A Broader Vision of Hate Crimes
Hate crimes have always been a controversial class of crime. Now, the NYTimes reports, prosecutors are winning stiffer sentences by employing a novel definition:
[I]n Queens [NY] since 2005, at least five people have been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, committing a very different kind of hate crime — singling out elderly victims for nonviolent crimes like mortgage fraud because they believed older people would be easy to deceive and might have substantial savings or home equity.
And this month, Queens prosecutors charged two women with stealing more than $31,000 from three elderly men they had befriended separately after noticing them walking alone on Woodhaven Boulevard, using their credit to pay for dental work and, in one case, asking for money to buy a kidney on the black market. The women, Gina L. Miller, 39, and Sylvia Johns, 23, of Flushing, were charged with grand larceny as a hate crime.
So, denizens of District TMV, what do we make of that?