The Inhumanity of Hate Crime Legislation

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Frazier Glenn Cross is the former grand dragon of a chapter of the KKK who murdered three people in Kansas City last week. While one would think that murdering three people would be sufficient grounds for, at a minimum, putting Cross away for the rest of his life, the true hammer has fallen: he will also face hate crime charges.

There is something rather off-putting about using hate crime laws as a means of punishing Cross. To most rational souls, murder is the worst crime that any human could be guilty of, yet it is as though simply committing murder is not really sufficient. Oh no, old run of the mill murder may be bad, but when the person is motivated by hate, well, then the federal government is really going to come after you with both guns blazing, so to speak.

It’s an unusual mentality for a number of reasons. When one commits an act of murder, that indicates to me that there is already some level of hate involved. Normally people do not shoot other people in fits of love. Thus charging a murder with a hate crime seems rather redundant.

More importantly, there’s this rather strange psycho-analysis implicitly involved here, as though murder itself is not truly the worst possible crime. Are we suggesting that a person who kills another person for that person’s wallet is somehow less evil, less criminal, and deserving of lesser punishment than the guy who shoots another person because said person is another religion, race, or creed? Is the humanity of the individual murdered in a robbery less than the humanity of the person murdered because of the color of their skin, or in this case because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? This situation is even more bizarre because the actual victims were not in fact Jewish. I suppose we should be relieved that mistaken identity does not mitigate the level of charge being leveled against Cross. One shudders to ponder the potential legal labyrinth we would have to travel down were we to insist that the victims actually be in the assigned category being hated. I’m sure Mr. Cross’s attorneys will attempt to argue that since he does not hate the ethnic and religious groups of his actual victims, the hate crime charge is therefore illegitimate. In which case I suppose Mr. Cross could be charged with some lower level crime, like, I don’t know, first degree murder.

There are those who might argue that the more you can throw at a monster like Cross in order to send him away, the better. While I am somewhat sympathetic to this point of view, I’m still left bothered by the subtle message that these laws send. Yes, we do have to make certain judgments about a person’s reasoning for killing another – that is why we distinguish between first and second degree murder. That is also why a person who is defending their own life is not charged with the same level of crime, if any, as the person who kills in cold blood. But cold blooded murder is cold blooded murder, and to assign a greater penalty to one who kills out of racial or religious animus strikes me as a sign of placing some sort of greater value on the life of one murdered in a so-called hate crime. If we deem all life to be sacred, then there should be no worse crime than to kill in cold blood, regardless of motive. These laws do not deter anyone and do little more than to serve as some sort of token outrage against a perceived thought-crime. It’s almost as though the real outrage isn’t that Cross (in this case) killed anyone, but that he was a bigot. That shows some terribly skewed priorities.

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37 Comments

  1. This is the start of treating orthodox Christianity as a hate crime because of its opposition to homosexual marriage and the infanticide of the unborn. We are hate criminals because we hate sin.

  2. Federal hate crimes legislation is of dubious constitutionality:

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/04/federal-hate-crimes-statute-an-unconstitutional-exercise-of-legislative-power

    Additionally, although the courts do not agree with me, all hate crime legislation should be held unconstitutional on the grounds of double jeopardy, since this is a classic example of punishing the same offense twice, and equal protection, making some victims of crimes more equal than others for precisely the same offense. Courts get around double jeopardy by holding that two sovereigns are involved, state and federal so, shazam!, there is no double jeopardy for prosecuting someone twice for the same offense which is the type of ruling that demonstrates why law should often be spelled s-o-p-h-I-s-t-r-y. Equal protection is a will-o-the-wisp summoned up by Courts when they want to rule an act unconstitutional and ignored the rest of the time.

