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Humans And Animals. Hard To Tell One From The Other Sometimes

"Crush videos."

Until today, I have never heard of them.

I wish I could still say that.

A crush video usually consists of a women, using her feet, sometimes bare, sometimes with high-heels, crushing a small or baby animal until it dies.

Apparently, the sight of this gets some "people" sexually aroused.

Words can't describe just how depraved a person's life must be that this level of inexplicable brutality would satisfy some heinous void they carry inside.

Under a law passed in 1999, it was illegal to sell these videos.

Until yesterday.

The Supreme Court ruled, 8-1, with Samuel Alito the dissenting vote, the law unconstitutional as an infringement of free speech.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Still hope for passing an "extreme animal cruelty" law

Yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law designed to stop the sale and marketing of videos depicting dogfights and other acts of animal cruelty, saying it is an "unconstitutional violation of free speech." The justices concluded (in an 8-1 decision) that the scope and intent of the decade-old statute was overly broad.

Chief Justice John Roberts argued that Congress had not sufficiently shown that "depictions" of dogfighting were enough to justify a special category of exclusion from free speech protection.
The specific case before the court addressed tapes showing pit bulls attacking each other and other animals in staged fights. This case marked the first prosecution in the United States to proceed to trial under the 1999 law.

Although the ruling is considered a major defeat for the Humane Society of the United States and other animal rights groups (plus the 26 states that supported upholding the anti-cruelty law), the Court acknowledged the "long history" of animal protection in the United States and left open the question of whether a more targeted law aimed at "extreme animal cruelty" would be constitutional.

Congress now has the opportunity to draft a more narrowly defined statute to crack down on the sale of videos featuring illegal acts of animal cruelty, including crushing of small animals for sexual gratification and dogfighting. (An HSUS investigation had previously uncovered an underground subculture of animal crush videos in which puppies, kittens and other small animals are stomped, smothered and pierced to death, often by women wearing high-heeled shoes.)

According to the HSUS, there were once approximately 3,000 crush videos available in the marketplace selling for up to $300 apiece. When Congress enacted the 1999 anti-cruelty law with overwhelming bipartisan support, that market all but disappeared. But following a federal appellate court's July 2008 declaration that the law is unconstitutional, crush videos once again began and continue to flourish on the Internet.

In conjunction with its decision, the high court dismissed the conviction of Robert Stevens, a Pittsville, Virginia man who calls himself a "journalist and author" who sold videos through his business, Dogs of Velvet and Steel. According to court records, undercover federal agents discovered that he was advertising his tapes in Sporting Dog Journal, an underground illegal dogfighting magazine.

Stevens was charged in 2004 with violating interstate commerce laws by selling depictions of animal cruelty and was sentenced to 37 months in prison. (Michael Vick, who ran an illegal dogfighting ring, was only sentenced 14 months.) This sentence was promptly appealed and has now been put on hold.

Several media organizations supported Stevens, saying that they were worried the federal law could restrict reports about deer hunting and depictions of bullfighting in Ernest Hemingway novels. (Ed. Give me a break.)


Today, Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., James Moran, D-Va., Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and more than 50 other Representatives introduced H.R. 5092 in response to Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Stevens. According to the HSUS, "this narrowly-crafted statute is designed to end the intentional crushing, burning, drowning and impaling of puppies, kittens and other animals for the depraved purpose of peddling videos of such extreme acts of animal cruelty for the sexual titillation of viewers."

While I am a zealot for free speech, I am an ardent animal lover.

If it were possible, I would "crush" every God damned animal abuser alive.

This law can't be passed soon enough.

Just when you think you've heard it all...


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Comments (24)

We need to find out who the... (Below threshold)

We need to find out who these people are and get them help.

Why did Michael Vick go to ... (Below threshold)

Why did Michael Vick go to jail? Oh that's right.. There was money at stake and the state saw dollar signs.

Sick mother fuckers.

"any depiction" i... (Below threshold)
"any depiction" in which "a living animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded or killed."

This law is way to broad and having the government say trust me while BHO is in charge is a little scary. I am sure they can craft a specific law and with narrow scope.
Just imagine what would happen if you BHO appointed a PETA person to justice.

Im seeing double now... (Below threshold)

Im seeing double now

While I am a zealo... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:
While I am a zealot for free speech, I am an ardent animal lover.

If it were possible, I would "crush" every God damned animal abuser alive.

Fellow animal lover here, but I wouldn't crush every animal abuser alive.

Just his balls.

Looking at my lab looking b... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Looking at my lab looking back at me, I know the type of "help" I'd volunteer to give these folks.

They will screw it up and t... (Below threshold)
Rich K:

They will screw it up and the new version will end right back at scotus in a few years. The fact that scumbags do these things to critters is not going away just because you all become sanctimonious about it. The scum will go where the law is weak and the net will allow them to gain a market for the trolls who indulge in this crap.Only your own pet watch attitude will help those critters who can be helped but this is a big world and the DC guys have way too large of an opinion of what those "laws" they pass can do.

914 @ #2 said:<blockq... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

914 @ #2 said:

Why did Michael Vick go to jail? Oh that's right.. There was money at stake and the state saw dollar signs.


Actually, he was prosecuted because there was evidence of crimes committed in Georgia, Virginia, and against federal statutes.

The horrible videos in question typically would not give any indication of the identities of the miscreants who participated in the unspeakable acts of cruelty, nor of in what jurisdiction they were committed. Prosecution of the people responsible will be difficult, but we could devote some resources to tracking them down, and when we do find them, throw the book at them.

