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By The Supreme Court

Discussion in 'Laws & Legislation' started by CHICO, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. CHICO

    CHICO Pup




    WASHINGTON — In a setback for the animal-rights movement, a U.S. appeals court struck down on free-speech grounds Friday a federal law that made it a crime to sell videos of dogs fighting and other acts of animal cruelty.
    All 50 states have laws against the abuse of animals, the appeals court said, but "a depiction of animal cruelty" is protected by the First Amendment.
    The ruling overturns a Virginia man's conviction, the nation's first under the law. Robert Stevens of Pittsville, Va., advertised and sold two videos of pit bulls fighting each other and a third showing the pit bulls attacking hogs and wild boars.
    He sold the videos to prosecutors in Pittsburgh, was prosecuted, convicted and given three years in prison.
    In Friday's decision, the appeals court in Philadelphia, by a 10-3 vote, said it was not prepared to recognize a new category of speech that is unprotected by the First Amendment.
    Congress passed the law in 1999 in hopes of stamping out the trade in animal-cruelty videos. Because the videos rarely showed persons who could be identified, state prosecutors often could not prove where the videos were made.
    Usually, videos and photographs are protected as free speech, even if they show illegal or abhorrent conduct. But in 1982, the Supreme Court made an exception for child pornography. It ruled that sexual depictions of children could be prosecuted as a crime, despite the First Amendment. This was the only way to stamp out such abuse of children, the high court said.
    Government lawyers said the animal-cruelty law should be upheld on the same basis. It was needed to stop the abuse of animals for profit, they said.
    The Justice Department had no reaction Friday to the ruling. Normally, however, the government appeals to the Supreme Court when a federal law is struck down.
  2. cutt

    cutt CH Dog

    Im happy to hear the outcome for him. I hope all will be well, but unfotunately he'll have a cloud over hime by the humaniacs.
  3. 14rock

    14rock GRCH Dog

    A well deserved victory for Mr. Stevens

    Am I to understand, this would make historic, and overseas match videos legal?
  4. bahamutt99

    bahamutt99 CH Dog

    Good news, IMO.

    I may not be a fan of certain things, but I damn sure don't think it should be a crime to possess those kinds of videos. (Not too bright, maybe, but not a crime.) I bought a documentary called American Pit Bull, and I've got a copy of Off the Chain, both of which have that kind of footage. How is one legal and the other not? And if that stuff is illegal, then what about books that talk about old matches? What about old prints?

    The AR movement is a friggin' steamroller, and they wont be happy until we're all in prison for having even a hint of interest in things outside the normal realm of pet dogs. There needs to be a system in place to keep those people in check, just as much as they're trying to check everyone else.
  5. yellaman420

    yellaman420 Big Dog

    Big HELL YEAH for Mr. Bob Stevens!!!! His whole case was a raft of b.s.
  6. Pitbull219

    Pitbull219 CH Dog

    I was just discussing with someone the other day about the bull shit double standard that exists.....one could possess Nazi paraphenalia, Klan uniforms, and all types of really offensive things, but it is allowed because of the first ammendment (as it should be). But God forbid if you have a dogfight video or magazine. Finally common sense prevailed for once.........
  7. pennsooner

    pennsooner CH Dog

    This will make it much harder to bust people for having for example a back issue of the Sporting Dog Journal.

    And it was an Appeals Court, not the Supreme Court, but with a 10-3 majority I don't see it being appealed.

    And it is a little disgusting to have some of the videos they were outlawing, it wasn't just match videos, it was things like "crush" videos as well. Things like women in high heels crushing small animals for sexual arousal.

    I'm writing here about the law in general, not just the case sited.
  8. erik152

    erik152 Pup

    Why would they be illegal they were matches from the golden days when it wasent a capital offense to have fun with game-dogs
  9. 14rock

    14rock GRCH Dog

    Actually, in Mr. Stevens case, he showed small segments of LEGAL japanese matches.
  10. debodebo

    debodebo Top Dog

    That's what it sounds like. That is unless they appeal to the SCOTUS. Maybe the SCOTUS will get it right if it is appealed to them.
  11. simms

    simms CH Dog

    There is hope after all! Godbless them for hanging in there!

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