  3. All sin is a hate-crime against God. It is hatred of God that causes all sin and crime. It is the atheist, of course, who exemplifies the original hatred against God.
    .
    How can the court prove that Cross was motivated by hatred unless the court can read Cross’ mind and prove consent to hatred. This can only and maybe be done in the Sacrament of Penance with confession or when the criminal turns state’s evidence against himself. This would necessitate the state to grant immunity from prosecution, which is the mode the state operates under if a woman confesses to abortion…granting immunity for state’s evidence.
    .
    Is it a way out for Cross?
    .
    The hate-crime legislation, itself, censors Holy Scripture as hate crime without proving hatred.The Scripture writers were not hating any person, the writers were warning their fellow man that God does not look kindly on homosexual activity, sodomy or fornication and human sacrifice; taking unlawful oaths, using God’s name in vain, anything that violates the Ten Commandments.
    .
    Qualifying Scripture as hate crime (Holy Scripture is a warning against hatred and violation of God’s commandments) would also qualify the states’ and federal government’s laws warning against homicide and treason and laws imposing penalties for violations as hate crimes.
    .
    If love of neighbor cannot be expressed as a warning against perjuring oneself in a court of law, or reminding another person of his sovereignty and dignity what can such testimony be called? Mayn’t it be called charity. Must we all be subject to the atheist’s blasphemy?

  4. It’s an unusual mentality for a number of reasons. When one commits an act of murder, that indicates to me that there is already some level of hate involved. Normally people do not shoot other people in fits of love. Thus charging a murder with a hate crime seems rather redundant.

    Yes, but people like Ben Jealous fancy they ought to have a gesture of RESPECT, so merely prosecuting someone for common crimes will not do, even if it be for a capital felony. When people say “H8”, they are only referring to antagonism to the Anointed’s clientele, which does not include victims of ‘workplace violence’ (even if you should ‘Allahu Akbar’ while pumping bullets into them).

    While we are at it, if Kansas prosecutors are not perfectly capable of prosecuting this fellow Cross/Miller, it is difficult to believe they could be more hopeless than federal prosecutors, who brought you such gems as the Nidal Hassan case. Since Cross/Miller was not a local sheriff’s deputy acting under the color of law or with a wink and a nod and since he does not appear to have been running a multi-state hit squad, it’s hard to see what the justification could be for the U.S. Attorney to take manpower away from his regular caseload and put it on this one, other than that is the sort of foolishness U.S. Attorney’s are given to, especially when they work for Eric Holder.

  5. Crime is crime.

    What gives us the right to legislate e someone’s thoughts and feelings…about anything.

    If I want to hate someone, or something (right or wrong)…I ought have every right to do so.

  6. I think Art points out something interesting about the absurdities and contradictions in these kinds of laws. Shoot up a meat-packing plant and hit an FDA inspector, and it’s analagous to a hate crime (in the sense that it’s a federal case to shoot a federal employee and never mind the poor working schlubs who were also shot). Shoot up a room full of soldiers on an army base; well, getting shot’s an occupational hazard.

  7. Hate crime is a category of thought crime, and if it going to be further embedded in US legal lore, precedence and practice, the future of freedom of thought is bleak indeed.

  8. Spot on. “It’s almost as though the real outrage isn’t that Cross killed anyone, but that he is a bigot.”

    All murders are “hate” crimes.

    And I’m all for bringing back some pre-Vatican 2 capital punishment.

  9. The gravity of a crime is measured by the injury it does, not only to the immediate victim of it, but to the public, by the degree of alarm and insecurity it is calculated to produce.

    The perceived threat to public order posed by the killing of a police officer is greater than arising from the killing of a civilian from purely private motives and attracts severer punishment. Likewise, the authorities take particular pains to forestall or repress politically motivated violence, not because it is more wicked than any other, but because it is more dangerous.

    As for “hate crimes,” murder inspired by hatred of a particular group tends to produce widespread fear in the target community and frightened people can easily turn to violence; soon, we have inter-communal rioting and tit-for-tat killings. There is a public dimension here that is absent from crimes committed for private motives.

  10. “There is a public dimension here that is absent from crimes committed for private motives.”

    The only public dimension is the awarding of favored victim status to certain groups and, in the United States, an opportunity for the Feds to commit “legal double jeopardy” if someone is found not guilty by a state jury. The whole concept stinks of the crass politics that are at the heart of these insults to any concept of impartial justice.

    http://www.independentsentinel.com/latest-outrage-doj-will-only-prosecute-white-on-black-hate-crimes/

  11. We find similar motivation to punish people for what they believe, not what they do, in the Inquisition of the Middle Ages.

