New Hate Crimes Bill Faces Uphill Fight; Revision of Stricken Law Not a Priority

By Basinger, Brian | The Florida Times Union, December 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

New Hate Crimes Bill Faces Uphill Fight; Revision of Stricken Law Not a Priority


Basinger, Brian, The Florida Times Union


Byline: BRIAN BASINGER, The Times-Union

ATLANTA -- Two months after the Georgia Supreme Court threw out the state's hate crimes law for being unconstitutional, there appears to be little chance a new version of the controversial bill will pass in next year's legislative session.

Both Republican lawmakers, who now control both legislative chambers, and some of their Democratic counterparts say their priorities for 2005 don't include passing a revised hate crimes bill.

Such laws are used to provide enhanced prison sentences for those convicted of victimizing a person or a person's property because of prejudice or bias.

Still, party leaders in both chambers painted a grim picture last week for those lawmakers who want a new hate crimes bill on the books.

"If you are mugged, you are still just as hurt and just as robbed, whether the criminal was a racist or a thug," said Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson, R-Savannah. "A crime is a crime and the motive behind it shouldn't matter."

House Minority Leader-elect DuBose Porter, D-Dublin, said the top tier of his party's legislative agenda also doesn't include a new hate crimes bill.

"Our people are worried about health care, our people are worried about education, our people are worried about job training," Porter said.

While 48 states had previously placed hate crimes/hate laws in effect, Georgia was the only one that didn't indicate which groups were protected under the statute. Most other states use the law as a punishment for offenses motivated by a victim's race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

It was the "vague" language of Georgia's statute that led the seven justices of the state's highest court to strike down the four-year-old hate crimes law in late October.

The law ended up before the court after a white couple convicted of beating two black brothers in Atlanta appealed their enhanced punishments under the hate crimes statute. After pleading guilty to aggravated assault, Angela Pisciotta and Christopher Botts had been sentenced to six years in prison for the 2002 attack, as well as an additional two years behind bars under the hate crimes statute.

Authoring the court's opinion, Justice Carol Hunstein said that under the Georgia law, a court could enhance punishment against a criminal for almost any possible type of bias or prejudice, "no matter how obscure, whimsical or unrelated to the victim it may be."

Hunstein argued the law could be used, for example, against "a rabid sports fan convicted of uttering terroristic threats to a victim selected for wearing a competing team's baseball cap; a campaign worker convicted of trespassing for defacing a political opponent's yard signs; [or] a performance car fanatic convicted of stealing a Ferrari.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New Hate Crimes Bill Faces Uphill Fight; Revision of Stricken Law Not a Priority
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.