Texas Judge Says Animal Snuff Films Are Constitutional

Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Justice

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


  1. Berit Helberg says on  04/24/2013 at 7:54 pm

    Dear jugde… Get yourself a heart because obviously you don’t have one. How can a hideous, violent, cruel act like hurting innocent animals and enjoying waching it at a movie, be okay?

  2. Tom says on  04/24/2013 at 7:56 pm

    so, since its ok to kill animals on film…and i mean domestic not…like deer or stuff like that for hunting….since is obviously ok….when those two ANIMALS up above show up dead….its ok , right?

  3. Randi Weidman says on  04/24/2013 at 8:04 pm

    Killing domestic animals for entertainment is a crime, isn’t it. It should be. That may as well be someones pet that is suffering. For what ENTERTAINMENT? What kind of world is this ok in????

  4. Anonymous says on  04/24/2013 at 8:12 pm

    Then by his ruling, human snuff films should be legal as long as they are called “art.” Where do you draw the line?

  5. Anonymous says on  04/24/2013 at 8:14 pm

    Absolute disgrace. Reenact the videos replacing the two of them as the animals they are…

  6. Anonymous says on  04/24/2013 at 8:32 pm

    i totally agree… reenact the video replacing the two of them and dont forget to include the judge!!

  7. mnonymous says on  04/24/2013 at 8:34 pm

    So if you were filmed doing the same to them it would be ok? Just making a snuff film!

  8. Pat Houle says on  04/24/2013 at 8:37 pm

    What in the Hell is wrong with this judge???? He’s a disgrace to the judicial system. Where is his conscience and where is his heart???? He should be disbarred. I don’t know how anyone can condone this horrible thing these people do. He is just as bad as them……

  9. Pedro says on  04/24/2013 at 9:13 pm

    This judge is a pile of crap. I hope he gets AIDS.

  10. Anonymous says on  04/24/2013 at 10:01 pm

    maybe the judge IS the one of the “paying customers”…

  11. Anonymous says on  04/24/2013 at 10:21 pm

    I could write them a list of serial killers that started this way… Jeffrey Dahmer, David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy etc.. they all started this way.

  12. Anonymous says on  04/24/2013 at 10:57 pm

    I wish I could put these two animals and judge through a meat slicer! I mean this is ridiculous, when is enough, enough.

  13. So if someone filmed child abuse or child pornography and called it “art”, would that also be protected by “The First Amendment”? I thought “art” was supposed to show creativity in a positive way, not prove how sick and twisted someone is.

  14. Shirley says on  04/24/2013 at 11:50 pm

    There is no valid logic f

  15. Shirley says on  04/24/2013 at 11:51 pm

    There is no valid justification f

  16. Shirley says on  04/24/2013 at 11:53 pm

    For this barbarianism. That judge is smoking what he ought not be!!

  17. Anonymous says on  04/25/2013 at 12:38 am

    There’s no way this would stand up to appellate review. Even using a strict-scrutiny framework, it’s incredibly clear that the government can demonstrate a compelling interest in preventing animal cruelty.

  18. Anonymous says on  04/25/2013 at 1:15 am

    So if I film myself killing that couple in his jurisdiction in Texas, I can call it art and not be arrested for Murder? Crock of CRAP!!!!!! Animal Cruelty should not be able to be masked just because it is filmed! Technically, then, that couple are animals, so Game On!

  19. Anonymous says on  04/25/2013 at 2:42 am

    lets castrate the judge in a very art-sy manner…. we will not go to jail for it.

  20. Nex says on  04/25/2013 at 11:20 am

    The world is burning and it’s subhumans like this that are striking the matches.

    People that love to torture and watch the torture of children and animals are the lowest forms of life in my opinion.

  21. Anonymous says on  04/25/2013 at 7:08 pm

    since it’s not against the law to kill animals, it’s ok to kill those two since their animals…

  22. Anonymous says on  04/27/2013 at 12:00 pm

    There is SERIOUSLY something wrong with people if this act of DISGUST happens period. Filmed or not. There is no reason for people like this to be alive; if you can’t see the wrong is torturing harmless, defenseless animals, you need to evaluate why. And this judge is just as wrong and sick as the couple who filmed it. There is a special place for all of you in the afterlife -hell. Go burn there.

  23. Anonymous says on  04/27/2013 at 4:54 pm

    Please fix the title of the article! is was a US District Court and Judge. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TEXAS!Us judges are put there after being nominated by president and confirmed by Senate.

  24. Annie says on  05/03/2013 at 12:07 am

    As long as it’s called art!?! WHO calls it art and when? Who decides? How is it decided? How is it that torture, brutality and cruelty against innocent animals is art at anytime? This is the biggest bunch of BS ever.

    These films have nothing to do with free speech. What about what the animals that were abused for those films. Did they get to speak up about what happened to them?

    This judge is insane…not to mention cold. He must be a customer of the freaks above.

    He completely overrode the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act. He didn’t do his job.

  25. Disgusted says on  05/08/2013 at 5:26 pm

    I hope these two things (they cannot be “human” beings) one day suffer the way they inflicted suffering on innocent animals, even if mice were included.

    As for the judge, he is probably a “good ol’ boy” and shoots animals for fun. I hate people sometimes, and after reading a story like this, I know why.

  26. Anonymous says on  05/11/2013 at 10:47 am

    i am not going to talk about heaven or hell here, its about earth and what we do to it (nature and life). Humans are the most stupid and heartless living thing, do we not learn form our past!? NO, we dont. We talk of the future but that is all it is…talk, no action. We now should take a look at the past(Africa Blood and Gore) on youtube for instance, in was All human fault. If we(yes, us) cant stop a few barbareans from doing these things to OUR friends, the problem lies within. Dont stand for this, DO SOMETHING!! I do my part everyday, keep my eyes open and if i see something i dont like, or just suspect wrongedoing, I CALL…I CALL. I dont care if its a false alarm, word will soon get around that we will not stand for this cruelty. You that are doing this kind of thing…come find me, they, will be your last steps.

  27. Moira Galvin says on  05/15/2013 at 6:35 pm

    What a stupid idiotic judge he should be struck off…..killing and cruelty to any animal is not ok…..these people are so sick….hope they all rot in jail

  28. tina says on  05/16/2013 at 5:57 pm

    what the fuck has this world come to and obviously its animal cruelty and it is illegal how can that judge sleep at night i hope they all get what they deserve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.