7 racially motivated offenses reported last year

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Source: FBI Hate Crimes Statistics, 2007; Graphic: Allison Miriani

— Despite its small population, Steamboat Springs ranked in the top five Colorado cities for reported hate crimes in 2007, according to FBI statistics released last week.

Seven hate crimes were reported in Steamboat Springs last year, all with racial or ethnic biases. Steamboat reported the same number of hate crimes as Colorado Springs - which has more than 40 times the population, according to figures used by the FBI.

The FBI defines hate crimes as those motivated in whole or in part by a bias against the victim's perceived race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.

Out of participating Colorado municipalities, only Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins reported more hate crimes than Steamboat in 2007 - 24, 10 and 8, respectively.

But the numbers do not necessarily tell the story, Steamboat Springs Police Capt. Joel Rae said.

"Obviously, society today is not tolerant of hate crimes. We're not tolerant of it. The community as a whole is not tolerant of it," Rae said. "That's why we have legislation against it."

Rae also noted the likelihood that more bias-motivated crimes go on across the state than are included in the FBI's figures.

"It is my belief that we are reporting hate crimes correctly and that other jurisdictions are probably not," Rae said.

More than 80 Colorado municipalities reported zero hate crimes to the FBI in 2007.

The biases behind hate crimes often are the result of a lack of understanding, and the best way to fix that is through first-hand experience, Integrated Community Executive Director Tatiana Achcar said.

"I'm a true believer in grassroots, community-based activities," Achcar said. "When you get to know your neighbors on a first-name basis, and the experience goes from general to specific : that breaks down bias and stereotypes."

"People need to understand each others' differences and similarities," Achcar said.

No hate crimes on the basis of religion, sexual orientation or disability were reported in Steamboat in 2007 - or thus far in 2008.

"People think of (hate crimes) as just people of color and people with accents. It's not," Achcar said.

However, incidents with a racial bias were by far the most common in Steamboat and across the state, according to the FBI's statistics.

Of the seven bias incidents reported in Steamboat Springs in 2007, five were anti-black. The other two were minor assault cases, one against a Hispanic man, and the other a case where a Central American man was targeted by four Hispanic men.

Rae said three of the five anti-black incidents in 2007 were reports of harassment and intimidation by a student at Steamboat Springs High School, Rae said.

On Jan. 10, student Randall Nelson was found not guilty of assault and disorderly conduct charges. While the two were in middle school, the other boy allegedly had been taunting and threatening Randall because he was black.

According to enrollment figures for the 2007-08 school year, 91.7 percent of students in the Steamboat Springs School District are white.

Earlier this year, a Steamboat man was sentenced in connection with the racially motivated stabbing of a black man at Sunpie's Bistro during the summer of 2007.

Christopher Allen Hamm, who is white, stabbed Alfred Turner in the thigh at the Yampa Street bar July 6, 2007, after telling him to "leave our white women alone."

In May 2008, Hamm pleaded no contest to felony charges of second-degree assault and bias-motivated crime. His sentence included 90 days in jail, four years of unsupervised probation, 68 hours of community service, and $1,400 in restitution and lost wages to Turner.

Biases, racism and discrimination exist in all communities, and "putting on a lid on it" is not the answer, Achcar said. Diverse experiences are the key to change, she said.

"We all have biases - that's the bottom line," Achcar said. "It's about how willing you are to recognize them, how open you are to change."

Comments

justice4all 6 years, 1 month ago

It is obvious that Joel Rae is trying to cover his tracks to make his department "look" better. Just saying that "we do it correctly and others probably do not" is a weak attempt to cover some tracks. How about the Randal Nelson case. An innocent teen was charged with a felony for only protecting himself against racists. Sure,he was found NOT GUILTY but it cost him over $40,000.00 to have a jury say it. The white teens that assaulted Randal were never charged.------- And Rae says that his department is reporting correctly------. Well maybe so, the department only reports the ones that are charged. This is yet another case of our DA and Rae doing a poor job of adequately investigating and charging those that should be charged. Frankly a lot of us would like to see the Dept and DA be required to refund teen Nelson and the others all costs incurred as a result of their not doing their job and investigating fully. The Statute of Limitations has not run out and it is not too late to charge the ones that assualted Nelson. Let us hope that the new DA will rid our district of the likes of their investigator and the Asst DA's that have done such a terrible job. May be that once again we can have Justice 4 all.

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Pres Plumb 6 years, 1 month ago

Amen. Easily the worst miscarriage of justice in my 14 plus years in Routt County. There have been others but this one was off the charts.

