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Sen. James Evans Sponsors Special Rights for Pedophiles & Spouse Abusers!
(Alert 1/20/04)

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." Animal Farm, by George Orwell

Threat Assessment: Senate Bill 41, "Hate Crimes Amendments," by Republican Sen. James Evans would establish thought crimes, place people on unequal grounds before the law, and grant special rights for certain groups of predators, including pedophiles and spouse abusers.

Below is information on the bill. Read what you can, but take action immediately!


1. SB 41: Special Rights for Predators, Different Rights for Victims.

   Special Rights for Predators & Spouse Abusers

    Degrading Victims for Not Being Politically Correct Targets

2. Same Injustices, Different Bill

    Are Some More Equal than Others?

3. Thought Crimes Destroys Community

    Abuses Already Occurring Around the World

    Human Beings Are Too Fallible to Judge Thought Crimes

    Is There Inequity?  Try Judicial Reform

4. Defend Your Families!


1. SB 41: Special Rights for Predators, Different Rights for Victims.

Senate Bill 41, "Hate Crimes Amendments," by Republican Rep. James Evans, would create enhanced penalties for defendants who select their victim because of some "bias or prejudice." From the bill (lines 34-39):

(1) If the trier of fact finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, in committing an offense, selected the victim or the property primarily because of actual bias or prejudice against the victim, as demonstrated by the defendant's actions related to the commission of the offense, the enhanced penalty for a:
(a) class B misdemeanor is a class A misdemeanor;
(b) class A misdemeanor is a third degree felony...

Special Rights for Predators & Spouse Abusers

SB 41 grants predators of various kinds a higher status in the law.  Pedophiles, for instance, may not have a "bias or prejudice" against their victims, but rather, a depraved attraction to them.  Men who abuse their spouses can also avoid enhanced penalties for similar excuses.  This amounts to special rights for these perpetrators.

Degrading Victims for Not Being Politically Correct Targets

SB 41 and other attempts to legislate thoughts are all based upon the false notion of "group rights." Group rights have been espoused by the likes of Karl Marx, who enjoyed dividing society into groups—or classes—of people, and then pitting these groups against each other in conflict.

In this case, Sen. Evans is trivializing the rights of women who are not victims of politically correct crimes.  SB 41 proposes a world where a crime against a woman who was sexually assaulted because the perpetrator was indifferent to her womanhood is not as horrific as a crime against the victim of an act of "bias or prejudice".

Are you prepared to look into the eyes of a woman or child who has a sexually-transmitted disease or permanent physical damage due to the vile act of a monster and tell them that their sufferings do not qualify for an "enhanced penalty" against their assailant because they were not selected primarily because of their skin color or group affiliation? 

Welcome to the bold new world proposed by Sen. James Evans.

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2. Same Injustices, Different Bill

Some argue that SB 41 is somehow superior to other thought crimes bill in that it does not single out a particular group.  But to determine bias or prejudice against a particular person would be rare to impossible without distinguishing some group status.

Are Some More Equal than Others?

In contrast, the Declaration of Independence claims that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." Thomas Jefferson spoke in his first inaugural speech of "equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion" and that if we ever departed from this principle "in moments of error or alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety."

The rights of the individual, regardless of his/her race, gender, or affiliations are pre-eminent and should be vigorously defended without regard to these characteristics. The blindfold of Lady Justice (Justitia) represents impartiality and her scales represent generality and uniformity. In America, Justice is supposed to treat all victims and perpetrators equally.

In essence, this Marxian notion of "group rights" sets men and groups of men apart by their belief systems rather than by their actions. If carried into law, it inevitably erodes individual rights and protections.

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3. Thought Crimes Destroys Community

Putting people on different levels before the law will destroy community, foster resentment and bigotry, and will Balkanize Utah. What is ironic is that thought crimes are diametrically opposed to Martin Luther King’s vision for society. King publicly promoted the idea that people should not be judged by their creed or the color of their skin. Said he:

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.’"

Thought crimes, by definition, require that we reject this vision and instead scrutinize victims and victimizers by their beliefs, rather than judging all by the blindfold and scales of impartiality, generality, and uniformity.

