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Animal Cruelty Considered a Form of Free Speech

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Robert Stevens is a man from Virginia who was formally charged for selling dog-fighting videos in 2004. Stevens was a pit bull enthusiast who sold pit bull related items over the internet. His home was raided and the authorities found a video, which was filmed in Japan, of dog fighting. He was charged under 18 U.S code, section 48, which prohibits the creation, sale and possession of materials depicting animal cruelty. He fought his case on the grounds of free speech.

This week the Supreme Court finally made a ruling for the United States vs. Stevens case. They ruled that visual depictions of animal cruelty are a form of free speech, which is our right as Americans. They ruled that just because an act is illegal does not mean that a depiction of the act is illegal. Also, depictions of animal cruelty are not illegal in Japan and that was where the films were taken. Animal rights activists are reacting negatively to this decision.

I believe that this should be illegal. Exceptions to the first amendment include obscenity, defamation, fraud, and incitement to violence or crime. Dog fighting fits within these exceptions. Not punishing images of animal cruelty encourages the act itself.

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Written by knconte1

May 13, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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