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stillinsteamboat 6 years, 1 month ago

From what I understand a SSHS Jr. came to school Friday dressed in a KKK outfit.

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

It it totally lost on me why a stabbing by a white guy of another white guy is any different than a white guy stabbing a black guy. Aren't they both just criminal acts?

The designation of "hate" crimes is a bunch of feel goofy liberal nonsense. The prospect that the sentencing guidelines for supposed "hate" crimes should be different from a similar crime committed black on black or white on white is just silly.

Crime is crime. Sheesh!

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papafu 6 years, 1 month ago

So JLM, you are obviously a conservative, white, male who sees life for all as you see it for yourself.

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localboy17 6 years, 1 month ago

Yeah but a hate crime is given the title of "hate crime" when it is performed with a racial motivation. When it is premeditated based upon the victims race, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. then it should have a special catagory. White guys don't stab white guys because they are white, and the same for black guys.

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localboy17 6 years, 1 month ago

Also captain Rae and the steamboat police department do as good of a job as they can. Think about how many parents urge kids to think about people in a certain way, then when the kids go out and follow the ignorance of their parents, the parent do everything they can to silence and cover up whatever happened. Maybe the next time you hear a joke about black people or a joke about how wide women's mouths are, you should tell the person who told it to go to hell. So until you are doing all you can to promote equality, don't give the police department a hard time. "Even laughing at sexist, or racist joke promotes or reinforces the feelings that that person has about telling it. This makes them tell it more." Just think about it.

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

OK, so if a black guy stabs me, I should expect him to get a bigger sentence than if a white stabs me. Huh? Do I have that correct?

Isn't that just the "crack" v "powdered cocaine" inequality that all liberals are ranting about? Which I also support, BTW.

"Equal justice before the bar. Colorblind justice." You do remember that the statue of Justice has a blindfold over her eyes, do you not? But, I guess it's OK to peek and see what color the criminals really are, eh? Or is it just the victims? It gets so confusing sometimes. But luckily there is no profiling, eh? LOL

You goofy liberals!

Hate crimes are a goofy liberal designation which makes them feel like they are doing something to make America a safe place for other goofy liberals. Let's eradicate and punish all crimes. Maybe we should simply enforce the laws we have rather than creating a set of liberal elitist crimes.

BTW, I wonder what the status is of Hispanic crime on Lithuanians just now? Hmmmmm!

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

No, it's simply my initials. That's not a "love" crime is it? LOL

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localboy17 6 years, 1 month ago

Number 1, I am a republican, and which party I mostly associate is erroneous on all accounts. If a black guy stabs you because you are a whitey, then you better believe that it will be prosecuted as a hate crime. Stop writting off hate crimes as the child of liberals simply because it goes over your head. I know it is hard to understand that people commit crimes with malice in their hearts, but trust me it happens.

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

Uhhh, it may be a revelation to you but most crimes are committed with "malice in their hearts" cause they are after all CRIMES!

It's a lesser crime if a guy robs me and stabs me if he is white and I am white; but, it is a greater crime if a black man stabs me and robs me, eh?

There is goofy. There is liberal goofy. And, now there is apparently Republican goofy. All in all, it is still goofy.

"Hate crimes" is a category of crimes invented by liberals to make them feel good about their enlightened views while they go about generally coddling criminals.

How about a "hate crimes" rewrite of the Miranda Warning? LOL

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MrTaiChi 6 years, 1 month ago

The logic justifying hate crime legislation is that there are multiple victims. The criminal act is supposed to harm and intimidate the wider group. Apparently in most of America now, indirectly hurting someone's feelings about who they are is a criminal offence. This is PC unnecessarily intruded into the criminal justice system. Judges have always had the discretion to increase the severity of a sentence up to the maximum, for crimes of particular viciousness, cruelty, or premeditation.

Isn't his an example of the left wing using their influence to gain legislation supporting their world view, the same heinous behavior by fundamentalist Christians that they rail against?

In Rout County Is the use of deadly force justified to defend oneself from racial taunts? How about suspicious facial expressions?

In Rout County if I give some guy a fat lip for propositioning me or trying to touch my private parts in a men's room am I going to be charge with a hate crime in addition to assault? Inquiring tourists want to know.

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localboy17 6 years, 1 month ago

First of all, not all crimes are committed with malice bub. Some are committed from boredom and bad parenting, like vandalism, or shop lifting. Secondly, it is a greater crime if a black guy stabs you because your white. Yes a lot of crimes of are committed because of hate and thus it would be ridiculous to make a separate category, but some crimes exceed normal hatred and are committed because people are different, no other reason. Those should and do now have a category. It would be a bigger version of someone saying that anyone with the initials JLM should get the you know what beaten out of them, no other details of their life should be taken into account except their initials. You would say that isn't fair. Well a white guy shouldn't be beaten for being white, and a gay guy shouldn't be beaten for his sexual orientation.