  12. Are we suggesting that a person who kills another person for that person’s wallet is somehow less evil, less criminal, and deserving of lesser punishment than the guy who shoots another person because said person is another religion, race, or creed?

    Yes that’s exactly what they’re saying. Why else do you suppose communism still has some supporters while fascism is a swear word? Because while the former may have killed so many more, at least they didn’t “hate” their victims.

    It’s an odd corruption. they remember the Christian warning about how it can be worse to hate than murder, but have lost the justification for why.

  13. Donald R McClarey

    Perhaps, the US is less volatile. I remember the aftermath of a nocturnal fire in the Orange Hall in Kilwinning (accidental, as it transpired), promptly followed by the fire-bombing of a public house favoured by Celtic supporters (Catholics) here were a number of sporadic razor attacks, carried out by both sides of the sectarian divide. In a curious conflation of ideas, an Italian café had the word “Fenian,” along with other epithets, daubed on its shutters.

  14. As for “hate crimes,” murder inspired by hatred of a particular group tends to produce widespread fear in the target community and frightened people can easily turn to violence; soon, we have inter-communal rioting and tit-for-tat killings.

    That’s not the reason the NAACP disposed of the retired Verizon executive it had hired as its executive director and hired a 33 year old professional agitprop meister who offered that their priority would be a ‘federal hate crimes bill’. We are not living through the partition of India in this country. We have an abnormal quantum of common crime in this country, including and especially the rock ’em sock ’em which goes on among feral young men in the slums. What we do not have is much black-on-white homicide. A metropolitan region of ordinary dimensions might see one such homicide a year, and the number actually perpetrated by Stormfront types is smaller still. If Ben Jealous and Julian Bond and the rest of the trustee-shnooks at the NAACP do not know this, they have no business commenting on any public issue. This sort of posturing has nothing to do with actual social problems and everything to do with the insistence of pretentious fools that others kiss their rings.

    You should stop vending other people’s humbug. It’s embarrassing.

  15. “The gravity of a crime is measured by the injury it does, not only to the immediate victim of it, but to the public, by the degree of alarm and insecurity it is calculated to produce.”
    .
    The writers of the Sacred Scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The cardinal virtues endowed by the Holy Spirit are Justice, Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude. Our infinite God gives us infinite Justice. It is the duty of the state to protect God’s infinite Justice. Without God’s infinite Justice, the state becomes a band of marauders, condoning crimes of homicide, adultery, grand larceny, perjury, and alienation of affection.
    .
    “You can’t legislate morality”, “Separation of church and state”.
    A rational, thinking person of any amount of intelligence sees that God’s Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not kill.”… commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, covet, are moral laws against the crimes of homicide, adultery, grand larceny, perjury, and alienation of affection.
    .
    It is the duty of the state to deliver Justice to all people including our constitutional posterity, all future generations, virgins, in body and soul, sovereign persons who are created in innocence and virtue by an infinite God, an infinite God, Who sees all and knows all and loves all.
    Without morality, we have mob rule. Immorality violates the First Amendment, “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” that is, the citizens’ freedom to exercise belief in God.

  16. Folks,

    I realize that the topic of this post is hate crimes, but since it involves murder and since active shooter scenarios themselves involve murder wholesale, I thought that in the interest of safety I might be permitted this digression. I recently attended a training session on preparedness for an active shooter scenario presented by an officer of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. This training was eye-opening, and the officer advocated sharing such information far and wide (especially since most of us do not routinely carry weapons and are not trained police officers). So below are listed valuable web links to what the Department of Homeland Security provides in this regard. I will post the web link to the on-line training course by FEMA in a minute or two.

