OK, I get the SCOTUS decision on the animal cruelty videos. The law was written too broadly and criminalized videos likely not intended to fall under the law.
So what’s the best way forward? Do we ask Congress to draft a new law that specifically names the types of animal cruelty depictions that do not constitute freedom of expression? Or should the law say something else? Or would any law intended to prevent the making and distribution of cruelty-vids-as-porn infringe too much on the 1st Amendment?
6 thoughts on “Is Criminalizing Animal Cruelty Videos Wise?”
Micro managing.. there are already laws that cover animal cruelty..IMO the best way forward is to enforce the laws we already have that are fair and REPEAL the ones that are not ( BSL, pet limits to name two)
I think they should take another crack at drafting the law. We’ve seen how poorly the animal cruelty laws work, and also, the sale and distribution can be made illegal so that no one can profit from this sick material. What is needed is for someone to carefully draft the law so that the videos encompassed are those which depict the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals in a manner intended to appeal to the voyeuristic and sadistic enjoyment of the animals’ pain and suffering – something like that. It would exclude hunting films and films about undercover stings of animal abuse, or seal hunts or whatnot, but include “crush videos” and dogfights, etc.
I say let them video away and then use the videos to prosecute the underlying crimes.
And could we please encourage the media not to run out and buy thousands of copies of these items every time an issue comes up? Buy one, share, pass it around – don’t feed the monster.
I’m torn between use of the videos as evidence to prosecute crimes and amendment of the Federal Animal Welfare Act but I lean toward criminalizing the videos just to see if doing so will accomplish anything. We know that dog fighting takes place, as sickening as that is. I would like anyone who tries to profit from the practice to have some deterrent to doing so.
Prosecute the act, not the speech. As I posted over at Heather’s, once one kind of distasteful speech is outlawed it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to squashing the rest.
I think we already have a hard enough time investigating and prosecuting ACTS of animal cruelty with the laws and budgets we already have. Criminalizing videos of such acts would draw money, time, and energy from the main goal. This is where the comparison to child pornography breaks down, (people don’t get off with a slap on the wrist for raping a child, unlike dogfighters).