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localboy17 6 years, 1 month ago

By the way to whomever wrote about the randal nelson case, IT WAS WITH THE COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE, not the sspd.

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm, Goofy, the common definition of malice --- desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another --- and the legal definition of malice --- evil intent on the part of a person who commits a wrongful act injurious to others --- seem to cover the waterfront as it relates to intent.

How is it a "greater crime" if a black chap pokes 4" of cold steel between the ribs of a white guy but not a black guy?

Crimes are generally described based upon the legal concept of "intent" or "aforethought" as premeditated, non-premeditated, "of passion" or accidental (e.g. manslaughter).

This definition of crimes adequately covers the concept of premeditation based upon every concept --- stabbing guys w/ crew cuts, stabbing short people, stabbing girls and yes, stabbing persons with hateful distinctions based upon their skin color or sexual orientation.

It is a goofy liberal concept to differentiate crimes based upon only a couple of superficial distinctions and thereby to enact greater sentences for those crimes. Crime is crime and 4" of cold steel is well, 4" of cold steel.

I am pretty sure that a gay guy who gets his butt whipped because he pulled into a parking space cutting off a redneck and a gay who gets his butt whipped because he was simpering along on the sidewalk are both the same crime and both entitled to the same justice. In both instances the redneck needs a bit of criminal justice while the sexual orientation of the victim is meaningless.

Hate crimes --- a goofy liberal concept espoused by liberals to pretend they are tough on crime while inveighing for the release of any and all types of criminals.

I wonder if it would be a hate crime to pop a liberal in the head with a Koran? LOL

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localboy17 6 years, 1 month ago

IF the gay guy did nothing to anyone else, they only beat him because they hate gays and he is around, it should be a different crime. We should protect people in general for their specific traits that make them individuals when people kill, stab, beat or whatever them because of and only because of those traits.

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stillinsteamboat 6 years, 1 month ago

Obviously JLM is a "WASP" with money and an abundance of ignorance regarding racial and gay issues. I hope he goes to the Islands when the election is over.

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

in 1988, Colorado enacted legislation outlawing "bias-motivated crimes". The actor must have the "intent to intimidate or harass another person because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation".

The actor is guilty if, acting with this intent, he also:

1) causes bodily injury to another person; or

2) damages or destroys another person's property; or

3) does or says something likely to hurt the other person or his property (whipping a crowd into a frenzy, e.g.).

"Bias-motivated crime" is a separate crime, and more serious than the same crime without the bias (It bumps 3rd degree assault [causing bodily injury] from a high misdemeanor to a low felony).

JLM queries: "I wonder if it would be a hate crime to pop a liberal in the head with a Koran?"

If you intended to intimidate or harass the liberal (only in every post JLM) and if liberalness is a "physical or mental disability" (we know where you stand on this one JLM), and the pop in the head caused pain [bodily injury], then you've just committed a class 5 felony, punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000! Come on down!

Be on the safe side of the law---pop yourself in the head.

The Randall Nelson case should NOT be counted as a hate crime, because the racist tormentor was never charged (although his jaw was broken). The only one charged was Randall, who pled self defense and won.

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

LOL, you goofy liberals. So what if I were a WASP (or how about a Muslim or even Irish?) with $$$, is that a sin (I earned it all myself) or am I now a member of a protected hate group? LOL

BTW, I am definetely going to the islands but I'm coming back!

Hate crimes (well except for those against WASPs w/ $$$ or even Irishmen w/ $$$) are a concoction of underused liberal minds looking for some way to justify their oh-so-cool view of the wacky world they live in. Hate crimes are dopey.

Liberals, you can't love them and you can only bag 4 of them per season!

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localboy17 6 years, 1 month ago

your ignorance is so apparent when you just write everything off to us being "goofy liberals". Im not liberal. Mr TaiChi, you would not be charged with a hate crime because your intentions were not to hurt someone based upon one of those categories. Plus a gay man is going to know that you are not gay and they dont just run around slapping behinds. I dont think you have to worry. Also JLM it is a little unfair of you to compare liberals to grouse or geese, going and shooting people because your an ignorant person isn't cool anymore, it never really was anyway.