    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY INFORMATION

    Active Shooter Preparedness
    http://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness

    Active Shooter – How to Respond
    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/active_shooter_booklet.pdf

    Active Shooter – Pocket Card Information
    https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/active_shooter_pocket_card.pdf

  17. Hate only hurts the individual who hates. The object of this individual’s hatred is not in any way injured by it. Hate crime law can only be legislated out of respect for the individual who hates, and that is his free will choice, like choosing to be an atheist and hating God. “Do good to those who hate you.” Legislating hate crime law will permit police “to get help” for the individual hating, and that would be “psychiatric help”. Putting people in psychiatric hospitals because they disagree with policy has been the mainstay of every tyranny. Declaring an individual incompetent to care for himself will give the state total power over the souls of people.
    .
    “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

  18. I don’t know – what causes more terror in the general public – acts against a specific group because of their beliefs, race, etc. Or random acts of violence focused on no particular group, just general marauding? Even for the specifically identified group, at least you know you are a target (and likely by whom) so you have somewhat better chance of taking precautions (how many of us wander aimlessly at night through parts of town where we don’t readily assimilate?). But someone just randomly shooting in car-jacking, drive-bys, road rage or whatever? Seems that would be more disconcerting, even if privately motivated by such things as “I was bored.”

    Seems hate crimes are more about political posturing than any identifiable harm.

  19. C Matt, from the FEMA and DHS training course material, there is often no identifiable motivation for many of these shootings. Victims are chosen randomly and without cause even when great planning goes into the active shooter event. There are however precursors that get exhibited weeks, even months before such an event occurs: financial problems, depression, angry outbursts, withdrawn behavior, excessive absenteeism, increased infraction of company rules, etc. Personally, I think the behavior is demonic. We have forsaken God and something has to fill the void.

    By the way, 98% of all active shooter events are perpetrated by a lone man (white, black, Hispanic – race is irrelevant). When a woman does it, she is invariably in the company of a man – that’s the other 2%. I was astounded when the police officer gave those statistics. This is what happens with the emasculation of males in western society through divorce, homosexuality, militant feminism, etc.

  20. C Matt, in further response to your comment, “Seems that would be more disconcerting, even if privately motivated by such things as ‘I was bored,'”the following is from the Secret Service in regards to school shootings. I suspect that in general these bullets apply to the majority of today’s violence whether at school or in the work place.

    —–

    A full report of the findings as well as the significant implications for both practical application and further investigation may be found in two jointly published Secret Service/ED reports: The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States (Vossekuil, Fein, Reddy, Borum, & Modzeleski, 2002) and Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates (Fein et al., 2002). The reports focused on 10 key findings from the SSI:

    • Incidents of targeted violence at schools rarely were sudden impulsive acts.
    • Most attackers did not threaten their targets directly prior to advancing the attack.
    • There was no useful or accurate “profile” of students who engaged in targeted school violence.
    • Most attackers had difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures. Moreover many had considered or attempted suicide.
    • Many attackers felt bullied, persecuted or injured by others prior to the attack. • Most attackers had access to and had used weapons prior to the attack.
    • Despite prompt law enforcement responses, most shooting incidents were stopped by means other than law enforcement interventions.
    • In many cases, other students were involved in some capacity.
    • Most attackers engaged in some behavior prior to the incident that caused others concern or indicated a need for help.
    • Prior to the incidents, other people knew about the attacker’s idea and/or plan to attack.

    —–

    More is here: http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac/bystander_study.pdf When I find the studies on the motives involved in other active shooter events I will post the links. Again, I really think all this is demonic as western society continues with its emasculation of males and its eradication of God from public life.

  21. c matt wrote, “I don’t know – what causes more terror in the general public – acts against a specific group because of their beliefs, race, etc. Or random acts of violence focused on no particular group, just general marauding?”

    Violence directed against even a small minority can create an atmosphere of general insecurity,if the authorities show themselves unable or unwilling to suppress it. It is the fact of lawlessnessand the authorities’ inability to repress it that people find alarming. Thus, I think George Younger, the Scottish Secretary was right, in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 to announce that the armed forces stood ready to come to the assistance of the civil power, if necessary, to protect Scotland’s Sikh community from violence.

