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The Hate Crimes Prevention Act Will Not Prevent Hate Crimes I am not anti-gay nor am I opposed to gay rights I believe that same sex couplesshould be allowed to marry and to adopt children Also openly homosexual individualsshould be eligible for service in the military Despite this acceptance of peopleshomosexuality I hold that the Hate Crimes Prevention Act is unnecessary in the UnitedStates I understand that gays and lesbians live in fear of being attacked but who can besure that new legislation would deter criminals when existing assault and battery laws donot This bill will only complicate the overburdened legal system confuse the law andviolate constitutional rights It is dificult enough for prosecutors to get convictions on criminals This bill will addthe complication of motive to the trials Instead of simply proving that a personcommitted a crime the prosecutors will have to prove that the motive behind the crimewas pure hatred of homosexuals The motive element will place unneeded pressure onthe lawyers and keep dangerous criminals on the streets Another problem with the Act is that it will confuse the law What exactly is a hatecrime Who gets to decide Is it the victim The perpetrator The jury There are toomany possibilities for conflicting judgments A mugging could be misconstrued as a hatecrime and the offender could be sentenced more harshly than if his victim were aheterosexual I understand that this is protection for the criminal instead of the victimbut criminals have the right to a fair trial and protection from double jeopardy Aperson can only be tried once for a crime unless new evidence can be presented againsthim or her The Act will allow the federal court to try a person after he has beenacquitted by the state court without having to supply additional evidence This legislation also calls for tougher sentences to imposed on proven hate crimeoffenders This is unfair I have
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