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justice4all 6 years, 1 month ago

shawant, You are right about the Randal Nelson case. It was never charged and thank God that Randal was found not guilty. As stated earlier, the Statute of Limitations has not run and it is not too late to charge the ones that assualted Randal. Now let us put pressure on the DA's office to do their job. Time will tell if we elected the RIGHT DA to do the job. I wish Ms Oldham great success and pray that she will keep her campaign promises and clean up her office. She could start by "taking out he trash".

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

The real problem with liberals is they have absolutely no sense of humor. None. BTW, I never compared liberals to grouse or geese (both of which I have shot and enjoyed eating very, very much). Some of my best friends are grouse.

No, I was comparing them to fish --- sea trout, if you must know --- a very noble fish and one that I always catch and release. I would never harm a liberal as I was undoubtedly sent here to take care of them --- well, at least to support them according to Darth Obama! LOL

Now, calm down and simulate a sense of humor!

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playa46 6 years, 1 month ago

C'mon JLM- "The real problem with liberals is they have absolutely no sense of humor"? You're starting to use terrible arguments again.

The difference between hate crimes and any other crime is because you are beaten or killed for something out of your power: your race. Crimes like shoplifting you can control, but not how you look.

Please, your so tied to your Republican Flag. Come on down please.

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

OK, so you would be exhibit #1 as to liberals having neither a sense of humor nor a sense of context. Nor the ability to discern a bit of tongue in the cheek, eh?

This issue has absolutely nothing to do w/ politics nor party. This is normal folks v goofy liberals. It is reason and fact based rather than the will of the electorate.

The issue with hate crimes is not that they are crimes and not that they are motivated by particular issues --- race, height (oops, is that right? LOL), sexual orientation, gender (?) --- but rather that they are in some manner a "special" crime and therefore entitled to some special sentencing guidelines.

The decision to stab someone is made worse by the characteristics of the victim? Huh?

This is similar to the disparity between crack (allegedly the drug of choice of black street criminals) and powdered cocaine (allegedly the drug of choice of white suburban Moms and frat boys) sentencing guidelines.

Every crime has at its root a deviant thought. But why are "hate" crimes a special class of crime which is deserving of some special consideration? Isn't murder enough just by itself?

This is typical fuzzy liberal logic.

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playa46 6 years, 1 month ago

JLM- OPEN YOUR EYES PLEASE

I am starting to wonder if you have alzheimers, do you realize what you are typing? You say this has nothing to do with politics, but your argument is "This is normal folks v goofy liberals." Do you remember what a liberal is? Ya know, Democratic Liberals or vice-versa.

You seem to be in this to say that Liberals are simply "goofy". I would like to see your thoughts why they are "goofy".

I said terrible arguments as well becuase you said that when faced with hate crimes, we simply have to have a sense of humore or laugh at them to understand the seriouseness of these crimes.

I don't know why you simply try to force info I give you out of brain because you stay far right from other standards. I hate repeating this to you over and over.

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

Playa, if you were a bit more coherent, you would be incoherent. I can't quite figure out what you are saying. It must be the Oldtimers setting in. The only question is whether it's me or you?

I think the term "hate" crimes is a meaningless distinction and regardless of what definition is hung on it, the crime itself does not become more abhorrent just because there is a different reason. It is the crime which is important not the motivation.

A murder is hateful enough in its own right and does not require any further context to make it reprehensible. Just punish the crime without using an artificial lense to view it.

How do you think we have survived so long without the aritificial distinction of hate crimes?

Liberals (liberal meaning a view of life rather than a political persuasion) like goofy distinctions pertaining to crime because they instiinctively favor criminals over victims.

Of course, what is a conservative? A liberal who was mugged! LOL

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oldskoolstmbt 6 years, 1 month ago

EXCELLENT STILLIN"!! NA,NA,NA,NA,HEY,HEY, HEY...GOODBYE

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

And what's a liberal? A conservative who was arrested! LOL So walk me through this JLM, because you know that my liberalism is a mental disability. "Liberals (liberal meaning a view of life rather than a political persuasion) like goofy distinctions pertaining to crime because they instiinctively favor criminals over victims." Doesn't the "aritificial distinction of hate crimes" you decry do just the opposite? One of your assertions must be false. When a conservative (or liberal) claims to know the wants and desires of liberals (or conservatives) they just sound silly.

Rush Limbaugh and his ilk make a great living preaching to the choir about what liberals/feminists/homosexuals/environmentalists "like" or "want". How would he know? How would you? That he is wrong makes no difference to the choir. This isn't the pulpit and we're not the choir. Tell us what you think, not what you think the other side thinks. Stick to what you know and you won't sound so goofy. Ditto!

