In a shocking decision in a case against a Houston couple, a judge ruled that animal snuff, or “crush” films, are protected by the First Amendment.
Animal lovers and decent human beings in general are appalled and disgusted that this ruling allows people to film animal torture, which might otherwise be a crime, as long as it is called “art.”
Judge Sim Lake dismissed the charges against Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Justice, who created several of these crush films in which they subjected puppies, kittens, chickens and mice to unspeakable tortures.
One of the films showed a pit bull puppy being slashed with a meat cleaver, and eventually beheaded. In another, a kitten’s eye was smashed with a stiletto heel. The pair claimed they were creating the videos for paying customers, but whatever the motivation for their behavior, it is unconscionable that anyone could perform such malicious acts.
In spite of their heinous and extremely violent deeds, the torturers were only facing two years for their crimes before they were tossed out. Thankfully they still face two federal counts in the indictment for selling and transferring obscene matter, and for the production and transportation of obscene matter.
The federal Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010 outlawed “any photograph, motion picture, film, video or digital recording, or electronic image that: (1) depicts actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury; and (2) is obscene.”
Judge Lake said, “the acts depicted in animal crush videos are disturbing and horrid,” but “it is still considered protected speech.” The judge felt the statute was “overbroad” in nature, thus making it unconstitutional.
In any event, animal lovers are outraged and calling for the appeal of this decision. The judge’s ruling could let other animal abusers and dog-fighters get away with inflicting pain and death upon innocent creatures as long as they film it and call it art.
Here is a petition demanding the judge to rethink his decision: http://www.causes.com/actions/1747889-demand-that-judge-sim-lake-rethinks-his-decision-on-animal-crush-videos?ctm=issues-animals
Here is a link to a site with more information about animal crush videos: http://www.stopcrush.org/?tag=animal-snuff-films