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Objection 4: Hate crimes are crimes committed by white males against nonwhites.

That's not true. You need to understand that the hate-crime legislation doesn't say, "You can't beat up blacks. You can't beat up Mexicans. You can't beat up gays." Anybody can commit a hate crime, anybody can be the victim of a hate crime. I've prosecuted cases where white males were the victims because of race. Now, his anger and frustration can't be compared with the anger and frustration of a African-American who has been targeted for race because that white man doesn't have the historical wounds to associate it with. But I prosecute them both as hate crimes. The Reginald Denny beating -- the trucker that was beaten during the riots in L.A. -- if that wasn't a hate crime, I don't know what was. The man was beaten because he was white.

Objection 5: It's hard enough to compile a jury of mixed gender, religion, and race that will operate with unity and objectivity. The presence of hate-crime allegations makes it nearly impossible.

I agree that it's hard, but it's not impossible. The area of hate crimes does touch nerves in potential jurors. But that happens all the time with nonhate crimes as well. Let's say you have a child-abuse case, what juror is not offended by child abuse? What juror doesn't think that child sodomy shouldn't be tolerated? Every potential juror is going to go in saying, "I believe this is wrong." Let's take a civil jury. Can someone in a union sit in a civil case involving a labor dispute or some labor contract? If they say, "I've got to side with labor regardless of the evidence," they shouldn't. But if they can step back and consider the evidence and be fair, they can. The jury selection process can and does handle these challenges. Both lawyers can ask ten jurors to be excused for no reason. Then there's jury questioning and if somebody says, "I personally believe that anyone charged with a hate crime is probably guilty," they can be excused for cause. But if a juror says, "Like any other person, I don't like hate crimes, and I don't think people ought to commit hate crimes. But, if the prosecution doesn't convince me that he did it, then I'll find him not guilty. If they do convince me he did it, I will find him guilty," that's all you need.

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