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playa46 6 years, 1 month ago

JLM-

I am simply pointing out your flaws in your "flawless argument". You seem to smile and pretend you don't know what I am talking about.

Again, with your "find a sense of humor in hate crimes" talk, would you simply sit and laugh to how slaves were treated, how about Hitler? That seems like your idea for hate crimes. Your party has to find this "sense of humor" in hate crimes because you don't agree with Gays, and sometimes even other races. You like to pretend that everything is going on fine.

But when someone who is killed for being white, then what happens?

Back on the "goofy liberals" subject, I was pointing out how you said this has nothing to do with politics, just people v. goofy liberals. Do you even know what a liberal is? Do you just say this to make yourself sound smart? A liberal is someone that has something to do with POLITICS.

So in your last post, while you smile and pretend that you don't know what I am talking about, think before you say, as my Dad always said.

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

JLM: I flunked your test! I'm not worthy! Boy are you arrogant! Give an example of "a distinction as it relates to felony crime as to the identity or motivation of the criminal." If you can do that, I may respond. If not, gotcha!

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

Shaw, babe, we can agree on one thing Rush and his ilk are the same kind of blowhards as are Alberto Gore and his ilk?

Playa, you are creating linkages which are not intended. Liberals have no sense of humor --- separate thought from hate crimes are a silly distinction.

While it is a fine distinction, I intended for you to discern the difference between "politics" which is the science or art of managing the affairs of a government; and, "liberal" which is often self-described as a philosophy, even a governing philosophy, which is progressive and which advocates for maximum individual license in one's individual affairs.

I further make the distinction that political parties are both involved in politics as defined above as well as espousing a governing philosophy which may be described at times as either conservative or liberal. Obvious and well known political parties are Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians.

In fact, there are liberal Republicans (which I would use to self-describe my political and governing philosophy as I am quite liberal/progressive on education and social issues (not including abortion) as well as trade and commerce) as well as conservative Democrats.

I think that from a philosophical perspective, I view criminal justice in a very traditional manner. If you do the crime, then you do the time.

I see no reason --- nor have I heard an intellectually sound, fact based and well reasoned argument --- to make a distinction as it relates to felony crime as to the identity or motivation of the criminal. The crime itself is sufficient to proscribe punishment with the sentencing guidelines providing sufficient latitude to maximize the punishment when the crime is particularly outrageous to community standards. That is, after all, the reason why sentencing guidelines provide such broad latitude.

I hope this helps the voices in your head to go away! LOL

Liberals, you can't live with and there is a move afoot to lower the bag limit to only 3 per day! <<< this would be the "joke" element, so please just frown and go on about your business, liberals

Sheesh!

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

JLM: if Al Gore tells his audiences what conservatives "want" then he's the same as Rush. I don't know. I don't pay much attention to him. He had all those charts and things but I don't recall him telling us what the motivations of his detractors are. Rush is spewing it all the time, just like a political attack ad.

The sentencing guidelines are vastly different depending on whether you are in federal or state court. The federal judge has almost NO latitude--you just look up the sentence on a chart. Judicial discretion bowing to the greater good of consistency. This is why some federal judges have quit the bench--frustrated because they can't use their wisdom to fashion an appropriate sentence.

People have forever been using the criminal justice system as the main tool for social engineering. You don't want teenagers to drink? Make it illegal. Etc. etc. The laws which increase punishment depending on who the victim is (black, a wife) is just an extension of that flawed rationale. If we have a racism/domestic violence/drug problem, we simply "declare war on" [criminalize] it.

These efforts simply don't work very well. Why? One school of thought holds that if the laws don't solve the problem, then they just aren't tough enough (the classic conservative approach). Another school of thought is that we are using the wrong tool in the first place. Anyone who suggests this in public is accused of being "soft on crime" (liberal).

I'll take a stab at your challenge: You must first assume that punishment has a deterrent effect on the ill sought to be prevented (Careful! Don't go all liberal on me!) Most laws have a moral underpinning. The more morally reprehensible the crime, the harsher the punishment. If racism is morally wrong, then committing a racially motivated crime should have an enhanced punishment.

If you slide off the road and your passenger is injured, you are charged with careless driving causing injury, a misdemeanor. If you are drunk, then you are charged with vehicular assault, a felony. Same accident, same injury, different "motivation".

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

Much, maybe most, discretion in our judicial system is exercised by the Prosecutor --- witness the decision by the Manhattan DA to NOT seek any charges against Elliott Spitzer. The "well, he's suffered enough" logic. Hmmm, I wonder if a young black kid in Harlem would get such consideration? I think not.

