AFA is right and Holcomb is wrong on “Hate Crimes”

An important update from the American Family Association of Indiana, posted with permission:

Never Let a News Story Go to Political Waste

There was an unfortunate incident in Indianapolis over the weekend in which some lawbreakers spray painted graffiti on a garbage shed at a Jewish Synagogue. The vandals painted a German cross and WW2 style Nazi flag with a swastika on the property of the congregation Shaarey Tefilla. Surveillance video reportedly caught the criminals in the act.

If caught and convicted, an Indiana judge could sentence them severely under current Indiana law with an enhanced sentence for such a crime, but you’d never know this reading the news stories or listening to Governor Eric Holcomb who was quick to exploit this for political purposes.

Holcomb put out a statement calling on the legislature to pass a so-called “hate crime” law. It said: “No law can stop evil, but we should be clear that our state stands with the victims and their voices will not be silenced . . . For that reason it is my intent that we get something done this next legislative session, so Indiana can be 1 of 46 states with hate crimes legislation—and not 1 of 5 states without it . . . I’ll be meeting with lawmakers, legal minds, corporate leaders and citizens of all stripes who are seeking to find consensus on this issue so that, once and for all, we can move forward as a state.”

Liberals have a really weird fascination with symbolism over substance. They have a fixation with intent over outcomes. The fact of the matter is that judges in Indiana already have the ability to enhance a sentence for a crime like this. They have had this ability for years. Advocates for a “hate crime” law would actually limit a judge to enhancing sentencing only in certain cases, thereby actually giving them less power than they have now for the sake of publicly “doing something” legislatively with a hate crime label. But what does doing something on hate crimes actually do?

A quick Google search will pull up many other headlines about Jewish Synagogues being vandalized in states with longstanding hate crime laws in place. So where is the evidence that a hate crime law would prevent this kind of crime in Indiana when they don’t prevent them in other states?

I am listing some of those stories below from states with longstanding laws like what Governor Holcomb wants. Perhaps most disappointing, however, is the Governor’s claim to want to meet with legal minds to find consensus on this. Last year, I wrote the Governor, (and House Speaker Brian Bosma, and Senate President David Long) asking him to reach out to nationally respected Hoosier attorney James Bopp, Jr. about this issue and how we all might work together. Mr. Bopp has successfully argued before the US Supreme Court numerous times among his many legal achievements. He has also testified repeatedly before the Indiana Senate’s Corrections and Criminal Law Committee on this issue.

In spite of having staff paid to do correspondence, and a claim this week of wanting to work for a consensus by the Governor, none of these leaders reached out to Mr. Bopp. Not one of them even acknowledged receipt of my letter, which you can read here:

AFA-IN’s position has always been that in America we should punish people for what they do, not for what things they think or believe.

It makes one wonder if this is more about political grandstanding rather than any lack of justice. Nevertheless, we have offered two different proposals for certain bias crime actions that we could support. One came from Mr. Bopp, the other came from Attorney General Curtis Hill. The advocates of hate crimes and the establishment leadership rejected both these compromises even though there were not enough votes to pass what they had wanted.

If you would like to let the Governor’s office know your opinion of passing a hate crime law in Indiana that phone number is317-232-4567.

Visit the AFA-IN website.

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