Tuesday, September 21, 2010
U.S. Senator States that Re-Banning Animal Crush Videos 'A Virtual Certainty' After Horrible Supreme Court Decision Made them Legal
Thank whatever you want – god or not – but this is a huge development. It’s heartening to see that the Senate still has some decency as a key member used the terminology 'A Virtual Certainty' when saying that a bill to ban sick animal crush videos will survive.
Unbelievably, this is due to the fact that “On April 20, the Supreme Court in an 8-1 decision overturned a 1999 federal law that banned the creation of such videos...” I could go on and on as to the sick ramifications of this horrible decision, but you get the point.
As stated below, “Crush videos visually depict the abuse and killing of animals, many showing "a scantily clad, high-heeled woman stomping, squishing" and otherwise torturing animals such as puppies and kittens to feed a sexually deviant audience…”
We can only hope this happens and we’ll keep you informed.
Senator Says Re-banning Animal Crush Videos 'A Virtual Certainty'
A speedy Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning paid notice to animal rights groups that hope to flatten a resurgence of "animal crush" videos, an industry they say has regained ground after the United States v. Stevens decision reversed a previous ban on their creation and distribution.
Crush videos visually depict the abuse and killing of animals, many showing "a scantily clad, high-heeled woman stomping, squishing" and otherwise torturing animals such as puppies and kittens to feed a sexually deviant audience, said Nancy Perry, vice president for government affairs for The Humane Society, during testimony.
On April 20, the Supreme Court in an 8-1 decision overturned a 1999 federal law that banned the creation of such videos, reversing a criminal conviction of Robert Stevens, who was sentenced to three years of jail time for making videos of dog fights. The Court said the law was too broad and could include productions relating to hunting and fishing.
Ever since, Congress and animal rights organizations have been working on legislation that would put a federal ban back in place. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) presided over the hearing and said it was his hope, after testimony and questioning, to help draft a Senate version of the July 21 House bill that would "narrowly tailor" the issue. The more specific the bill, the better chances it has of standing should it ever face scrutiny again, he explained.
Kevin Volkan of the California State University psychology program testified that crush video fans suffer from paraphilias, or sexual disorders similar to fetishes. There's no question what purpose the videos serve, he said.
"They are clearly sexual in nature," Volkan said. He also said his research shows that viewers typically will not acknowledge or treat their behavior unless they've been arrested and forced into treatment by the court.
ACLU lobbyist Michael Macleod-Ball said Volkan's testimony also contributed to the obscenity argument, a rule of measure that excludes speech referring to explicit sexual acts from First Amendment rights. Animal cruelty is illegal but banning the depiction of such acts inherently violates free speech, he said.
Congress could be trying to expand the definition of obscenity, which they cannot and should not do, he said.
An audience of roughly 50 listened as Perry described a video in which a puppy's mouth and legs were tied shut while someone stomped a stiletto heel through its eye socket. Further, a Humane Society investigation has found that new videos are being custom produced — a viewer may place an order specifically requesting the type of animal and torture — and receive it within 48 hours, she said.
A federal ban would help limit the crush video industry, which almost disappeared after the 1999 law, she said.
Kyl said the likelihood of the new bill being signed into law before the end of this session is "a virtual certainty." Both he and Macleod-Ball said the challenge would be that the law is written narrowly enough to survive judicial scrutiny.
"If they don't get it right, it's just going to go back up and down again," Macleod-Ball said, referring to the possibility that someone could challenge a new ban and bring it to the Supreme Court once more.
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