Suppose there is a line on the highway in Michigan
that separates a construction zone and a non-construction zone area
and a highway worker is working in the zone near the line. A motorist
accidently strikes the worker. Another motorist accidently strikes
a hitch-hiker 10 feet further down the road outside the construction
zone. Apparently the construction worker is a more valuable person
than the hitch-hiker as the penalties imposed for hitting the worker
is double that of hitting the hitch-hiker. Both victims were clobbered
and suffered the same consequences but not the drivers.
If James, a white male decides to go out and shoot someone, he would
be advised to shoot another white person as opposed to a black person.
The reason being that the latter case may well be considered a hate crime
and carry a much more severe consequences. Apparently in this case the
black person has more value that the white one.
Current legislation being proposed in the Michigan congress proposes
to make it a capital offense to kill a police officer. While killing
any other person is not. Again, apparently police officers are more valuable
than other citizenry.
The entire argument made by the Elliot-Larsen Act that certain crimes
or acts against specific groups of individuals are to be singled out
as more heinous than the same act against another group, begs the question
that some people are more valuable than others.
The US constitution (the last time I read it) states that “all
men are created equal.” I am not sure when and who made some men
better or more valuable than others and making it necessary to punish
infractions against them more harshly than against their fellow citizens.
Hitting a pedestrian with an auto is not a good thing but who you hit
and where you hit them should not be the facts to consider. Likewise
if you shoot a gun at a person, who you hit is not the factor to consider.
Killing a homeless person, a wealthy business person, a legislator or
a police officer should all be treated as the same crime.
All men are created equal.” So, just as it is wrong to hire or
not hire, fire or not fire or give preference or not, based on individual
characteristics. It should be wrong to punish or not punish based on
who was wronged.