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Hate-crimes bill misguided

Equality under the law — all men are created equal — this concept will be diminished rather than enhanced should the courts become entangled in judging and punishing motive in addition to the actual crime.

Why was O.J. Simpson found innocent of the murder of his wife? Lack of evidence? Nonsense. The innocent verdict resulted because of the racial sympathy of the jury. The passage of so-called "hate-crimes" legislation will only serve to feed the "we are victims" thinking of large numbers of minority groups.

Rather than embracing a uniform application of law, such legislation will further separate and give permanent status to different applications of the law based upon race. This is not a cure for racism; it is a fuel to guarantee its permanent continuance.

The Texas case that involved three men killing a black man resulted in two being sentenced to death and the third receiving a life sentence. Why the complaints about the case? Was the punishment inadequate? Once again advocates are seeking special laws and special punishments based upon race. Is this the uniform equality which the Founding Fathers sought?

Add to the mix the concept of "hate speech." Do you really wish to give government the authority to define and punish what they determine to be hate speech? Would one be allowed to publicly quote the Bible's position in regard to forms of sodomy? Who is to be considered eligible for hate crimes protection — the Ku Klux Klan? What if those in government decide they don't like your religion or some of its tenets?

Hate-crimes legislation would create more problems than it would solve, and it runs contrary to the concept of equality and uniform application of law.

F.T. Gardiner

Provo