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Hate Crimes

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French prosecutors have charged a visiting 72-year-old American with "inciting hate" for supposedly comparing Croats with Nazis.

The defendant's name is Bob Dylan.  Yes, that Bob Dylan.  Inti Landauro has this story in the WSJ (subscription).

Opinions vary on hate crime laws, even among those of us who generally agree on criminal law matters.  Some think they should be abolished altogether.  Speaking strictly for myself, I think they have a place when a person is targeted for a crime of violence because of his race.  Broadly defined hate crime laws are a different matter.  As the French example shows, they slip too easily into gross violations of freedom of speech, and such laws should be given the heave-ho.

If convicted, BTW, Dylan will probably get off for a fistful of euros.

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You’re gonna yell and scream
“Don’t anybody care?”
You’re gonna hear out a voice say
“Shoulda listened when you heard the word down there”
Hey, hey!
I’d sure hate to be you
On that dreadful day

{"I'd Hate To Be You On That Dreadful Day" by Bob Dylan}


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