For it to be a hate crime Firek would have had to deliberately target the victim because here or she was a member of a protected class.
There are two errors in charging:
1. This isn't a hate crime.
2. Murder requires prior planning. Firek punched the guy and he died. That's manslaughter.
"Hate crime" is thought crime.
His punishment should be no different than anyone else who walked up to some random dude and punched them, causing their death... aggressive, lethal violence... the punishment should be severe regardless.
"Hate crime." Feh.
The requirement for hate crime in the US is: No other motive than to strike fear in the target population. Such motive is generally established by the accused being a member of or possessing propaganda from a known hate group targeting the victim's group.
It's no more a thought crime than 1st degree murder. It's a matter of motive.
By your "logic" all killings would be prosecuted as manslaughter.
Your inability to grasp the importance of motive is sad. This isn't the special olympics of law, take the ignorance elsewhere.
Motive is an element of crime theory - it should never be in and of itself criminalized, because that is absolutely criminalizing thoughts the state doesn't like.
Last edited by JayDubya; 03-21-14 at 11:17 AM.