One more round of applause for all of you who came up.
This debate comes down to 2 questions.
Is crime motivated by animus worse than those that are not.
If yes? Then punishing them in a manner that reflects the crime violates rree expression.
You do deter hate crime by punishing more severely. Not to deter more crime, but these crimes are worse, more evil in motive, detrimental on community.
Vandalism is vandalism. No, people feel less secure there. That is true of all vandalism. But when it includes a racially charged epithet, that group targeted feels more victimized.
Listen to our floor speeches. How they themselves felt harmed or less secure because we know individuals had engaged in those crimes. More morally deserving of punishment.
Combined discrimination with violence is a greater harm against society. We condemn those thoughts. When you go from thought to action, when those thoughts are combined with action that is already a crime, penalty should reflect that as well.