The crew on Fox and Friends is fuming that the Christmas tree arsonist is out free, awaiting his trial and not being held in jail awaiting for someone to help him make bail.
Craig Tomanaha has been released without bail, due to new bail reform, or as Ainsley Earhardt noted, “He wasn’t eligible for the bail under these new liberal reform laws.”
Meanwhile, Steve Doocy, found a way to report the unvarnished truth when he said: (Thanks to Mediaite for transcript):
“Here’s the thing. In New York, under the new liberal bail reform policies, arson is only a felony. You can only be held if it’s a felony if the suspect tries to harm a person or commit a hate crime. And apparently lighting a Christmas tree on fire is not a hate crime.”
True, as things stand right now, lighting a Christmas tree on fire is not a hate crime because hate crimes are not defined by “hating someone” or an entity like Fox News. There are specific categories set out in New York Law. A person commits a hate crime when he or she;
§ 485.05 Hate crimes.
… intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is
committed or intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part
because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national
origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, religion,
religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person,
Hating Fox News is not listed within the New York statute as a hate crime and because a Christmas tree is not a dwelling or building, the alleged arsonist is not likely a violent threat against people. Until more is known, this doesn’t appear to be an attack motivated by hatred of Christianity so much as hatred of “Fox News.” In Fox News’ mind, there may be no difference between someone who hates Christianity and a liberal who hates Fox News for its racism, etc., but in the law’s eyes, the motivation makes a big difference.
Hate crimes aren’t defined by hate, they are defined by hatred for historically marginalized groups that often suffer as victims for the sole reason that they fall within one of the above categories.
Ainsley is correct in that “liberal laws” have changed the use of bail to ensure presence at trial for one good reason. Bail money does nothing but ensure that very poor people spend a long time in jail, perhaps a year for a serious crime, awaiting that trial, while someone who is even just middle class would have no problem spending that year out, going about their normal lives. That is an issue in a country where we presume that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
There is the technology now that allows for a district attorney to assure that someone is present for trial. Obviously, those people whom the judge deems to be a continuing danger do not apply for the no cash bail policies, but even that can be problematic, again, because we do consider people innocent until proven guilty. Bail has always been a difficult balancing act in that way and – yes, Ainsley, the liberals are fairly proud to have been a part of the ongoing reform, righting an inherently unfair portion of the system.
There is likely no better example as to how bail reform should work than a symbolic attack on a company, in which there is no violent intent to hurt a person, nor against any of the defined categories in the statute. There must be no evidence that the attack was based upon hatred of Christianity, just hatred of Fox News.
It doesn’t make burning the Christmas tree “okay,” or “understandable,” even given the network’s longstanding reputation for hatred, but it does make a difference when it comes to being a hate crime.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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