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View Diary: TX lesbian beaten unconscious on playground in front of children (133 comments)

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  •  Yeah, that's the conundrum (1+ / 0-)
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    I'd say you have two major pieces of evidence:

    1) His steps. By that, I mean the decision he made to walk XX number of yards to engage in some form of conflict a person who had been talking to his kids (something that presumably he did not appreciate)

    2) His statements. Which, to my knowledge, referenced treating the woman like a man because she "thinks" she's a man.

    The actual words he spoke would be important in this scenario. I can imagine some things he could have said that would make a jury believe his steps were not a reflection of his desire to make an assault. But I haven't seen anything yet that would be so strong.

    It's not impossible to prove this enhancement to a jury. I just think it's difficult, and it could detract from the prosecution of the underlying crime (which is a necessary ingredient to having a hate crime anyway).

    It's important to understand that just because a bigot commits a crime doesn't mean it's a hate crime. Even if the bigot talks about his bigotry during the crime. There has to be a causal link between the prejudice and the action. Certainly the bigot's bigotry (whether demonstrated or not) is evidence of that causal link, but other motive-based evidence could exist (as it does here).

    In theory, you could select someone both because of their race/creed/sex/etc. and because of something they have done. And the statute technically allows for prosecution in these situations (it doesn't say a person has to select a victim ONLY because of their prejudice). In reality, though, the existence of two competing motives is probably too much reasonable doubt for a hate crimes enhancement to make it. I'm talking about plausible motives.

    "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

    by Grizzard on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 03:25:36 PM PST

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