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Word Count: 591
Dear Governor I am writing to ask you to oppose criminal punishment for racist speech but instead to educate our children For several years I have read countless articles about criminal punishment for racial speech You of all people should know how slow our court system is right now and will be always with the hard time criminals The argument for criminal punishment says our society is to the point where we need to punish for hurting peoples feelings or their emotional well being Which I do agree saying hateful things about someone usually hurts their feelings but if you prosecute or put someone in jail every time you hurt someone elses feeling on an emotional level everyone would have a criminal background at some point in time Criminal prosecutions for hate language limits government officials to determine individually what speech is hurtful and what is not As Derek Bok says in his article Protecting Freedom of Expression on the Campus One reason why the power of censorship is so dangerous is that it is extremely difficult to decide when a particular communication is offensive enough to warrant prohibition or to weigh the degree of offensiveness against the potential value of the communication Legal action based on biased opinions could be impossible to judge These actions could delay our court system even worse than it already is We could have murderers and hainous criminals out on the streets while people that fulfilled their First Amendment rights are being persecuted and put in jail We have a chance of losing our superior judges if we require them to try these ridiculous cases and put extreme ones on hold You will be requiring the government to regulate the meaning and context of speech which will be violating everyones First Amendment right including minorities I like many others believe education is the key to solving our hate speech problems First we need to
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