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Thursday, September 14, 2017


I hadn't heard of "felony hate crimes" before. I have heard of "hate" as a reason for enhancing punishment. I didn't know it could upgrade something that's otherwise not a felony to a felony. If "hate" can upgrade an assault and battery to a felony, I'm not sure if I approve. I'm not sure if I disapprove, either. Perhaps it's comparable to looking at premeditation to create a "higher degree" of crime. Because I have no principled objection to taking that type of thing into account, then I don't necessarily have a principled objection to taking "hate" into account.

I get from reading your linked-to story that Boucher did more than just scream racial epithets. He tried to spit on his targets and apparently punched someone. Maybe that does count potentially as a felony. At first glance (via headlines and what the reportage emphasizes), though, the way the linked-to story and, apparently, the Washington Post, present the story, he is being charged simply for yelling racist epithets.

I agree (to the extent that I know anything about anything) that prison is probably the wrong solution for Boucher. Of course, as I'm sure you've heard, Cook County has a huge problem of people with mental illness in its jail system.

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