'Hate crimes' are 'thought crimes'
There are precious few crimes, especially murders, that can be classified as "love crimes."
In my opinion, the psychological intent or the mind state of the person committing the murder is already summed up in our criminal code with reference to degrees (first degree, second degree, manslaughter, etc).
If the person intended with forethought to visit bodily harm resulting in the death of an innocent person for reasons not related to self defense, that perpetrator committed murder. Period. It is immaterial whether the perp is a racist or whether the perp is Mother Teresa.
To assign an instance of the wanton deprivation of another's life as more or less severe simply because the perp was a racist and/or did it out of racial spite is superfluous. The reasons behind premeditation are immaterial.
Premeditated murder is premeditated murder.
When society assigns the gravity of premeditated murder as dependent on the mind state of the premeditator, you are now jumping into the realm of thought crimes.
Do we really want to go there?
Unfortunately, there appear to be many on the left who do.
As the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case clearly illustrates, progressives are more than happy to fall all over themselves in immediately assigning motives of racism and "hate crime" (read: thought crime) status when a fellow-traveler is on the receiving end and a white person (even a ginned-up "White Hispanic" person) is on the giving end. If a white conservative person is on the giving end, consider it a fait accompli.
When one or more of their own constituency is on the giving end, not so much. Rare indeed is the case when one hears about minority-on-white violence being prosecuted as a "hate crime."
Which leads me to believe that to a critical mass of our population (not necessarily minorities, but exclusively "progressives" at any rate), the whole concept of "hate crime" is not borne out of a thirst for blind justice; rather, the concept of "hate crime" seems to serve as a tool to exact revenge on those who progressives identify as enemies of their ideology at worst, or as a tool to engender a sense of collective victimhood and/or other personal political agendae at best.
It looks as though the thugs who murdered 88-year old WWII veteran Delbert Belton will not be charged with a hate crime.
Despite the race-based, hateful tweets that at least one of Delbert's assailants penned hours before the attack, I'm sure there was nothing but a sense of unconditional love in their hearts that accompanied their professed boredom as they beat him senseless and robbed him of his life.
Such is life in our brave, new world.