If Not This, Then What?

So, you can kidnap an acquaintance and you and your family and friends can rape her, torture her, and force her to eat shit and you can tell her that you’re doing this to her because that’s what you “do to niggers around here,” and that’s not a hate crime?

If that’s not a hate crime, seriously, what is?

5 thoughts on “If Not This, Then What?

  1. I don’t think the prosecutors are necessarily making a political statement by not using the hate crime statute. According to them, the state charges they are leveling have potential life sentences attached. Unless they toss off a lame prosecution, I’d be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. Perhaps the victim’s prior relationship with one of the accused (regardless of what it was) makes them leery of using the hate crimes statute out front.

    From the little I’m reading about this case, it seems like the alleged perpetrators are just vile individuals who found an opportunity to reach a new low and reveled in it. As I believe it always has been with most ‘racially’ motivated violence, the ethnicity of the victim is just an excuse the perpetrator gives himself for being an excrescent savage.

    I could be wrong, but I think hate crimes legislation was originally intended to protect vulnerable classes (e.g. African-Americans) of citizens from the many local communities– and states– that had a tendency to officially coddle (if not celebrate) such vile behavior (by letting the perps off the hook). In the W. Va. case, it might not be necessary.

  2. Yeah, I think you’re right, but I guess my problem is that I think I agree with the idea of having laws against crimes that target not just the individual but are also intended to send a message back to a group the individual is perceived to belong to, and that’s what I thought hate crime legislation was about, but then, I see a case like this and it makes me think that maybe I don’t actually get what a hate crime is supposed to be.

  3. Recognizing it as a crime motivated by racial hatred (among other things…these are people who settle interpersonal disputes by hitting their boyfriends in the back of the head with a shovel, so we’re talking people who are vile and violent whoever gets in their way) is different than prosecuting something as a hate crime. The way WVa law is written might make it somewhat difficult to make the standards of evidence necessary to get a conviction or maybe the prosecutors have learned something about the prior connections that has made them not want to go that route.

    I think prosecutors have probably chosen the route that they think will produce a just result — that they can build a case on state charges that will incur a longer sentence on conviction with less chance of letting these rat-bastards walk free because some jury feels squicky about the evidence about motivation coming second-hand from the testimony of the victim herself.

  4. Oh, sure, now you act like hitting someone with a shovel is the wrong way to go about finishing a fight.

    In all seriousness, considering that two of the folks involved in this had already killed folks, that poor woman is lucky to be alive, that’s for sure.

    I think I’m with Dave Neiwert’s readers who think this whole thing has meth written all over it.

  5. “Oh, sure, now you act like hitting someone with a shovel is the wrong way to go about finishing a fight.”

    Depends on whether it’s a long-handled round point or a short-handled tile spade. Sounds like multiple-partner monkey sex was involved in that dispute, as some other woman had all the glass busted out of her car. Unfortunately, West Virginia has no “cliched reaction to partner infidelity” statute, aka Carrie’s Law.

    Yep, I’m guessing meth too.

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