Should the intention/motivation of a crime affect the penalty imposed on the aggressor, such as hate crime statutes do?
Say Person X assaults Person Y because Person Y is a different color/religion/sexual orientation than Person X. Is the assault really 'worse' because of the motivation of Person X than a regular assault would be?
I'm seeing that a crime should be punished for what was done more than why it was done. I don't see a difference between a murder between two of the same race than a murder of someone by a different race - in the end, murder is was still done and murder is still wrong. How can we say that the murder of this case was "worse" than the murder of another case, because the former was race/religion/sexual orientation based? It seems to make non-hate crimes "better" (for an extreme lack of a better word) than ones that are hate based. If the victim was different from the transgressor, it almost seems that the victim is more important, in a sense, than that of a victim who was the same as the transgressor.
If 'justice is blind', shouldn't courts focus more on the act of the crime more than the motivation of it? I am by no means supporting bigotry in any way, but I see "hate crimes" a bit biased in themselves.