    However, there is a delicate balance to be struck. When the then Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, warned that France’s Jews “could find themselves in great danger,” and encouraged them to make aliyah, many French Jews were, frankly, horrified. My Jewish friends, people like my Law Agent and his wife, a former minister in the Jospin government, told me that it would be a disaster, for French Jews, to regress into their own communal identity, which could, in turn, validate that of the Muslim community. They were concerned that “the Jewish community” and “the Muslim community” could be seen as two mutually hostile minorities, separate from the body of the nation, especially as 60% of France’s Jews are, themselves, second-generation immigrants from the Maghreb.
    In the teeth of the evidence, they retain a touching faith in laïcité and in its capacity to eliminate communautarism (by which they mean ethnic solidarities and allegiances that threaten to override Republican unity) and to mould future citizens of the Republic, one and indivisible.

  22. Many murders are not inspired by hatred. I have prosecuted a number of them and in only one did the killer feel any particular animosity towards the victim(s)

    One was a woman who, quite skilfully, sabotaged the wiring in a tenement building; she bore no malice towards her fellow-tenants, two of whom died of smoke inhalation in the ensuing fire, or even towards her landlord, for whom the policy proceeds were no doubt, an unexpected windfall. Her motive was that she wanted the Council to re-house her.

    Another, who shot a sub-postmaster in the course of a robbery complained bitterly about his victim: “Why did he have to try and be a hero? It wasn’t his money.” He had committed several similar robberies, without incident. The press praised the “have-a-go hero” and there was a public subscription for his widow. The police, so far as I could judge, shared, or at least sympathized, with his murderer’s attitude.

    Then there was a drug-dealer, who killed an associate and erstwhile friend. The victim’s drinking was getting out of hand; he was out of control and a risk to them all. Again, he bore his victim no malice; he just felt he had no choice.

    The exception was a schoolgirl who waited at the school gates for her victim, whom she had accused of alienating the affections of the most unprepossessing youth I have ever encountered. She stepped up behind her, threw her left arm around her neck and, with her right, stabbed her through the heart. They had come to blows in the street the day before and I could charge with perfect conviction, “AND you did previously evince malice and ill-will towards the said…”

  23. MPS.

    Absence of Malice Heart and Soul. Your experiences and execution of your profession must take it’s toll on your faith in humanity. God bless you folks, and may your service be greatly rewarded in this life and the next.

  24. The police, so far as I could judge, shared, or at least sympathized, with his murderer’s attitude.

    Suggests the institutional culture of that police force needs revamping, with discretionary dismissals if necessary.

  25. It appears that Cross may be charged with homicide, but the KKK must be charged with the hate crime. The KKK organization that practices hatred for another person must be charged with the hate crime.
    .
    This sets the stage for the Catholic Church to be charged with a hate crime when the Church warns against any sin, the result being that the state aligns itself with criminal behavior against the Church. The state hates the Church and any indictment of the Church in hate crimes is evidence of the states’ hatred.

  26. The mission of the Catholic Church is to evangelize the Truth, save souls and forgive sins. The duty of the state is to serve the people, protect freedom and prosecute crime. This is the principle of separation of church and state. The Constitution for the United States of America gives and protects freedom for the Catholic Church to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    .
    Atheism violates the principle of freedom of religion, as is, therefore, unconstitutional.
    .
    The statement of the mission of the Catholic Church and the principle of separation of church and state precludes any indictment of the Catholic Church on charges of hate crimes. To indict the Catholic Church on hate crime for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ without indicting Jesus Christ is a miscarriage of Justice. Indicting Jesus Christ, the Son of Justice, in absentia is unconstitutional. Indicting God, Himself, in absentia, for His opinion of gay practice, but not of the gay person, is unconstitutional. There are no crimes without victims.
    .
    Any person who claims to be a victim of hate crime must show real injury in a court of law.
    .
    “or prohibit the free exercise thereof” would preclude any indictment of the Catholic Church on any hate crime.

  27. Michael Paterson-Seymour, the fear that a particular murder inspires in a community is a separate question from the guilt of the individual criminal. To handle that other administrative measures must be considered including martial law if necessary. The administrative codes of various countries already have provisions for this. What prosecuting individuals of a particular community with a rider of hate-crime, while an individual of the now victimised community is in no danger of the same is to create a contempt for the law. No one likes to play on a tilted table.

