"If they [the defense] can establish the presence of provocation, it`s considered a mitigating factor that could reduce murder to manslaughter" Self-defense a tough sell in Vang case, law experts sayRemember, it would be his word against theirs and dead men tell no tales…Vang clearly had a bit of an advantage.And, thanks to federal hate crime laws, racism is a mitigating factor.The law provides a sentencing enhancement for criminals found guilty of a racially motivated crime—their punishment can actually double.But the assumption that any U.S. judge has the power to punish a man for his thoughts is appalling. And the theory that fear of incarceration will suddenly make a man embrace minorities is patently absurd.But this is the current state of American jurisprudence.For that reason, it is not wholly unrealistic to think a judge would accept the self-defense argument by simply extending the scope of hate crime jurisdiction.If a judge can punish a man for hating another, can not the hated punish the man as well?Vang thought so…and so did his family and friends.During his testimony, Vang claimed that one of the victims called him a "gook" and a "chink". He said he left the area and returned moments later because somebody fired a shot at him.
"Everyone was white. They do not understand. They will never understand what my brother went through out there," she said. "He was not a dog to sit there and let them shoot at him. He was proud of who he is." [Jury finds Vang guilty of killing deer hunters ROBERT IMRIE Associated Press, Sep. 16, 2005]I find it difficult to imagine anyone being proud of themselves after killing six people let alone following a cold-blooded killing spree, even in self-defense.Vang`s mother also chimed in with words of blame—for the American victims:
"All of this could have been prevented if we could just learn to respect each other. Please, I beg you, remember my words," Sao Hang said. [Vang`s mom: `Learn to respect each other` By Todd Richmond Associated Press September 16, 2005]No, Mrs. Hang. The only person who could have prevented this slaughter was your son.I can`t imagine how difficult it must have been for the victims` families to fend off accusations of racism while grappling with their grief.Vang was not acquitted and will face severe consequences. But life in prison hardly seems enough. And this type of "racist!" defense is just one of many signs of more to come.As I have mentioned before, justice is no longer blind and equality before the law has been replaced by preferential treatment. I hope the liberal design to stomp out racism was worth this price—especially as they will fail to achieve their objective. If anything, they will make things worse.Final thought:
"Restriction on free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."— William O. Douglas, Supreme Court Justice.Bryanna Bevens [email her] is a political consultant and former chief of staff for a member of the California State Assembly.