By P J Klosinski
You are NOT LESS VALUABLE than another individual that is UNLESS Indiana passes a law which states you are!
HB 1066 will determine some individuals are more worthy of consideration when determining sentencing for a crime committed against them. These special circumstances are to be based specifically upon identified characteristics. Last session SB 220 proposed similar changes providing punishment
determination should be based upon specified differences in victims rather than the crime committed.
Indiana lawmakers take an Oath which mandates that the Constitutions be upheld when fulfilling their elected duties. Indiana declares the law governing Indiana to be the Constitution of the United States and of this state and all statutes of the general assembly of the state in force and not inconsistent with such constitutions. . .”
To further reinforce the limits of Indiana government the Indiana Constitution in Section 25. commands that “No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.”
Since Section 1. Specifically states: WE DECLARE, That all people are created equal does there appear to be any qualification of equality based upon any individual characteristic?
Section 16 expressly forbids: ” Cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted and mandates that “All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offense.” Does there appear to be any qualification to punishment other than proportioned to the nature of the offense? Does there appear to be any exception to imposing punishment in excess of the compensation due to every victim executed in punishment of the defendant because of the status of the victim?
HB 1066 would excuse the General Assembly from compliance with Section 23 which states: “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens. Is not Lady Justice charged with being blind to everything but the nature of an offense against all equally?
The law would state that: “the person who commits the crime knowingly or intentionally selects: (1) the individual against whom the crime was committed; or (2) any property damaged or otherwise affected by the crime; in whole or in part because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or disability of the individual or a group of individuals, whether or not the person’s belief or perception was correct.” Why does this law provide that under these provisions only select individuals belonging to a government defined classification shall be determined to have suffered more than any other non-classed individual?
If all individuals are equal by nature of their humanity what authority does the government have to determine selected individuals to be of more value and therefore demand punishment of a crime against said select individuals be more severe? Unequal circumstances of existence are what makes us individuals. Individual rights are for all equally regardless of any differences associated with our existence. How can government place a higher value on the life or property of one and not discriminate against all others?