Should Hate Crimes Be Punished More Severely? (Essay Sample)
EXTRA CREDIT - QEP Assignment 3: Should hate crimes be punished more severely than other crimes? Why or why not? Explain.
Your paper must be at least 1500 words.
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Hate crimes happen when an offender has a bias motivation to commit acts of harassment and/or violence against a victim based on their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or gender identity (Wickes, Sydes, Benier, & Higginson, 2016). Hate crimes are intentional and have both short-term and long-term effects on the victim, his/ her community, and the society in general. The punishment for hate crimes should be more severe than the punishment for other crimes for reasons explained below in this paper.
Hate crime is a personal crime that is directly and intentionally targeted the victim. It does not only affect the victim but also affects people who are affiliated with the victim, whether it's in terms of religion, race, sexual orientation or ethnicity. Hate crimes have more negative effects on the victim than other parallel crimes because the emotional reaction is much stronger and requires more time to recover from victimization (Iganski & Lagou, 2015). As such, the effects of hate crimes are more traumatizing than those of a parallel crime and it thus requires more severe punishment. In addition, the psychological trauma is also passed on to those affiliated to the victim, either directly or indirectly and they have to live in fear of the same violence happening to them (Iganski & Lagou, 2015). Punishing the crime more severely will ensure that offenders do not subject other people through the same trauma as the victim. According to Iganski and Lagou (2015), victims of hate crimes stop feeling safe as they live in fear all the time, and suffer from increased nervousness and anxiety levels. The post-victimization trauma experienced by victims of hate crimes makes the crime more serious than parallel crimes.
Hate crimes are likely to result in riots and unrest among the affected group of people or community who will feel the need to retaliate if they feel unprotected by the law(OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, 2010). Back and forth violence and tension between the offender's community and the victim's community can result in more damage that cannot be controlled by law enforcement. Riots and civil unrests have a negative impact on the social and economic status of a given neighborhood, which can even extend to become nation-wide. They result in loss of residential and commercial properties, increased police presence which is costly in the short-term and physical injuries to the parties involved. As such, it is far much worse than individual crimes because more people end up getting hurt. Severe punishment of offenders will ensure that the victim and his /her community do not take matters into their own hands, but will instead, trust the criminal justice system to defend and protect them from harm.
Hate crimes as motivated by the offender's personal opinion and perception of the victim because they are different from them or believe in something different. The motivation for the crime is biased and it targets the core of the victim's identity. The victim is made aware all over again of the stigmatization and discrimination they have to face every day as a community (Iganski & Lagou, 2015). Hate crimes are meant to send messages to the victim and his community that they are not accepted or welcomed by the offender and his community. The community feels the rejection every time one of them is attacked leaving them feeling more unwanted and this may result in other negative emotions such as self-loathing and humiliation. Hate crime affects the very fabric of the victim and the community being targeted. In some instances, it is made worse by the fact that the victims did not choose to belong to the targeted community. For example, no one chooses their ra...
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