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Crime & Safety

Shouldn’t We Ask if ‘Bias Crime’ Legislation Actually Works?



MINOT, N.D. — Bias crime laws, the new lingo for hate crime laws, are, from the perspective of public policy, not all that unlike policies the death penalty or sex offender laws.

They’re all great for politicians who want to fire up a certain kind of voter.

They make a certain amount of sense, at least superficially. If we want less of something, then stiffer punishment should deter it, right?

Plus, there’s the catharsis afforded by feeling like you’re really sticking it to people who do awful things.

Except, in practice, things don’t actually work that way.