Abuses Already Occurring Around the World

In a flier Accountability Utah shared with Republican delegates in Utah County in April 2003, we pointed out that thought crimes legislation is increasingly used to attack beliefs and expression. In countries like Canada and Great Britain, for example, the government has criminally prosecuted people who speak out against homosexual behavior.

During a debate on thought crimes legislation sponsored by Utah County citizens, Richard Wilkins, Professor of Law, at the BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School, and Frank Guliuzza, Professor of Political Science at Weber State, cited many other examples of how legislation expanding "group rights" and notions of "bias and prejudice" have already been used to persecute beliefs and expression.

Human Beings Are Too Fallible to Judge Thought Crimes

The following is what we expect our juries to perform in the courtroom:

1) Determine whether a particular action or crime was performed by the accused;

2) Whether the action or crime was an accident or purposely committed;

3) Whether the action or crime was committed with premeditation (or whether there was a conspiracy involvedeven more premeditation);

4) Whether there was malicious intent to do harm.

These are enormous, difficult questions for jurors to grapple with and attempt to satisfactorily answer. Wise jurors attempt in their deliberations to focus on specific actions rather than the perpetrator’s belief system. In fact, the perpetrator's belief system need only be broached to perhaps assist in finding answers to the above questions.

Isn’t that enough work for judges and juries to get right and to do well? A juror is supposed to answer these questions and also remain impartial, general, and uniform — treating all victims and perpetrators equally in their final deliberation.

Consider the ludicrous nature of this type of deliberations that would occur in the above example of the woman who was sexually assaulted. In addition to questions of accident, premeditation, and intent, with thought crimes in place, jurors would have to consider new questions such as the following:

  • Would the perpetrator have sexually assaulted someone else of some other persuasion if given the same opportunity?

  • Did he do it because he hates women in particular? Or just women of a particular color?

  • Did he do it because he was just mad at the world? Or was he beaten as a child?

Just where is the victim in all these new deliberations? She is largely forgotten and the courtroom turns from her violation to the philosophies and nuances that may exist in the mind of the accused.

It would be unreasonable and wrong to force a human being to judge a perpetrator’s philosophies and belief systems along with everything else they are tasked to do. It is simply not within the power and authority of a biased and imperfect man.

The peaceful beauty of our traditional system of jurisprudence is that the accused is entitled to be judged by a jury of his peers who are assumed to be above the crime with which he is charged. With thought crimes, no such presumption can be made, because we are all guilty of thinking ill of some one or some group at one time or another.  No matter how "reformed" or "politically correct" we think we are, we are all guilty of bias and prejudice.

Is There Inequity?  Try Judicial Reform

Few are willing to argue that our courts are not full of awful problems.  But these problems affect more than just certain types of people.  The answer lies not in destroying our equality under the law and pit us against each other, but in removing judges who discriminate based upon skin-deep criteria.  Judicial elections, returning sole impeachment power and responsibility to the legislature, and even jury education are all sound ways to return sanity and equity to our system and society.

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3. Defend Your Families!

1. Call (and, if possible, fax) your senator at the capitol and tell him to publicly and vehemently stand against SB 41 and ANY thought crimes legislation. Tell him to motivate his colleagues to do the same. Tell him that thought crimes will only divide our community, and will destroy our American system of fairness and equality under the law.

Senate main number: (801) 538-1035

Senate main fax: (801) 538-1414

Note: For help finding your legislator, visit our elected official contact page. It is recommended that you identify yourself and your contact information, the legislator you want to reach, and keep the message succinct and relatively short. Because of the volume of email messages that senators and representatives receive, your email message may never be considered in time.

2. Forward this message to your family, friends, and any activists you know. Encourage them to voice their concerns and get involved.  Don't wait until Sen. Evans and people like him sit on the juries of your loved ones.

3. Monitor this site for new and updated information and join our alert list by e-mailing us at info@accountabilityutah.org.

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Note: Accountability Utah is not particularly interested in the private sexual practices of consenting adults, be they normal or deviant. We become very interested, however, when groups (or sub-groups) attempt to use government to force their beliefs on others and to obtain special rights and dispensations that others do not have.  For more information on this subject, see the Thought Crimes section of our Issues & Alerts page.

If you have comments or suggestions, please email us at info@accountabilityutah.org.


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