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Thread: Republican Virginia Foxx calls Matthew Shepard's brutal murder 'a hoax'

  1. #61
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    I understand your points. Truly.

    But to me when you move to action, it's the action that's the crime. Not what hate was in your heart.

    If you planned the crime, you've committed 1st degree murder, regardless of if you did out of homophobia, passion or financial motivation. The crime is murder, not what drove you to commit it.

    It's a pure principle to me. Legislate peoples actions- to the fullest extent, but not the thoughts that brought them there.
    I haven't really thought about hate crimes laws in that perspective, but Judy Shepard had some interesting insight on this, when she was on the Rachel Maddow show. She said that the reason hate crime legislation is needed is because often local law enforcement won't prosecute hate crimes due to their own personal biases. Hate crime laws exist so that the federal authorities can come in and supplement local law enforcement and bring those people to justice.

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCPR2Uyak80[/YOUTUBE]

    I think this was a great point:
    Also worth noting is Maddow's excellent elocution of the rationale behind hate crimes legislation, which intentionally guard against miscarriages of justice, but are often interpreted as political correctness run amok:
    MADDOW: The concept behind this kind of legislation is often misconstrued but here's the deal as I understand it. The idea is that the federal Justice Department can get involved in a case to help local authorities or even to take the lead on a case if need be, in prosecuting individual serious violet crimes and murders in which the victim was selected on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability - the idea that crimes like that are intended not only to hurt or murder an individual, but to terrorize an entire community, and so there is a national interest in ensuring that those crimes are solved and prosecuted, particularly if local law enforcement doesn't want to because they are blinkered by the same prejudice that led to the crime in the first place.
    Judy Shepard Responds To "Hoax" Comments

  2. #62
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I empathize with this woman more than I can say. I have heard that point of view before, and I understand the whys. I'm definitely not dismissing them.

    Federal authorities should have the right to take over prosecution when local authorities don't do what they are supposed to, and perhaps even remove the local authorities for disregarding their responsibilty to uphold the law.

    I just don't think making a crime of the thoughts themselves is right.

    The US federal government already has the right to imprision people for conspiracy, even if the crime they are conspiring to commit never takes place, which is frightening enough to me. I worry about giving them power to prosecute thoughts.
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  3. #63
    Elite Member nana55's Avatar
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    If this was just a simple robbery why did they pretend to be gay. Why not just rob him when he walks to his car? They robbery was an excuse to beat the crap out of him. They knew that you can't just kill someone for being gay. Why not just punch him once or twice and take his wallet? They did what they did BECAUSE HE WAS GAY. Sorry if you don't like the caps but I'm yelling. The way he suffered and died was so beyond what a simple thief would do to someone. I keep thinking what is that was my son.
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

  4. #64
    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    They already distinguish crimes by the thoughts attached to them with the different degrees of murder and manslaughter. Hate crimes should be acknowledged and prosecuted as such, just the same.

  5. #65
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nana55 View Post
    If this was just a simple robbery why did they pretend to be gay. Why not just rob him when he walks to his car? They robbery was an excuse to beat the crap out of him. They knew that you can't just kill someone for being gay. Why not just punch him once or twice and take his wallet? They did what they did BECAUSE HE WAS GAY. Sorry if you don't like the caps but I'm yelling. The way he suffered and died was so beyond what a simple thief would do to someone. I keep thinking what is that was my son.
    Well the little stuff called evidence said they pretended to be gay so they could prey on someone that was that big and brawny. You know, since some gays are really fem, it would be easier than stalking someone at a big bad ass biker gang bar.


    You can kill someone for any reason. ie: being gay, being white, being dumb, being a used car salesman.

    And most insane people that are willing to kill someone have the taste of it and would never just stop at hitting someone once or twice.

    You think you would know more about this stuff with all the crime novels you've read.

  6. #66
    Elite Member nana55's Avatar
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    WTF I don't read crime novels, what was that remark about?
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

  7. #67
    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    Foxx sends note of apology to gay man's mother
    By Wesley Young | Journal Reporter

    Published: May 6, 2009

    U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx has written a letter of apology to the mother of Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming man whose name is on a bill adding sexual orientation to federal hate-crimes legislation.

    During recent debate on the bill, Foxx, R-5th, called attempts to label Shepard's 1998 murder a hate crime "a hoax." She said that he was killed during a robbery and not because he was gay.

    Shepard, 21, was robbed, beaten and left to die on a prairie fence near Laramie, Wyo., in 1998. Two men pleaded guilty to killing him and testified that they singled him out because he was gay.

    Foxx's remarks caused an uproar, and she later issued a statement saying that her use of "hoax" was "a poor choice of words."

    Neither Foxx nor anyone in her office would return repeated calls and e-mails from the Winston-Salem Journal for comment about her apology.

    In an interview with WXII-TV, Foxx said she was "speaking off the cuff, and I just simply chose a poor word." She said she is sorry she used the wrong word and expects that "people will accept that."

    The Matthew Shepard Act passed the House 249-175. Foxx voted against the bill.

    She told WXII that she sent a handwritten note to Judy Shepard, Shepard's mother, saying that "if I said anything that offended her, I certainly apologize for it and know that she's hurting, and I would never do anything to add to that."

    The Matthew Shepard Foundation confirmed that Judy Shepard received Foxx's note, but offered no comment on it.

    "We are not commenting any further on Rep. Foxx's remarks on the House floor, or anything that was contained in a letter," Logan Shepard, the foundation's communications associate, wrote in an e-mail. "Everything that has been said already, is enough. We are trying to focus on the positive, which is, that the (hate-crimes bill) has been passed onto the Senate. We are looking to the future and our energy will be focused on putting the Matthew Shepard Act onto the President's desk."

    Foxx declined to say in the WXII interview whether she now considers Shepard's death a hate crime.

    Foxx's apology "shows that she doesn't necessarily understand what it was that she said wrong," said Becky Dansky of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "It wasn't just her word choice, it was the sentiment she expressed. It was incredibly disrespectful, not just to the mother of Matthew Shepard but to the thousands of other hate-crime victims out there."

    Dansky said that the backlash Foxx received for her comments may show "just how affected so many people were by those words and how important this legislation is to so many people."
    Foxx sends note of apology to gay man's mother

  8. #68
    Elite Member cmmdee's Avatar
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    To me if you committed murder on the basis of your homophobia, then that is indeed a hate crime. Because that means you wouldn't have done it if he weren't gay.

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