Mar 8, 2008

sample negative cases for the hate crime enhancement resolution

Intrepid reader okiedebater has offered up more shell cases for consideration and critique. They're blockquoted; my comments follow each one. As always, your thoughts are appreciated. (Part I, aff cases, here.)
Possible Observations:
-occasional abuse of hate crime enhancements is insufficient to label them unjust. We must examine hate crime enhancements as a whole, instead of judging a rule by the exceptions.

-Hate crime enhancements are both legal and constitutional (Wisconsin v. Mitchell)

-Not all crimes are hate crimes (this came up several rounds that I've seen)
I like the first; the Aff has to show a systemic or inherent problem. Affs take note about Wisconsin v. Mitchell: it's not entirely settled, since the primary question was 1st amendment rights, and secondarily proportionality; the Court did not address "equal protection" under the 14th amendment. The last observation, you would think, is unnecessary. But some Affs are weasely. My five word rebuttal for any Aff running that silly "all crimes are hate crimes" canard: "Jaywalking isn't a hate crime."
Negative #1
V: Justice
Cr: Retributivism

C1: Hate crimes are worse than parallel crimes
-often brutal and depraved
-cause more harm to the community and overall society

C2: HCE recognize the more dangerous nature of hate crimes and increase punishment accordingly
A solid argument if you can support it. The Aff's potential responses:

1. Hate crime laws are overinclusive, and often punish offenders additionally, without warrant. See here.
2. What counts as a "parallel crime?" For instance, which is more terrifying: a hate crime or a random shooting? Should we include murder-for-hire in this calculus? Which one causes more fear in a community? Are they "parallel?"
Negative #2
V: Justice
Cr: John Locke (the gov't must protect the right of its citizens)

C1: Hate crime enhancements allow government to better protect its citizens
-increases protection for those who most need it (those who are most likely to be targeted because of a characteristic)
-this allows the government to restore a kind of equal playing field among citizens (response to an Affirmative argument about Equality)

C2: Hate crimes are more harmful to rights to than parallel crimes
-increase chances of vengeful violence
-emotional/psychological harm to the community
-->b/c hate crimes are worse, it is only just that the punishment be increased in order to 1) try to prevent them from re-occurring (deterrence), 2) incapacitate the more dangerous offender (due the potential number of victims) for a longer period of time (incapacitation), and 3) hopefully stem any potential vengeful violence from the victimized community
The question for the Lockean: do the added protections of hate crimes, even if they can be proved, avoid giving the government additional unwarranted or arbitrary power?
Negative #3
V: Justice
Cr: Just Punishment (under Constitution, or law, or something that includes that the punishment should fit the crime)

C1: Hate crime enhancements are constitutional
-shown in Wisconsin v. Mitchell

C2: Hate crime enhancements allow the punishment to fit the crime
-hate crimes are worse than parallel crimes
-regular laws can't punish sufficiently given this different
---> HCE allow more punishment, making it fit the crime
Wisconsin v. MItchell primarily deflected a "chilling effect on free speech" argument, and sicondarily reasoned that the added harms of HCEs justified additional punishment. With a criterion of constitutionality, make it two contentions:

1. They're constitutional on 1st amendment grounds.
2. They're constitutionally proportional.

And, of course, the Negative had better be ready to defend constitutionality as a criterion, given its fluid nature.


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PALD said...

Like the first Neg, its pretty defendable. You're just going to have to make really solid links.

On the second Neg, the problem is proving that hate crimes cause more physcological damage than like a serial killer. The Aff could argue the harms are not unique to hate crimes.

Yeah I see one major problem with the third case. Constitutionality is not always just. For example, slavery was once constitutional but clearly unjust. If the Aff makes that argument against you, it destroys the link between to justice which would be bad.

Anonymous said...

How would you go about warranting "Hate crimes are often brutal and depraved"?

Anonymous said...

can you use retributive justice instead of justice? and then if you do, what would be your value criterion?

Anonymous said...

The Criterion I used for retributive justice was proportional punishment, argued that hate crimes were more severe crimes, so the punishment had to be worse.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to make a case. I know my value is justice and I'm not to sure what my Value Criterion should be. I'm thinking about equity or societal welfare. Will either of these apply to the negation of t he current LD resolution? If they do can anyone tell me I should go with these?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the contention that basically uses the Mitchell vs. Wisconsin case to say that HCEs are just... can you clarify how this case proves that?

Please, and thank you :)

okiedebater said...

I'm 1st alternate to Nationals in LD, and 3rd in US Extemp! YES!!!

Jim Anderson said...

okiedebater, that's outstanding! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

a musing: the only legitimate difference between a hate crime and a regular crime is the intention behind a hate crime is on that is based on the criminal having as a characteristic a hatred for some group. (right?)Accepting this, i am having problems comparing hate crimes to other crimes- what is the intent behind other crimes. Do u just consider other crimes to have 1:random intents 2: no inent (in the case of a crime that is not premeditated-like manslaughter) of 3: an undeterminable intent.
So knowing that laws governing punishment already reflect porportionality in the sense of the harm of the crime, What is the legitimacy or justification for the claim that punishment ought to be based on or reflect intent. Isn't it arbitrary to punish some intents more than others. Also can u make the claim that just because a crime was based on someone having a hatred of some group of people does that have more harm than an intent that is based on someone randomly hating people or someone commiting a crime with no intent.

Anonymous said...

Well first, the difference between a hate crime and regular crime would be prejudiced selection of the victim so it would be motive (the thoughts/reasons behind the crime) not intent. Just to let you know, intent is important within the criminal justice system because intent is the difference between manslaughter and homicide. That basically validates the importance of intent in the legal system, with or without hate crime statutes.

You could argue that it is "arbitrary to punish some intents more than others" but why is that unique to hate crimes? The same thing occurs within the different degrees of murder.

The impacts of motive (not intent) of hate crimes are for you to decide. That would be the actual argumentation in your case.