In Federal cases, there is good reason to discourage discretion by the Judge (not the Prosecutor) as the jurisdiction is literally the entire country and though Federal Courts are administered in different Districts, the application of the law and the law itself is supposed to be consistent. Not so in State Courts which literally differ by.............State.

Another application of judicial discretion is in the application of "good time" to the actual length of a sentence. A fair standard as it is directly within the control of an inmate. Act good, get time off.

I think my example was focused on "felonies" --- read it carefully.

The example you cite is a misdemeanor v a felony. Exactly why I spoke only of felonies. Again, this would be an example of Prosecutorial discretion rather than an imperative written into the law. I would be in favor of this in a limited and focused application but it is something quite different from the mandatory recognition of a crime as a "hate" crime.

I am favor, just slightly in favor, of Prosecutorial discretion because it is based upon the judgment of someone who must prepare and try the case. He has a bit of skin in the game.

The Prosecutor may know that the evidence is weak or that getting someone off the streets or setting a strong example are ancillary benefits of disposing of a case in a particular manner. I respect that judgment and I differentiate that judgment from a Judge, particularly a lazy Judge, who simply wants to dispose of the case.

I will have to give you a D- on your submittal for having overlooked my predicate of a "felony" crime. I will give you a chance for extra credit because your argument was otherwise well reasoned and because you have admitted that liberals attempt to engineer society by manipulating the justice system. On second thought, I will have to give you a C+ because of your admission that Al Gore is a blowhard a la Rush Limbaugh.

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oldskoolstmbt 6 years, 1 month ago

jlm...give it a break....it's you and a few others that blog just mcsame....have a breath of fresh air buddy...nobody's looking..ahhhhhhhhhhhh

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stillinsteamboat 6 years, 1 month ago

Anyone who believes Rush is an idiot. He is an entertainer, albeit a very dangerous one who I fear may encourage some unstable sick person to harm someone. He is like any other drug addict, he'll say anything for the almighty dollar.

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oldskoolstmbt 6 years, 1 month ago

and local boy...your thoughts are way above and beyond most of these pupil's are..keep up the good work:)

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

I think you must have a reading comprehension problem. What I said was:

"I see no reason nor have I heard an intellectually sound, fact based and well reasoned argument to make a distinction as it relates to felony crime as to the identity or motivation of the criminal."

I would further expand that to add the "victim".

Crime is crime and should be punished. The discretion exercised by a Prosecutor to determine the charges (including lesser included charges) is sufficient to tailor the punishment to the crime and no further consideration is necessary to create a bogus set of crimes (in this instance "hate" crimes) in which inconsequential considerations serve to make the crime appear to be more severe.

Where a Judge (or in some instances a Jury) has the latitude to pronounce a sentence within a range of options, this also serves to tailor the sentence to the crime including all of its unique considerations.

There is no necessity for the designation of some crimes as "hate" crimes in order to provide an appropriate sentence. This is a "feel good" idea which panders to social considerations and special interest groups but has no impact on criminal behavior. I doubt a criminal says: Well, boys, let's go assault and rob a white guy cause we don't want to run afoul of the hate crime statute."

There is an ancillary portion of the criminal law which addresses similar concerns but uses a logic which is clear in its distinctions and differences. That is RICO (racketeer influenced criminal organizations) statutes which were developed to be able to combat a pattern of criminal behavior by organized crime. The burden of proof and the sentencing objective are quite clear but it has as its objective the dismantling of criminal enterprises and the incarceration of organized crime leadership.

Like many good ideas, it was bastardized and allowed to be applied to civil matters with the objective in many instances as simply a vehicle to treble damages.

Please accept my apology if I have been tough on you personally. I do not mean to offend you but just to argue with you ideas. Nonetheless, you still get the C- but it is all in good fun.

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

The rulemaker. The giver of grades. Now the owner of the game board. You are obviously used to making the rules and being in charge. Do your subordinates laugh hard at all your jokes and let you win at golf? If you never get off your high horse you are always looking down your nose.

Hate crimes can be the footprints of hate groups (KKK, Aryan Brotherhood, etc.). Keeping track of such crimes, and alerting the public, might stop the next McVeigh.

Sending me to the principal's office only works if I'm one of your pupils. I'm not. Live with it.

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

JLM: You sound like a candidate at a debate--avoid the question and change the subject. Your challenge assumes that there is "a distinction as it relates to felony crime as to the identity or motivation of the criminal." Your insistence on felony only v. misdemeanor is a distinction without a difference for purposes of your argument. Please just give an example of one of the felony crimes that makes such a distinction, and I'll try to respond. If you can't name such a felony, then why raise such a fuss?

