Friday, February 22, 2008

Reduced, but still impactful.

Last October, I wrote about my love for the ability of tort law to stop some groups from engaging in hateful activities. This is an update to that story.

In that case, a jury awarded an $11 million verdict to the father of a soldier killed from the Westboro Baptist Church, a pseudo-church hate group. The group protests the funerals of soldiers because they believe that god is punishing American for its tolerance of homosexuals.

Post-verdict, a judge recently cut the jury award from a total of $11 million to $5 million. Although the award is smaller, it should still be enough to hinder Westboro's ability to inflict such pain in the future.


yankeegirl said...

Sorry to see the judge cut this award- hitting their wallet seems to be the only thing that will stop these crazies.
I loved the comment the prosecutor said to the jury something like "make the award high enough so these people never come to md again with their circus of hate"

Roxanne said...

Yes, it is too bad, but fortunately the amount of the remaining award is probably still high enough to make a difference (as much as it can against people who are clearly mentally imbalanced enough to believe that God is killing individual soldiers in revenge for the U.S.'s supposed lax attitude towards homosexuals - I'm not sure that Matthew Sheppard would agree that our attitudes are lax, however.)

I just find the whole concept of using tort law to disband hate groups - like how the Southern Poverty Law Center bankrupted the Aryan Nation in northern Idaho. Inspiring.