Does 34 nails shot into the head qualify as a hate crime? You think?

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Chen LiuIn an appeal for public help, Sydney police have released a disturbing x-ray image of a young man who was brutally murdered by driving 34 nails deep into his skull with a nail gun.

The image is of Chen (Anthony) Liu, a gay Chinese immigrant whose body was found decomposing in the Georges river—wrapped in plastic, wire and extension cord—in November 2008, nearly two weeks after his disappearance.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

“In 36 years, I’ve never seen a murder of this nature,” Supt Beresford told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

“It’s a particularly brutal and vicious murder and hence the reason we are seeking information from the public.”

He said 34 nails had entered “predominantly into the head area” at very close range, fired from an 85mm nail gun.

“We certainly believe the nail gun is responsible for the death, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

And from the local television station:


While the Sydney police are reluctant to qualify the Liu’s murder as a hate crime at this time, if it walks and talks like a hate crime… well my friends, it’s probably a hate crime. Whether it’s based on race, sexual orientation or both.

But if you ask Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who is vehemently opposed to the hate crimes legislation now coursing its way through Congress, he would likely disagree. From Perkins’ Fight Hate Crimes website:

Hate Crimes legislation is ultimately a Thought Crime law, allowing citizens to be prosecuted for their religious beliefs.

Hate Crimes legislation is a violation of our First Amendment rights of Free Speech and Free Exercise of Religion.

Hate Crimes legislation creates a special class of people based on their “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.”

The Constitutional rights of pastors and religious individuals to peacefully disagree on issues of sexual orientation should be protected.

Again we circle around to the whole religious persecution argument. Mr. Perkins, unless faith is proven to be a major and recurring motive in brutal slayings such as these, then you really don’t have anything to worry about. Or IS that what you’re worried about? This is a free country Mr. Perkins,  and you are entitled to your bigotry and hate, but not the violence that flows from it. And that violence should be punished in kind, not to diminish your faith, but to discourage the violence and hate that often uses religion as its source.

Hat tip to Gay News Blog.

Post by ILO on 04/27/09 at 12:26 am