Should crimes receive an additional penalty if hate-based?
Hate crimes are classified as crimes due to sexual, racial, religious, or other prejudices; the crimes usually end in violence. Many states have laws that give the criminal larger punishments when the crime is considered a hate crime. Hate crime laws originated in the mid 1900’s and in the decade before the new millennium, the government was already amending the laws to include prejudice against sexual orientation. Many arguments are based about the legitimacy of these laws, causing the government to be placed in a hard position. Every time though, the government explains plainly and clearly that there are numerous reasons people convicted of hate crimes face an extra penalty. Hate crimes should receive an additional penalty because it makes the targeted group feel insecure, protects homosexuals, and reduces the amount of crimes.
A hate crime can make a whole group of individuals feel violated and unsafe. For example, if a group of men murdered a homosexual man because of his sexual orientation, it would make the other gays in the town feel insecure. There would be nothing stopping the group from coming after them. With hate crime laws though, the men would be scared to hurt the gay because they know the punishment is much more hurtful because of their intent. Another imperative reason about the importance of additional penalties for hate crimes is their protection of homosexuals. Nearly a third of hate crimes result from gay bashing; however, the additional penalty causes criminals to face more punishments and become frightened about involving in those crimes. Some state governments also have these hate crime laws to discourage gay bashing in the future by other citizens. Lastly, the hate crime laws decrease the amount of crimes. Many hate crimes are committed because the criminal has a prejudice against the victim. When it is known though, that the punishment for this type of behavior is much more severe, the criminal might consider his actions more carefully. This would end the crime completely because there is no other motive for the criminal to proceed with his malicious actions. This reasons proved why having an additional penalty for hate crimes is important.
There are people in the United States who are against hate crimes because they have the foolish thoughts that it can promote discrimination or that it gives more support to homosexual groups. Some people may think that it promotes discrimination because it gives an extra penalty if the victim was different, like being gay, but this is far from the truth. The penalty does not place any discrimination; it only reveals the prejudice that was already there. Hate crimes are committed because the criminal was discriminating the victim and the penalty only highlights this notorious action. Others who are mistaken about hate crimes say that the laws support homosexual groups and help them gain equality with society and lets them be seen as a protected class. These people are utterly wrong because the laws do not even mention homosexuals, it just has crimes based on “sexual orientation”. That could mean a crime on a heterosexual too is a hate crime (if it was done because of sexual orientation), which does not help gays and lesbians be seen as a protected class. This argument would then also be saying that religious groups are also seen as protected classes because hate crime laws protect them too, which is known as completely false. To conclude hate crimes should receive an extra penalty because it helps a targeted group feel safer, protects the rights and values of homosexuals, and reduces the hate crimes that are committed.