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You have taken a snippet of what I said, attempted to apply it in a manner that was not intended and I cannot understand what you are asking me. For clarity, I said:

"I see no reason nor have I heard an intellectually sound, fact based and well reasoned argument to make a distinction as it relates to felony crime as to the identity or motivation of the criminal."

By this I mean, if a murder is committed, I see no worthwhile distinction to be made as to whether it involves a white or black perp or victim; or, whether it is racially motivated.

Why?

The evidence to be presented is the same and the sentencing is so severe --- the reason I limit my argument to a felony --- that the added burden of proving it was racially motivated is meaningless. Meaningless from the perspective of deterrent value and that the likely sentence is sufficiently severe because of the very nature of the crime --- a felony --- to adequately punish the perp in an acceptable manner. To carry it to its full absurdity --- one cannot be sentenced to death twice or serve out two life sentences.

Therefore why create a class of felonies --- hate crimes --- which seems to be subsumed in the existing definition of the applicable felony.

The distinction is that I am talking about felonies and the difference is the severity of the sentences for felonies as opposed to misdemeanors.

I am really not trying to trick you. Has this helped?

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

I've got issues with the assertion of nonexistent authority. Whatever authority JLM the person has in the boardroom/courtroom/ throneroom doesn't give JLM the blogger any authority in the comment board. Tee time--good one!

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

You are saying that enhanced sentencing schemes for racially motivated felonies is stupid.

Colorado has no such sentencing scheme.

Whose sentencing scheme are you talking about?

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

I was speaking to the wisdom of keeping hate crime statistics by the FBI which is a national institution.

The article was about hate crimes (which is a broader definition than just racial motivation) and I was standing for the proposition that this is a meaningless and subjective distinction with no useful or meaningful application as crime is crime.

I was specifically talking about felonies.

The nature of a crime always has an impact on sentencing even as extreme as probating a sentence. Rightfully so. I just object to the implication that a "hate" crime should carry a particular portent as it relates to felonies. Every felony should be scrutinized carefully and in this scrutiny any applicable considerations (e.g. the hateful nature of the crime) would be discovered. We don't need a particular emphasis to discover the obvious.

I prefer "ill advised" rather than stupid.

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

You think it unwise for the FBI to keep hate crime statistics?

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

If hate crimes against Jews spiked in a certain suburb, would that be "a meaningless and subjective distinction with no useful or meaningful application as crime is crime" ??? Isn't that one way of helping to find the baddies?

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

I think you have wandered over the edge of the game board.

Of course, law enforcement should keep whatever statistics are meaningful and provide an analytic basis for deploying resources to combat crime and to interdict patterns of developing crime, we just don't need a special extra category of crimes called "hate crimes".

Just call the crimes by their names --- "murder", "burglary" etc. All policing ultimately becomes "community policing" and there are limited resources to allocate.

What are you going to do? Identify where every Jew lives and create a separate patrol to safeguard those homes? No, of course not. You are going to step up patrols in that entire neighborhood.

A cop would not need to have a designation as a "hate crime" to determine the appropriate action to combat it. It is a silly distinction which provides no useful information beyond that which would be gathered in any criminal report.

Remember I was talking about felonies.

I admire persistence even when it morphs into pigheadedness.

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

Hmmmm, I guess the KKK and Aryan Brotherhood could sneak up on us? Cause I am sure nobody in law enforcement has ever heard of them! Huh?

Shaw, babe, you've got authority issues. This is just a wee little comment board and you are a big time player. Don't let anybody bully you around. Cause you are a stud! Feel better now?

Ooops, got to run, got a tee time! LOL

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

In discourse, knowledge is the source of one's authority. If one knows what one is speaking of then...they speak with authority. Regardless of their station in life.

The very best lesson I have ever learned in life was from a ditch digger with whom I spent a summer digging ditches during a college summer vacation. To this day, I remember the wisdom of his advice. I can never think of that man without smiling and realizing how valuable an education on life he provided me. And, the price was right.

It has guided every decision I have ever made in regard to how I treat those with whom I work.

The funny thing is I am probably the least respectful observer of authority, status and protocol on the face of the earth.

Shot a lazy 74 and lost money.

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

Hahahaha, now you will have to buy my book! LOL

Actually, it is the kind of thing I would be a bit too shy to share as openly as a blog site. I spent every day all summer (no weekends off cause I needed the money) digging ditches and building concrete sidewalks in the hot sun.

