17 January 2010
BAKER, LA (WAFB) - An alleged hate crime has some parents in an uproar. Five black Baker teenagers were charged with felonies after a vicious fight broke out at a local park."One of them referred to one of the children as a beaner," said Lt. James Broussard with the Baker Police department. He says that statement set off a series of events that lead to a knock-down, drag-out fight. ~ read more [video].
shoe on the other foot: "i'am really hurting you know, i'am really scared because they charged these kids with these crimes that you would have to actually look over your back for." katrina franklin whose two daughters were among the teens arrested
wafb just gives the names and not the exact statutes that the five were cited for violating so we had to search around and try to find them. by the way, babcock law firm has a copy of the louisiana revised statutes that often comes up at the top of searches making it a lot easier to find the actual statute on legis.state.la.us.
anyway, the two 17 year olds are broderick ford and trenisha franklin charged with felony second-degree battery, hate crime, disturbing the peace and contributing to the delinquency of juveniles.
while the three juveniles were also booked on hate crime, disturbing the peace and second degree battery.
according to the human rights campaign: louisiana's hate crime law is at R.S. 14:107.2. it came into being by ACT 1479 passed by the 1997 regular legislative session.
from whatever of this mess we can tell, for hate crime liability to attach its presumed that the violator firstly violated one of these so called underlying offense(s):
first or second degree murder; manslaughter; battery; aggravated battery; second degree battery; aggravated assault with a firearm; terrorizing; mingling harmful substances; simple, forcible, or aggravated rape; sexual battery, second degree sexual battery; oral sexual battery; carnal knowledge of a juvenile; indecent behavior with juveniles; molestation of a juvenile; simple, second degree, or aggravated kidnapping; simple or aggravated arson; placing combustible materials; communicating of false information of planned arson; simple or aggravated criminal damage to property; contamination of water supplies; simple or aggravated burglary; criminal trespass; simple, first degree, or armed robbery; purse snatching; extortion; theft; desecration of graves; institutional vandalism; or assault by drive-by shooting. ~ subsection ait says that if the underlying offense is a misdemeanor you may be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
if the underlying offense is a felony then the convict may be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, or both. these are in addition to the penalty for the underlying offense. but
a conviction under either the misdemeanor or felony underlying offense calls for the hate crime sentence to run consecutively to the sentence for the underlying offense.
if wafb is correct then in this case the presumptive underlying offense for all five would be second degree battery, R.S. 14:34.1 a felony see R.S. 14:2. disturbing the peace and contributing to the delinquency of juveniles are not hate crimes "underlying offenses."
somehow the underlying offense to which hate crime liability mysteriously attaches is in your selecting your victim because of actual or perceived race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, or ancestry of that person or the owner or occupant of that property or because of actual or perceived membership or service in, or employment with, an organization: and then as you saw above goes on to list just about every crime in the book. ~ subsection a
this law doesnt make any sense because 14:107.2B and C begins by stating: "if the underlying offense named in subsection a..." but subsection a doesnt distinguish that long list of crimes as being underlying offenses. it begins:"it shall be unlawful for any person to select the victim of the following offenses..." also nowhere in the law is it spelled out when, why or how these offenses become underlying offenses.
this law must be unconstitutionally vague as hell. even the criminal and civil federal rico statute requires showing from another shopping list of "underlying offenses," or predicate offenses to choose from -- how they work together (the enterprise) in order to kick in a rico charge.
we wanted to see how the state supremes reasoned their way through an opinion dealing with hate crimes law. so, we did a simple search of the state supreme court website for R.S.14:107.2 - the hate crime law.
we were much surprised when that search only returned two instances of it being cited. the opinion and the dissent from: state of louisiana v patrick palermo consolidated with his brother frank palermo's case. decided on 31 may 2002.
the two brothers had been convicted under R.S. 14:54, placing combustible materials, also a hate crime underlying offense.
frank palermo had also been convicted of violating the hate crime law. his brother patrick was charged as well but was found not guilty of that, but guilty of violating R.S. 14:54..
one way or another, the supreme court declared R.S. 14:54 to be unconstitutional so the palermo brothers conviction including frank's hate crime conviction and sentence was vacated and set aside. the supremes didnt address the hate crime law -- noting at the bottom of a page that consideration of it wasnt before them.
associate justice bernette j johnson wrote a pretty tersely worded dissent complaining that the court missed its first opportunity to affirm the hate crimes statute. but we wonder what sister girl would say now that all these blacks got charged with these hate crimes?
who knows, maybe with this case justice johnson will get her wish. if the baker police department and the prosecutors office stick to their guns and hopefully the defendants will get help from some brilliant, hardworking criminal defense attorneys this law could possibly get struck down. good.
we're only saying that the hate crime law should be struck down. not that the accused should totally get off should they be found guilty of violating one of the legitimate charges.
a search of the third circuit court of appeal website doesnt return any hate crime references.
ACT 1479 started out as SB 914 by senators cox and johnson and representative murray. it passed the senate without nary a nay vote. in the house it was 61 yeas to 37 nays. randy wiggins voted no and we certainly thank him for that nay. on the other hand, david vitter, rodney alexander, charlie dewitt, israel "bo" curtis and dianne winston are the names of some who voted for hate crimes.
it probably should be noted that in the senate old fake preacher b.g. dyess voted for it twice. on final passage and to concur.
R.S. 1407.2 has been amended twice since 1997. by ACT 301 of the 2001 regular legislative session through HB 604 by representative devillier which repealed aggravated oral sexual battery in order to revise it into oral sexual battery. R.S. 14:41.
then again in the 2004 regular legislative session by ACT 676 senator ullo's SB 659 where the lege changed the name of the offense of aggravated sexual battery to second degree sexual battery. R.S. 14:43.2.
this is just more useless law. as you can see from just the list of hate crimes "underlying offenses" there are already plenty of laws to punish offenses against A HUMAN BEING.
Posted by wst... at 15:44