In Queens, N.Y., prosecutors have started pursuing some cases with elderly victims as hate crimes, the New York Times reports. Most of these situations involved financial fraud, not assaults, but thanks to a unique twist in state law, prosecutors don't have to prove the defendants "hated" the elderly. The standard is that a crime was committed because the bad guy held a belief about a certain group -- for example, that elderly people are slower mentally and, thus, easier to trick.
I know a lot of our regular readers have serious concerns about hate-crime laws and their fairness. But prosecutors note that, thanks to the hate-crime add-on, they've been able to get stiffer sentences against crooks who've ruined the elderly's financial lives. Does this one pass the smell test?