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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 13, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Hate crimes

Additional penalties unfair

On its face, the whole concept of hate crimes seems to be discriminatory and a form of double jeopardy [“Hate crimes jump 27 percent in a year,” NW Tuesday, May 12].

If the law dictates a certain level of punishment for each type or degree of crime, then ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. of the perpetrator and the victim should not be a factor in the amount of punishment leveled against the offender. To do otherwise is essentially giving legal credence to the idea that one kind of victim is somehow more valuable to society than another. It’s as though the penalty for car theft should vary depending on the whether it was a red Ford or a blue one that was stolen.

The idea that additional penalties are warranted, above and beyond those which would otherwise be imposed for a given offense, is nothing more than an another example of political correctness run amok.

— Lee Fowble, Edmonds

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