I made no claim that hate crime legislation broke new ground by considering intent. I made no claim that legal systems in the past protected people equally, and I’m far from surprised that Norman England fell well short of the mark.
What I do claim is that hate crime laws formalize a social view that some people need to be protected more vigilently than others. Laws like this represent a turning away from the ideal of equal protection of the law to one where the level of protection, and also the resources that are brought to bear, depend on the pedigress of the victim and the assailant.
A venemous sociopath that intentionally performs violent, hateful acts against Sevent Day Adventists is considered more of a threat to society, and considered more beyond the pale, than a venomous sociopath that intentially targets dentists. Because Seventh Day Adventists are considered a protected class, and dentists are not.