Liberty and Hate Crimes


This could be misunderstood (and realistically some people will do so intentionally), but all “hate crimes” should be repealed as being counterproductive. Why? Because if a law says that an assault based upon your race, sexual orientation, religion, etc. is a special or distinctive crime, then I – in most cases justifiably – will feel that an assault based upon my race, sexual orientation, religion, etc. should be seen a special or distinctive crime too! In addition, and as a practical matter, where can the line be drawn? An assault upon an Asian or a Buddhist? How about an assault upon an Italian, or someone that is Italian but for some reason looks Asian? Or upon someone who is simply thinking of converting to Buddhism? The problems and complications will never end!

Even though it is undeniably true that our society has done and even institutionally sanctioned some bad things to some people, like slavery, segregation and various other laws of prohibition, simply because of their race, sexual orientation or religion, the better approach in this complicated and multifaceted world is to realize that an assault is a crime. Of course, some are more serious than others. So if the offense is distinctively offensive for reasons based upon race, sexual orientation or religion, etc., or anything else, that can – and should – be explicitly addressed at the sentencing phase of the proceedings. But Liberty dictates that no one person by law should be deemed to be more special or distinctive than any other. And, once again, by following the dictates of Liberty we will not be required to pass so many laws, and we will also avoid a lot of legitimately hurt feelings.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President