Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Making Punishment Fit The Motive

The Ontario Superior Court has struck down part of the Anti-terrorism Act. Left-wing commentators on radio have already been crowing. The problem lies with the inclusion of motive in the definition of offenses; terrorism was defined as being motivated by political, religious or ideological causes. The judge found, essentially, that you can't convict somebody of being so motivated without violating their Charter rights.

All well and good, but can somebody explain to me the difference between motive in the Anti-terrorism Act and motive in hate-crimes legislation? Both extend criminality beyond an act to what the person committing the act was thinking as they were doing it, yet apparently only one of them is unconstitutional.

The Criminal Code should be sufficient unto itself; judge men by their actions, as Aristotle I believe said.