>It's a legislative judgment exactly on par with the legislative judgment
that it worse to kill someone intentionally than negligently. Legislatures are the institutions that in a democracy are given the power to make these determinations. There is no special claim of expertise involved, although of course a legislature may hold hearings and hear from the experts.
It is one thing to attach more weight to one action over another, but quite a diffrent thing to second-guess soemone's intentions. There is a diffrence between determining WHETHER an intent was involved - which can be empirically proved or disproved, and second-guessing WHAT those motives were, which cannot be proved or disproved. Are you trying to tell me that legislatures in a democracy have the power to second guess what cannot be factually determined?
>Personally, I don't believe it. I think it would be scarier (and worse) if
our 15,000 +/- handgun murders a year, most of which are crimes of passion (talk about human emotion!), were part of a systematic campaign by Ayran warriors to kill black people.
I disagree. Personally, i think it is much more scary to think of people making nothing of killing a person to get a few bucks they need, than of an aryan brotherhood hate crime spree. The reasosn is quite simple - instrumental rationality underlying the former is much more common than substantive rationality underlying the latter. In other words, much more people can be killed for instrumental reasons than because of warped menetality of hate mongers.