|Brett Frazer begins arguments against hate crime penalties.|
Brett Frazer takes the podium. As a graduating senior, he thanks the crowd for the opportunity to debate.
Violent crime ought to be punished. We disagree that people should be punished for their opinion, even if they are racist, sexist, against the overweight or any other group. By imposing additional penalities for hate crime, you punish someone for opinions you don't agree with. The state the is policing your thoughts.
(He's good, speaking very very fast!)
The justice system cannot properly adjudicate hate crimes; we can never really know why they happen.
Michael Baer of Stanford intervenes: The justice system has to make difficult decisions all the time. How is this different?
Brett: Questions of guilt need to be separate from questions of intent. Most hate crimes are not vicious. 60 percent involve no violence. If you vandalize property, that is the crime, not whether you wrote the word "fag" on the property.
Working to combat bigoted language is a good idea, but not within the justice system. Some forms of expression should not be punished because we don't like them.