Please go check this out, everyone.
I feel like vomiting. I really truly do. And the news media isn't even talking about this! I found it linked on another blog! The only news site that came up when I searched was the freakin' rural Indiana Tribune! How have we come to a state where the news networks would rather talk about Paris fucking Hilton than something like this? Like it even compares? Jesus Christ. People sicken me.
Here is the problem with this. This is Murder 2 (2nd degree murder). Murder 2 means no premeditation, that it was a crime of passion. This carries a lighter sentence (but still usually more than 20 years).
Murder 1 (1st degree) means permeditated. Murder 1 has longer sentences. There is no way this could be murder 1 under most state laws, according my to quick read. So yes, these guys will not get as tough a sentence.
If I were the prosecutor, I'd try to lump agg assault, agg battery, agg murder, the so called "cold heart" murder and felony murder together to get back to back sentences, but if this guy has any sort of decent lawyer, the defense will try to merge those charges into murder 2.
The problems with "hate crimes" legislation is that they are unconstitutional. We have equal protection under the laws. That means that no one gets treated better or worse under the laws. Hate crimes legislation tries to create special protections for special groups of people. Hate crimes legislation on its own will not work.
What does work (and I wrote a paper about this) is adding groups of vulnerable people to murder elements or as factors for aggrevating sentencing. Factors (or elements) can recognize motive and reasons for the actions, and thus are able to recognize the hatred of a specific group as a reason.
But I think this points to a disturbing trend. Has our news media become PC to the point where they don't report the news? Are we so desensitized to crime that it does not make headlines? Are they so many murders that this one is just a drop in the bucket?
I think the lesson from this is teach everyone you know peace, respect, understanding, compassion and give these people something else to do with thier time, so that they do not kill out of drunken boredom and drummed up hatred.