  28. Philip wrote “Your experiences and execution of your profession must take it’s toll on your faith in humanity.”
    That is one reason I think it a good thing that Advocates-Depute (High Court Prosecutors) only serve a three-year term, before returning to private practice, with occasional calls to stand in for a particular case.
    Λόγοσ ούδέν κινεί – Reason moves nothing, says Aristotle and the passions that drive a good deal of human action are greed and fear. Lacordaire, the great French Dominican preacher was right, however, when he said “It is not genius, nor glory, nor love that reflects the greatness of the human soul; it is kindness.” [c’est bonté]
    Art Deco
    The detective police do seem to develop a rather curious symbiotic relationship with the criminal class. This is being addressed by ensuring officers do not spend too long in any one department.

  29. The detective police do seem to develop a rather curious symbiotic relationship with the criminal class.

    Where? Suggest that might be a problem local to the sort of place where they prosecute people for shooting home-invaders.

  30. Art Deco
    At one time, 20 or 30 years ago, there was a tendency on the part of the police to see the control exercised by the heads of the leading Glasgow firms – People like Arthur Thomson, Tam McGraw and Frank McPhee – as a stabilising influence, preventing the sort of gang warfare that had been rife in the 1930s. The big entrepreneurs ensured a steady flow of information to the police on free-lance drug-dealers, money-lenders and resetters, who operated outside the “Big Three” and its franchises. Many of the “snouts” or police informers were, in effect double-agents. Senior officers, regarding crime as inevitable, followed a policy of damage limitation through tacit understandings with the leading entrepreneurs.

    The Ice Cream Wars of the early 1980’s disrupted normal relations; the burning alive of “Fat Boy” Doyle, a middle-ranking figure, and six members of his family attracted considerable adverse publicity (The statement that “Police are treating the deaths as suspicious,” given the public mood, was ill-judged) and led to a number of prosecutions, on dubious evidence, of quite senior figures.

    Significantly, one of the most successful cases (in which I assisted) and that led to the conviction, not only of a number of leading figures,involved in the importation and distribution of “controlled substances,” but also of their investors – respected members of the business community – resulted from an investigation, not by the police, but by HM Customs & Excise. Another prosecution of Loyalist and Republican groups from Northern Ireland trying to break into the lucrative Glasgow drugs market, was the work of the intelligence services.

    In the case of lower-level crime, many officers, drawn from the same social milieu as the criminals they pursued, followed a similar policy of containment, rather than eradication. Enquiries from the Procurator-Fiscal (District Attorney) were met with claims that the police were well aware of what was going on, investigations were being actively pursued, premature action would make a successful conviction less likely &c, &c.

  31. And this is relevant to a discussion of the sort of collapse of moral sentiments manifest when a police officer sides with a murderous hoodlum and complains about a citizen acting in defense of others (at the cost of his own life)? (Not to mention the stupefying silliness of the Chief Manolo-Blahniks saying you need to control riots through the ‘consent of communities’???)

  32. Art Deco asks “And this is relevant to a discussion of the sort of collapse of moral sentiments manifest when a police officer sides with a murderous hoodlum and complains about a citizen acting in defense of others (at the cost of his own life)?”

    It is symptomatic of a culture of policing based on management and negotiation, rather than conflict and confrontation. The reaction of the media, when someone is killed in a robbery, leads to that policy being called into question.
    In the case in question, the police were well aware of his previous robberies, they were investigating his associates and had questioned him in the past. I do not know, but I suspect, they saw him as a potential source of information. Their principle concern would have been to trace the source of the firearm. A prosecutor would have been prepared to drop the robbery charges, in return for that information, but could hardly grant immunity for a high-profile murder.
    Hence the widespread feeling in police circles that the public should leave things to the professionals.

  33. It is symptomatic of a culture of policing based on management and negotiation, rather than conflict and confrontation.

    Thirty years ago, R. Adm. Grace Hopper was asked by an interviewer the source of where the country had gone wrong. Her reply: “the business schools”. The reason she offered was that the business schools had propagated the notion of management in lieu of leadership.

    Your police forces need to import some chaps from Texas to clean house.

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