You know I got to hit you with the definition so we're on the same page. What is a hate crime exactly?
Hate crime - a crime, typically one involving violence, that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other grounds
So basically, it's a crime committed against someone you hate for some superficial ass reason. What I want to talk about is how hate crimes are punished compared to run of the mill crimes. To be more specific, why do hate crimes carry a harsher penalty than regular crimes?
All crime is "bad" from a legal standpoint and obviously, some crimes are arguably worse than others, but if all things are equal, should a criminal get more or less time based on their personal prejudices? I say no. A murderer who kills indiscriminately shouldn't automatically get less time than a murderer who specifically targets blacks, or gays, or Christians. I'll go as far as saying society shouldn't treat them differently either if they're ever released from prison.
If I were a judge, it would be hard for me to look at a defendant and confidently say "You committed the crime of xyz, so you normally would get 10 years in prison, but because you have this set of beliefs I'm adding on another 5 years." Is it really fair to get punished for what did and them receiving addition punishment for who you did it to?
Let's look at the story of Robin Hood. He was a thief that stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Now take a modern thief with "Robin Hood Syndrome" and ask yourself, is a thief who is prejudice of rich white people more of a criminal than someone who will rob anyone? No. They're the same in regards to being wrong in the eyes of the law. They deserve equal punishment if the outcomes of the robberies are equal.
I pride myself on being fair when it comes to equality, because I believe in equal punishments as well as equal rewards. If you and someone else do similar good deeds, then you both deserve similar rewards. And vice verse. If you and someone else do similar bad things, then you both deserve similar punishments.