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The Toronto murder

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Submitted by Dan, Feb 12, 2005 at 10:19

I'm not persuaded that the killing at the kosher pizzeria was a "hate crime", in spite of the language used by the killer. Based on my admittedly superficial knowledge about the case, I understand that the killer was high on drugs and alcohol, and was in a rage after some Orthodox teenagers whom he had asked wher he could get drugs set him up in a practical joke.

The impression that I came away with was that the guy was in an out-of-control rage that was about drugs, and the anti-Semitic element was incidental and accidental. If the incident had occurred at a Souvlaki place on The Danforth he would have been as likely to stab some poor Greek, while screaming expletives about dirty such and such Greeks.

There is a difference between an assault that is accompanied by offensive and insulting words about a racial, ethnic or religious group, and an assault that is clearly motivated by such hatred. If I'm a thug and a lout in a vicious drunken rage, and I assault three people and use the "N" word while assaulting one of the three who happens to be black or call one a "faggot", that is not necessarily (subject to the words in the statute :>) a "hate crime". It is unfortunate if authorities use the fact that a nasty word was used as a pretext for over-charging as a hate crime an act that was not clearly inspired or motivated by or intended as an expression of group-hate.
Submitting....

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