Do we need the distinction “hate” when dealing with violent crime? Media amplification, maybe? A “hushpuppy,” for the politically correct? A first step toward “thought crime?”
Psychopaths, and sociopaths, outlaws, and gang members may not hate their victims at all. Does that make their crimes less heinous? How about crimes against loved ones, are they “love” crimes? How about any other state of mind? Have we developed mind-reading, telepathy, or other means to know what is in the head of a criminal when they commit offenses? I say, forget useless adjectives and apply what we already have: laws.
Laws distinguish first degree murder, manslaughter, and justifiable homicide, based on circumstances, threat, and intent. The term “aggravated” is added to crimes based on severity, and intent. So, we have legal tools to separate “accidental,” “incidental,” “intentional,” and “self-defense.” Types and severity of prescribed ranges of sentences are graduated based on degree, and intent.
“Hate crimes” seem to be intentional to me and therefore “first degree,” or “aggravated.”
Verbal and menacing threats are crimes, “assaults,” misdemeanors. What parts of so-called verbal “hate crimes” are not covered by current laws?
The ultimate punishments for thought crimes are the double jeopardy of federal “civil rights” prosecution, and triple jeopardy of civil suits for the same event. The costs in time and money will ruin most people, even if they are exonerated.