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Hate Crime

Hate crimes are cruel expressions of narrow-mindedness and have a significant negative impact on the victim as well as the group they identify with. They have an impact on social stability and group cohesiveness. Therefore, a strong response is essential for both individual and communal security.

Hate crimes are separated from other types of crime by the perpetrator's motivation. Since the perpetrator's motivation is frequently irrelevant to proving the key elements of a crime, it is rarely thoroughly investigated to uncover the true cause of the crime. If a criminal justice system does not recognize the term "hate crime," the motive is not acknowledged as a crucial component of the offence, and the presence of hate crimes remains invisible.

Although several state laws have been implemented to address hate crimes, these crimes still occur and have a significant impact on the victim as well as the community in which they occurred. The harm done by hate crimes can be reduced if law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges are properly trained to recognize and address these crimes.

Concept of Hate Crime

Hate crimes are criminal acts committed with a bias in mind. This way of thinking distinguishes hate crimes from other types of crimes. Hate crime is not a single, isolated offence. It could be an act of violence, a threat, damage to property, an attack, murder, or some other type of crime.

Therefore, rather than referring to a specific offence under the penal code, the terms "hate crime" or "bias crime" define a sort of crime. A person may commit a hate crime in a country without specific criminal penalties due to bias or prejudice. Instead of having a legal definition, the term describes an idea.

A criminal offence committed with bias motive is one of the two components of all hate crimes.

The conduct that establishes a crime under basic criminal law constitutes the first element of hate crime. This criminal act has been referred to as the "basic offence" in this guide. There are certain differences in the kind of conduct that add up to wrongdoing since there are minor variations in legal systems between countries, but all of them share a common set of fundamental standards that make certain types of vicious acts illegal. A basic offence must always have occurred for there to be a hate crime.There cannot be a hate crime if there is no basic offence.

The execution of the criminal act with a particular mental process referred to in this guide as "bias," is the second element of hate crime. Hate crimes are distinguished from other types of crimes by this aspect of bias cognitive process. This suggests that the offender purposefully chose the objective of the wrongdoing in view of some secured characteristic.

Hate crimes aim to intimidate the target and the victim's community based on their distinctive personal characteristics. Such acts have the effect of depriving the victim's right to full participation in society by leaving the harmed person with the perception that they are not wanted. Additionally, they give the idea to those from the network who share the trademark that they may also be targets and lack a place in society. Therefore, hate crimes have the potential to rip communities apart and harm society as a whole.

Reasons for Commission of Hate Crime

The terms "hate crimes" and "hate motive," when taken literally, can be misleading. Many crimes motivated by hatred are not considered hate crimes. For instance, murders are frequently motivated by hatred, yet they are not considered "hate crimes" unless the victim was picked specifically because of a protected feature.

On the other hand, misbehaviour that is committed even while the perpetrator has no "hatred" towards the victim in question can nevertheless be classified as such. Most hate crimes may not accurately depict hatred, which is a very specific and amazing passionate mood.

The following list includes some of the motives for committing hate crimes:
  1. The offender may be motivated by a variety of factors, such as hatred, jealousy, or a desire for peer acceptance;
  2. The offender may not be attracted to the victim personally but may be motivated by concerns or feelings about the group to which the victim belongs;
  3. The offender may feel animosity toward everyone who is outside of or does not belong to the group to which the offender identifies; or
  4. On a more abstract level, the target could merely stand-in for a concept that the offender opposes, such as immigration.

Need for hate crime laws?

Hate crimes are typically not handled properly if they are treated like other crimes and are not seen as a unique classification. This can show up in a variety of ways, such as professionals disbelieving the victim or failing to adequately investigate claims of biased motive; investigators restricting the offence when choosing charges; and courts failing to apply their forces to increase punishments to reflect the motives of the culprit. Hate crimes are a violent expression of prejudice, which can be widespread in the larger community.

There are several trends that can be seen in cases of subpar investigations, prosecutions, and punishments for hate crimes. When a crime is perpetrated against someone who is a member of a stigmatized group (for instance, if the group is frequently associated with criminal activity), this might affect the investigation by casting the victim as being at fault. It only takes a few such incidents for the impacted communities to lose faith in law enforcement officials' handling of the situation.

In contrast, such open affirmation reassures the victim that their experience has been accurately perceived when the prosecution and sentence evaluate the biased motive. Thus, knowing that hate crimes won't go unpunished can help to build trust in various members of the network. The legalization of hate crimes is crucial for influencing networks, can help in building confidence in the criminal justice system, and can therefore mend societal rifts.

Are Laws Against Hate Crime Discriminatory?

Some adversaries of hate crime laws claim that they are oppressive because they protect some groups more than others. This is not the scenario. Despite the fact that hate crimes often target members of minority communities, they can also target larger social networks.
  • The offenders can belong to a minority group
  • The choice of the target could be based on their membership in the majority group.
  • It's possible for the victim and the perpetrator to belong to separate minority groups.

According to the principle of equality under the law, rules against hate crimes shouldn't favour one group over another. For instance, if a hate wrongdoing law includes ethnicity as a trait, it does not necessarily refer to a particular one; under such a rule, a tragic victim may be of any ethnicity, even the majority one.

Conclusion
The fundamental problem is that hate motivation needs to be explicitly recognized and rejected when criminal proceedings are brought. Often, when cases of hate crime are described, the motivation for the victim's selection (such as the victim's "race," "nationality," or "ethnic origin") is never mentioned.

In the unlikely event that this happens, the opportunity and ability for the offender's punishment to dissuade others are lost. The danger is that the message to the offender and the individual in issue is that the state doesn't genuinely recognize the hatred intention that motivated the wrongdoing.

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