As a society, we have never punished all murders the same way. Not even murders in the same class. Sentences are, and have always been, determined by a wide range of factors such as the heinous nature of the crime, the means used, the intent and yes, THE MOTIVE. So why is it wrong to use motive to enhance a sentence when we have a long history of using motive to enhance a sentence?
"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields
Last edited by Hatuey; 07-23-11 at 01:34 AM.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK
There needs to be evidence that race was the only motive (or, in liberal interpretation of the law, at least the vastly primary factor). Prove that a rich black community nearby would not have been a fine selection for the accused in question. To establish this we must find evidence of involvement in white-hate organizations or literature. Lacking said evidence, it must be presumed that the neighborhood was a target of opportunity and that the youth were not hunting white people for the purpose of inciting terror.
The same is true in the case of the OP. We must establish an association with a hate-group or with hate literature in order to charge the accused with a hate crime. It cannot be a personal, financial or random-violence crime and be a hate crime. We must support the motive of hate with undeniable evidence, in order to set aside all possible other motives.