Monday, May 7, 2007

Editorial: "Congress isn't concerned about the crucial issues"

Isn't it interesting how closely the "crucial issues" here track with Republican campaign talking points?

I have no doubt that the Congress would be working on truly crucial issues if it felt that the Current Resident could be persuaded to allow the legislation to become law -- crucial issues like: our broken health-care system; the climate change that threatens our economy, our food supply and, as in Kansas this weekend, our lives; our public infrastructure; our suspect voting system; pick your issue. As it is, the Congress is concentrating on the public issue that voters clearly agree is most crucial right now -- getting our troops out of Iraq. That is responsive representation, exactly what our system is designed to provide.

Does the editor simply neglect to mention that the single person most responsible for creating a "Social Security debacle" is the Current Resident, who is spending our Social Security trust fund in Iraq far faster than any previous administration has dared? Or is that a conscious choice?

But his real goal here is to criticize the extension of hate-crimes protection to the disabled and sexually different. He fails to understand the difference between a crime and a hate crime -- or perhaps he wants to make the reader dumber in that regard. It's really pretty simple. If you assault a black person, it's an assault. If you assault a black person because she's black and a prosecutor can prove it, it becomes a hate crime and additional penalty is applied. Saying "the government will prosecute crimes against certain classes with greater enthusiasm than crimes against every-day folks" with this is evil demagoguery.

This goes beyond opinion, folks. These are lies.

6 comments:

courierfriend said...

So, Steve, are you saying that if someone murders my brother, that's bad, but if someone murders my brother because he's gay, that's even worse? It's still my brother, and he's still dead. Someone still killed him. When the killer is being prosecuted (excuse my passive voice, please), I don't care WHY he killed my brother, only that he did so. Knowing the reason isn't going to make me feel any better or worse.

leftturnclyde said...

Steven you meant current president ..Right ?
3/4 vootie
CR this Law is meant to be a societal training tool. dDoes our society need training on this issue ? Yup
How effective it will be in stopping this kind of crime ..I dunno.
Seems to me that the only reason this is such a flash point issue is that it seems to be veiwed by the right as away to give alternative lifestyle types extra protection under the law.
as usual they're wrong !
This kind of law would apply to anybody attacked because they're white ,or black ,or gay ,or republican..
SO checkitout
as some of you may know simply yelling at somebody in an agressive manner constitutes assault,so..
Saying :You Fucking Republican
could become assault plus a compounding hate crime violation

Should make for some facinating courtroom type entertainment .

Steven Ayres said...

=> are you saying that if someone murders my brother, that's bad, but if someone murders my brother because he's gay, that's even worse?

I'm not saying anything is good or bad, I'm talking about the facts of the law.

If someone hurts your brother because he's gay, under hate-crime rules the law would provide for a stronger penalty. A penalty is not proxy revenge for the victim or the victim's family, it's restitution to the state for an offense against us all, and a stronger penalty is a statement by the state that the crime is worse.

A robbery with a knife gets a lower penalty than the same one with a gun. The victim didn't lose any more money, but the state frowns more on the latter. The logic is fairly simple, I think.

Steven Ayres said...

=> Steven you meant current president ..Right ?

I meant exactly what I wrote: the Current Resident.

leftturnclyde said...

Steven I agree with the sentiment of your reply to CF but this statement needs to be addressed

"A robbery with a knife gets a lower penalty than the same one with a gun."

nope ,you get charged with the same offense and same penalty if convicted
heres the arizona statute

per A.R.S. §13-1902, "Robbery" occurs when a person is taking the property of another (either from a person's body or immediate presence) against that person's will, and the Defendant threatens or uses force against the alleged victim with the intent to either coerce the surrender of the property or to prevent resistance of the alleged victim while taking or retaining the property. Sometimes this charge can be filed if a person simply tells somebody "give me your wallet, . . ., or else". Standard Armed Robbery is a class four (4) felony.

Also, in Arizona, per A.R.S. §13-1903, "Aggravated Robbery" occurs when the Defendant also has an accomplice during the Robbery. This is a class three (3) felony and is more serious than standard Robbery.

In addition, in Arizona, "Armed Robbery" per ARS §13-1904 occurs during a Standard Robbery when the Defendant is either armed with a deadly weapon, or a simulated deadly weapon, or if the Defendant actually use or threaten to use a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument (or simulated deadly weapon). If this occurs, then this is the most serious of the Robbery felonies and it will be elevated to a class two (2) felony designation and an "Allegation of Dangerousness" will be filed.

Whether in the Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, per A.R.S. §13-1902, "Robbery" occurs when a person is taking the property of another (either from a person's body or immediate presence) against that person's will, and the Defendant threatens or uses force against the alleged victim with the intent to either coerce the surrender of the property or to prevent resistance of the alleged victim while taking or retaining the property. Sometimes this charge can be filed if a person simply tells somebody "give me your wallet, . . ., or else". Standard Armed Robbery is a class four (4) felony.

Also, in Arizona, per A.R.S. §13-1903, "Aggravated Robbery" occurs when the Defendant also has an accomplice during the Robbery. This is a class three (3) felony and is more serious than standard Robbery.

In addition, in Arizona, "Armed Robbery" per ARS §13-1904 occurs during a Standard Robbery when the Defendant is either armed with a deadly weapon, or a simulated deadly weapon, or if the Defendant actually use or threaten to use a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument (or simulated deadly weapon). If this occurs, then this is the most serious of the Robbery felonies and it will be elevated to a class two (2) felony designation and an "Allegation of Dangerousness" will be filed.

Possible Punishment

If a "Standard Robbery" has occurred, then this class four felony carries a first offense penalty of anywhere from probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail; or prison of a minimum of one (1) year to a maximum of three and three quarters (3.75) of incarceration. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the "prison only" range is two and one quarter (2.25) years to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the "prison only" range is six (6) years to fifteen (15) years of incarceration.

If an "Aggravated Robbery" has occurred, then this class three (3) felony carries a first offense penalty of anywhere from probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail; or prison of a minimum of two (2) years to a maximum of eight and three quarters (8.75) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction then the "prison only" range is three and one half (3.5) years to sixteen and one quarter (16.25) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the "prison only" range is seven and one half (7.5) years to twenty-five (25) years of incarceration.

If an "Armed Robbery" has occurred, then this becomes a class two (2) felony "dangerous offense." A first offense penalty is a minimum of seven (7) years in prison; a presumptive of ten and one half (10.5) years in prison; and a maximum of twenty-one (21) years in prison. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the "prison only" range is four and one half (4.5) years to twenty-three and one quarter (23.25) years in prison. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the "prison only" range is ten and one half (10.5) years to thirty-five (35) years of incarceration.

as you can see all you have to do is CLAIM you have a deadly weapon (of any kind) and you get a class 2 felony beef and are lookin at a minimum of 7 years in stir for a first offense .
anyway
like I said before if the hate crimes law does get passed it should make for some facinating courtroom entertainment.who wants to bet on how long it will take before the mostly conservative Supreme Court gets to rule on its constitutionality?

Steven Ayres said...

I wasn't quoting specific law in the example, Leftty, I was describing a principle. I'm sure using a gun is considered an aggravating factor in many offenses, but that's not the point.

I should add that hate-crime legislation is already in effect nationally -- just not for the disabled or sexually different.