Monday, April 19, 2010

Is it time to define crimes
against the homeless as hate crimes?

The fatal beating of a homeless man by three teenagers this weekend in Lakeland should focus some attention on the question of whether crimes against the homeless should on classified as hate crimes.

I'll admit I have some reservations about this. I'm really worried that police and prosecutors will use an enhanced penalty provision against a homeless person who, say, gets into a fight with another homeless person.

But I also recognize the potential consciousness-raising effect of a campaign like this. And, in the wake of yet another senseless attack on a homeless man by young men who clearly don't know any better, maybe it's time to educate people about how wrong it is to dehumanize homeless people.

Read the post and sign the petition here.


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