The guy had been convicted of murder in Florida and had served 25 years in prison. Everybody else was afraid to work with him but like I said --- I needed the money. He was a fearsome looking guy with an intimidating scowl but actually he was as gentle and kind as a man could be.

I used to take two apples and a frozen yogurt (regular yogurt but just frozen to keep it cold) to eat because it was so damn hot. After working with him for two weeks, he finally asked me what the hell I was eating. I explained my yogurt lunch and the next day I brought him one to eat. Have you ever seen someone eat something so completely foreign that they have never even heard of it?

Of course, I did once eat dog in Korea when in the Army but I did not do it voluntarily. I was tricked --- but it was actually pretty damn good, I am ashamed to admit. [Ever since, my Labrador has kept its distance when I say I am hungry.]

After making this connection, I got to know this guy a bit. He was a very, very interesting guy.

He had been involved in a crime of passion in the Florida Panhandle and had killed a white guy --- oh, did I forget to tell you he was black. He had been locked up for 25 years and counted himself lucky to have escaped with his life. At the time of his crime, he had felt justified but as he grew older he realized there is never a justification for taking another's life.

He told me of his life in prison and how he had thought he would never ever get out but then he had only 10 years left, then 5 years left and then only one year left --- it was like listening to a psychological thriller.

These were conversations rationed out under a tree, sweating like a dog and eating frozen yogurt (well melted by this time). In some ways, it was the highlight of my day.

Kind of like waiting for Hannity & Colmes to come on at night during the election --- well, not really.

Sorry, got to go drown some kittens. But I'll be back.

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Kristopher Hammond 6 years, 1 month ago

I'll look for your book in the self-help section right next to the newest bestseller: "Stay Away From Reverse Psychology"

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

Uhhhm, I don't think there were too many goofy liberals in the Panhandle of Florida in the late 1940s. I bet there still aren't too many. LOL

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 1 month ago

Tallahasee, and Leon County, was beautifully blue this election.

JLM, The Florida panhandle I grew up in had plenty of racism. It was ugly. It was damn ugly. Leon High School, in Tallahassee, went through a year of race riots as late as 1970. Hate crime is no illusion, JLM. Its a cancer.

You refer to a shortage of liberals in the Florida panhandle. You may be right, but given the election results, it may be more accurate to say there is an abundant supply of rural conservatives.

Its sad that within this topic you deride liberals as goofy. We both know liberals in the rest of the U.S. pulled the South, kicking and screaming, out of an incredibly sick era of conservative lead racism.

As predicted, the Civil Rights Act gave southern whites to the Republicans for a generation. Instead of taunts, you should be embarrassed.

Unfortunately, the cancer remains, and monitoring racism in crime is entirely necessary.

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playa46 6 years, 1 month ago

Indeed, I don't know how JLM is not at all convinced. "Hate Crimes? Naw, I'll go play golf now!"

It is all in front of you JLM, we simply need to wait and hope you put the words together, which spell "Hate Crimes are not a Laughing Matter". S.L. made a good point, why don't you read his post for once??

I still read that you think that Hate Crimes are just simply crimes, what if YOU were killed because of race. It was you parties methods that brought all this hate in one country, and yet after seeing the bloodshed, you still think it is only a laughing matter.

I don't know what else to say, man.

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

Calm down, girls, you are getting hysterical.

Hate crimes are an unnecessary distinction under the criminal code. We already have sufficient criminal statutes to deal with any and all types of crimes.

Annointing certain specific crimes, which already fall under the applicable criminal statutes as a crime, as some type of "special" crime because race, sexual orientation, etc. are involved is an unnecessary distinction. To imply that a murder committed with some racial aspect is more heinous than an otherwise "normal" murder is just plain silly.

This is the kind of thing that goofy liberals spend their nights worrying about when they should just be worried about crime in general. Of course, they spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about the criminals' rights.

Of course crime of all sorts is bad but we don't need to create a special status of crime which artificially segregates certain crimes as a tool of social engineering. Just enforce the damn laws as they are.

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freerider 6 years, 1 month ago

JLM ...I guess you've never seen the Bill Maher show or Keith Oberman or Rachael Maddow....these Liberals are funny....Fortunately for the health of this planet your opinion doesn't matter...just like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh your breed is dying a fast death...Ive noticed that you post a ridiculous amount of spew ...geeez ...you seem to actually think your opinion matters...get over yourself and get a life

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JLM 6 years, 1 month ago

free, babe, really great insights --- pithy, intelligent, thoughtful and truly appreciated --- a step above what, say, third grade LOL

we do however agree that maher, o, and rach are some very funny folks

and, hey, have a damn nice thanksgiving, ok?

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