Saturday, July 23, 2016

Abbott proposes new category of thought crime....

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong."
1 Corinthians 16:13

What could POSSIBLY go wrong?!?
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is asking state lawmakers to make it a hate crime to target police officers.

"You have a governor who has your back," Gov. Abbott told law enforcement last week, during a televised media conference the day after five officers were murdered in Dallas by a man deliberately targeting white officers.

Following the targeted killing of three more officers next door in Louisiana, Abbott announced a proposal Monday to make it a hate crime to attack law enforcement out of bias against police. The "Police Protection Act" would also increase penalties for crimes against officers and create an education program to encourage respect for officers among youth.

"Texas will no longer tolerate disrespect for those who serve," Abbott wrote in a statement Monday, "And it must be made to clear to anyone targeting our law enforcement officials that their actions will be met with severe justice."
Where to begin....

The abstract level: "Hate Crimes" laws are wildly unconstitutional and nothing good can come from this sort of expansion of government power, even to cover groups we like.

The practical level: While recent events in Dallas were horrific, the shooter is already dead.  Furthermore, even if he had been captured alive, he would have already been eligible for the death penalty.  There is no way anything Abbott is proposing could have prevented what happened in Dallas.

It gets better; look who wants to carry the bill:
Draft legislation by Dallas state Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) would add discrimination against police and first responders to the hate crime section of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which currently includes prejudice based on "race, color, disability, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, gender, or sexual preference."
Then there's this gem, which could never ever in a million years backfire:
"We'd like to see it go a step further, so that the D.A. has to seek the death penalty in every case where an officer is killed."
In other words, we want to expand the scope of a poorly written statute while removing all discretion about how to interpret it when the inevitable case comes up that falls under its purview in a way we do not anticipate.

And all this despite the fact that anyone who kills a cop in Texas is already eligible for the death penalty as long as we enforce the laws that are already on the books.

To learn more about the unintended consequences of "hate crimes" laws, click here.

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