no matter who they are) unacceptable, and will NOT be tolerated.