Unfortunately, a constitutionally drafted law against the videos themselves is unlikely.

It was a terrible law, and ... (Below threshold)

It was a terrible law, and the supreme court rightly struck it down. The acts you're describing remain illegal (but filming them doesn't make them illegaler). However, the law was so broadly written, that any depiction of an act illegal in the location where the depiction is disseminated was illegal. Say you go to Alaska to legally hunt grizzly bear and film it (or even take pictures of it) and bring those pictures back to Virginia (my home state). Virginia has no season for grizzly bear, and therefore hunting it is illegal. You've now run afoul of the law--since you have depictions of killing an animal in a jurisdiction where that act would be illegal. (Despite a complete lack of grizzly bears in VA.) Or, this law makes transporting a depiction of legally hunting with a crossbow in a state where it's allowed into a state (or even county) where a crossbow is not legal to hunt a crime.

"We need to find ou... (Below threshold)

"We need to find out who these people are and get them help"

Who cares who they are? The help they deserve is only a sledsgehammer away.

I voted democrat because as... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I voted democrat because as a member of PETA I still believe that people have right to express themselves and marry giraffes if they want to.

This one is really quite si... (Below threshold)
jim m:

This one is really quite simple.

Not surprisingly, congress screwed up and drafted a piece of crap law. Rather than making it illegal to record and sell videos of illegal animal abuse they made it illegal to record killing etc of an animal. This means that it is illegal to depict the lawful slaughter of livestock. It's illegal to video hunting. It would be illegal to video an accident where a dear is hit by a truck on the interstate. The law was every bit as good as the imbeciles who drafted and voted for it.

Maybe next time we can have a congress with a clue that outlaws making videos of animal cruelty that specifically assresses the cruelty and provides exception for legal activities.

Problem is that it might require thinking on the part of our congress.

Maybe this could have been avoided if the idiots would read the bills before voting on them.

From our emotionally reacti... (Below threshold)

From our emotionally reactive Congress in every instance of bad law:

"But that's not what we meant!"

Just don't get caught prayi... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Just don't get caught praying.

I think Jim has is right, C... (Below threshold)

I think Jim has is right, Congress (mostly lawyers) wrote a bad law. While this activity is sickening the law should be constitutional and properly enforcable not open to abuse by the government. Now if they can't get this right do you suppose they can get a health care bill right? The scary part for me is they probably all read this bill.....

oops brain cramp... Jim has... (Below threshold)

oops brain cramp... Jim has it right

Words fail me for the court... (Below threshold)

Words fail me for the court...except shame and fear. May God bless Samuel Alito.

"Maybe this could have b... (Below threshold)

"Maybe this could have been avoided if the idiots would read the bills before voting on them."

What fun would that be Jim? They would have to defend said legislation than? instead of feigning to not know what was in the bill they were allegedly hired to vote on? Like stolen funds care part2, the hillary trials! Oops, I mean Osamacare.

With this kind of purposeful stupidity it is not surprising they will God willing, be drawing pink slips at our expense "THIS" ( Adrian ) November 2010

I willfully support and would gladly pay for their rich bitch ass retirement parachutes. Of course these would come with no strings attached!

i didnt' read law or case. ... (Below threshold)
James H:

i didnt' read law or case. How did it define "depiction?"

Hurting, killing little ani... (Below threshold)

Hurting, killing little animals...why don't these freaks try it with a larger animal, like a tiger, shark, bear,etc. Scum like these people are only brave when it is something tiny and can not defend itself.

Anyone who would do this, is just one step to doing it to a small child or other defendless being. A hot place in hell for all of them.

You know, sometimes I just hate most people.

The problem is our amoral c... (Below threshold)
Don L:

The problem is our amoral culture. Just because a law allows a behavior, doesn't mean society need approve of it. Someone can sit outside achurch and give parishoners the finger as the leave.

It may be legal, but it certainly ought not be done.

I suppose if we legalize the killing of innocent humans in and just out (Obamacide) of the womb -that too is evil, though legal. The only difference is it's not allowed to be seen lest a little honest child tell the Emperor that he's killing babies. Perhaps thee court needs to rule on the public showing of an abortion being free speech?

Why get excited about crushing animals when we are legally crushing humans with full righteousness?

I've noticed one thing abou... (Below threshold)
James H:

I've noticed one thing about abortion activists. They seem imminently capable of bringing any topic back to abortion. I mean, you can be having a pleasant conversation about flowers, and the activist will somehow find an excuse to trot out his hackneyed abortion cliches. It gets old.

I was a bit surprised by Al... (Below threshold)

I was a bit surprised by Alito's "neo-liberal" opinion. Why can't they just re-write a law that uses an obscenity limitation like that used for child porn, but still adheres to the 1st amendment? Also, this should be a state issue, and states can legislate against this. It's a bit outside the federal government's reach - a big stretch of that commerce clause catchall.

I don't think protecting an... (Below threshold)

I don't think protecting animals from horrid deaths or torture at the hands of some perverted sadist should necessarily brand Alito's dissent as "neo-liberal."

That implies a "neo-conservative" would approve of these actions.

That's just not right.

Political ideology, at least when it comes to an act like this, is irrelevant.

(However, if you are speaking about viewing the opinion in terms of a legal, constitutional constructionist way, your point could be valid. I'm assuming that's what you mean.)






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