Hate Crime Laws: A Costly Victory

Prosecutors, Not Judges, Are in Charge

Another dissenter on hate crime laws is Carolina Cordero Dyer, a Latina lesbian board member of the Audre Lorde Project, a center for gays and lesbians of color. In a June 14 Newsday article, "Hate Crimes Bill May Provide No 'Victory,' " she writes that these enhanced criminal penalties "rely on a criminal justice system that is racist" and that the legislation could be used "against the same group of people that it is supposedly intended to protect."

As for whether prison time will prevent hate crimes, she points to the Rockefeller drug laws, which led to a "prison explosion"—without stopping the rise in "drug usage and sales."

With regard to those real bigots who'll be serving longer sentences for hate crimes, Dyer notes: "The hate crime perpetrator is unlikely to get adequate rehabilitation" in prison. Seeing himself as a martyr, his hatreds will fester and grow behind bars.

"The perpetrator will one day get out," Dyer warns. "Will our community be safer when he or she is released"—after all that added time?

See you in a month.

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