Silverwolf has been pondering the truly tragic news out of the Eastern United States, news which the Anti-Defamation League has surprisingly hailed as a victory. For to Silverwolf, this news is no victory, but a heinous tragedy, and a pellucid illustration of exactly what he was talking about in his recent blog when he spoke of the dangers of hate crime laws, good intentioned though they be, leading to juries unwilling to convict, and turning Racist Criminals into martyrs.
And so, only a few hours after posting those thoughts, Silverwolf read of the horrendous verdict in which the “manslaughterer” of a 37-year old Ecuadorian immigrant living on Long Island who was stabbed to death in a racist gang attack, was convicted on a charge of a first degree manslaughter hate crime. He received a sentence of from 8 to 25 years. The ADL website portrays it thusly:
And this was the verdict roughly seventeen months after the original incident, which was reported on the ADL website thusly:
This is a Libertarian Outrage! That a Racist could go out with a gang of other Racists, looking for Latino-appearing people on the streets to attack, and in the course of an attack, stab to death a man, and then get away with eight years is a great atrocity, not something for the ADL to call a great victory. Let’s remember that many states permit huge reductions in sentence for good behaviour behind bars, often amounting to a reduction of two-thirds of the sentence. Now, Silverwolf is not aware if such reductions apply in New York State where this Travesty of Justice occurred, but if they do, then this Racist Miscreant and “Manslaughterer” (for Libel reasons, we cannot call him what he is) could be out in 2 2/3 years. And that the ADL calls a victory.
Now, there are several interesting points here. Firstly, while the ADL claims this to be a victory, the family of the victim saw it for what it was — a judicial slap on the wrist for a Racist Crime that should been smashed with the full force of the Hammer of the Malefactor, administered through the law courts and the jail system. They were not as enthralled with this Miscarriage of Justice as the ADL. The “Latin Americanist blog” reported the tragedy thusly, which includes a link to the statements of the victims brother to Ecuadorian radio.
And one must ask, why were not all the members of this racist gang prosecuted for this murder? They all went out together, with intent to physically harm someone, based solely on what they perceived as their race or ethnic background, in this case Latinos. What kind of message does this send to racist groups, when a vigilante gang doesn’t get life in jail in solitary at hard labor for such a crime? Such a fair punishment would do more to stop racist violence than all the hate crime legislation that the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center seem to think will magically stop hate crimes, especially when the investigating police forces, and the prosecuting D.A.’s office are riddled with racists, as they are bound to be, somewhere, at some time, in some locales, in America. Hate crime legislation is no solution for violent racist attacks; Draconian long sentences of solitary at hard labor are. And if the Racist Murderers go on hunger strike, then they should be permitted to commit suicide under Libertarian doctrine, and free up the cell and save the taxpayer the costs. A racist’s Right to commit suicide should never be abridged, under the Libertarian Property Right of Self-Ownership.
No, what this case clearly shows is the failure of hate crime legislation to adequately protect minority groups that have been and still are targets of racist violence.
So what would be a Libertarian solution according to you, Silverwolf, you may query?
Well, first of all, under a Libertarian government, no body would be in jail for possessing drugs. Or even vending to anyone 18 or older. So that would reduce the prison population by about 70%, since that is roughly the percentage of the prison population in jail for non-violent drug offenses. Plenty of room for racist murderers, — and any kind of murderers — then. No need to skimp on sentences.
Moreover, there would be nothing to stop the legislature, or the People through the Initiative Process, from instructing their Judiciary to take into account racist factors when sentencing. For example, if someone murdered someone for their wallet they’d get 40 years; if they murdered them solely because (and they announced it before hand to witnesses, and/or published their intentions in literature, and/or admitted it to police after the crime, as well as under oath in court) the victim was an Armenian or a Trobriand Islander, or a Redhead, then they might get 50 years — or life. So, not having hate crimes does not preclude judges from taking what they perceive to be violence motivated by clear cut racism into account, which in turn was based on objective facts and actions in the public record of the trial, when deliberating the length of sentence.
But what is so glaringly obvious in this great tragedy, is that if someone is convicted of a first degree hate crime, and that crime results in the death of someone, then the crime would have to be, of necessity, the Crime of Murder. How could a First Degree Hate Crime, that resulted in death of the victim, ever be Manslaughter? Or anything else. This is a clear cop-out, and exactly the point that Silverwolf make in his last blog — that juries will not convict, or will go along with plea bargains in cases that cry out for Life without Parole in Solitary at Hard Labor. That should be the punishment for every racist murder, and every racist attack that results in grievous bodily injury. Not a mollycoddling eight years, with 2/3 off for good behaviour. That is an outrage! And not only the person who actually murdered the victim, but every member of that gang would have to be prosecuted and convicted. So not only is this sentence a grave joke, but the fact that none of the other gang is rotting in solitary is also barbaric. It is getting away with murder seven times over!
Silverwolf is afraid that slick pro-Racist lawyers will figure out ways to introduce doubts into juries minds, when defending against convictions in hate crimes cases that would routinely get very long sentences for anyone committing violence in a Libertarian society, whether they were Racists or not.( And since Racists could not be trusted to have a cellmate, since they might attack them based solely on their ethnic background, then they must obviously be kept in solitary during their incarceration.) Given the level of racism still around in America, it’s quite probable that someone on that jury trying the hate crime could be extremely bigoted or prejudiced, or even violently prejudiced against a specific minority group, and by keeping quiet about it, they could effectively engage in jury nullification by refusing to convict if there were the slightest doubt that a hate crime had been committed. If hate crimes carried sentences that were more, or greatly more, severe that normal sentences, then juries would be even more reluctant to convict if there were crypto-racists hidden on them. Has ADL or SPLC ever thought about this? It’s an obvious flaw in their logic. And these guys are mostly lawyers, and they can’t figure it out! (And Silverwolf ain’t.)
But of course, they cannot accept this very simple Libertarian Final Solution to the Racial Violence Problem, — life in solitary at hard labor without parole — because their agenda is so diametrically opposed to the Libertarians in certain economic and philosophical areas that they never would agree to anything Libertarians would propose, even if it largely solved the problems they say are so crucial to American society.
Abraham Foxman, along with the Anti-Defamation League, as well as groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, have done critical and valuable work in the public interest, by identifying groups that try to whip up hatred against Americans, based on their ethnic background, and they have defended persons of every type of ethnic background with their actions. Their publishing of lists of neo-Fascist and Racist groups, and the publishing of photos of their leaders on the web, has been invaluable in protecting the targeted victims of these Miscreants (and a combo of steady race hatred mixed with National Socialism sure makes for some ugly pusses, as those pics can attest.) We should not underestimate these group’s worth (because who else was taking on the task of identifying these Racist Miscreants?). But that does not mean that we have to accept their approach as the only one, or their judgements as the best. And this tragic verdict shows exactly what Silverwolf means.
Life in Solitary at Hard Labor without Parole — the Final Solution to the Racist Murder Problem!
Hooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww! — Silverwolf