Thank you for checking out my blog. To submit comments, click on "COMMENTS" at the end of each post. To email a post to a friend, click the white envelope also at the end of each post. Contact Me

TO ADD YOUR BLOG HERE - Click the "Follow This Blog" on the right.

TO SUBSCRIBE - Click a subscription option on the right.

TO READ PAST POSTINGS - Scroll down to my "Blog Archives" on the right or enter a search word or phrase in the search box above.

August 5, 2008

Hate Crime Will Not Be Charged In Gay Bashing

On July 17th at about 1:00 am 42-year-old Jimmy Lee Dean was severely beaten in Dallas, Texas. According to witnesses, Bobby Singleton, 29, and Jonathan Gunter, 31, both of Garland, started kicking and beating Dean with a handgun and inflicting injuries that required hospitalization. Witnesses also claim to have heard Singleton and Gunter yelling anti-gay epithets at Dean while they were beating him. Both were arrested and are about to go to trial.

As if the beating wasn't bad enough, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News last Friday the prosecutors said that they weren't going to charge the pair with a hate crime because both face the maximum penalty if found guilty, making the additional hate crime categorization unnecessary. Each suspect now faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a first-degree felony that, with a conviction, will put them in prison for up to 99 years.

What really bothers me about the prosecutors' decision is that the whole purpose of a hate crime charge is not only to enhance sentences but, even more importantly, to send a strong and clear message that these types of crimes are not tolerated by a civilized society. And what if they aren't given the "maximum penalty?" Does that mean that they could be paroled and put back out onto the streets to beat other gays or blacks or latinos or asians in just a matter of months? Clearly, the prosecutors' logic is flawed at best.

Fortunately, the Dallas police have said that they will categorize the attack as a hate crime for statistical purposes.

Singleton and Gunter, while awaiting indictment, are being held in lieu of more than $300,000 bail each, according to Dallas County Jail records.


babyb1rd said...

no hate crime is any worse than another.this crime should be treated like any other crime against anyone else.what difference does it make if the person is gay straight or whatever color.we preach all day and night about equality in every race and sexual preferance...all of a sudden you want special treatment.

Steve Krotz said...

Apparently what you've missed is the fact that crimes against GLBT individuals, for nothing more than who they are, have risen dramatically and continue to do so.

Also, what you don't seem to be aware of is that when a crime is classified as a hate crime, it allows federal authorities (i.e., FBI, etc.) to actively assist in the investigation. This provides not only additional, highly trained personnel but the formidable forensic resources of the federal government as well. And, since many of the hate crimes committed against GLBT individuals are frequently done in smaller towns and municipalities that don't have the resources to adequately investigate on their own, that additional help can easily make the difference between catching the perpetrators or letting them run free to do it again and again.

Finally, I'm really tired of the radical, right-wing phrase "special treatment" being thrown around every time we demand EQUAL treatment. If you don't know the difference, that's really very sad for you. You live in one of the greatest countries in the world and if you don't know what "equal treatment" means, then maybe you should take some time and educate yourself. You'd be surprised at what you can learn when you just simply try.