Is this a crime?

Gonna start this post Neogaf style:

Christopher Handley Sentenced to 6 Months for 'Obscene' Manga

Christopher Handley, the Iowa man on trial for possessing manga "drawings of children being sexually abused," was sentenced on Thursday to six months in prison. Following this sentence, Handley must serve three years of supervised release and five years of probation. Both of these terms will start upon his release from prison and will run concurrently. Handley also agreed to forfeit all seized materials, including his computer. During Handley's supervised release and probation, Handley must also "participate in a treatment program, to include psychological testing and a polygraph examination, as directed by the U. S. Probation Officer." According to earlier court documents, this last provision is "intended to provide [Handley] with diagnosis and treatment for sexually and/or gender identity or other mental health issues."

Handley pleaded guilty to his charges in May 2009.


Now, before I start ranting, I want to get one thing straight.  I'm a huge supporter of privacy.  What you do on your own time is strictly between you and yourself, and whomever you might deem worth involving. 

That said, I don't understand how this is a crime worth sending someone to prison for.  Who is the victim here?

Were there any children who were molested by this man?  No.  Was anyone hurt?  No.  So then who has the right to deem what people can and cannot read? 

The last I remember, this country had something called the first amendment, which protects the right to free speech.  I don't remember reading anywhere that the politics of the government had the ability to tell you what you can read and what you cannot.  This case is an obvious red herring — if they are willing to jail you over on the simple grounds of possession, then the slippery slope is now upside down; bar the door Katie, the ATC is comin' in guns blazin'.  Oh, you have a copy of Playboy?  Well too bad son, off to jail with you.

Where does this end?  Is anyone safe now?  Because this case just made a huge precedent.  The mere fact that you possess pornographic material should not be a legal case meriting arrest.  Those types of books are fiction.  Fiction in the sense that they are imaginary people in an imaginary setting.  Since when did these imaginary characters have lawful rights? 

I can go on and on forever about this case.  The fact of the matter is that this case is less about Mr. Handley and more about the repercussions this case will have in the future.  If we continue down this path, we will be usurping the innocent before proving the guilty.

I would invite everyone to read the article and look at the case the prosecution makes, especially their comparison of works of art like Lolita that have quote, "arguable scientific, literary, artistic, or political value" in comparison to the manga in question.  It's just absolutely absurd.

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1 Response to “Is this a crime?”

  1. 1 Kyoto Observer February 13, 2010 at 3:24 am

    The whole world is experiencing this kind of growing totalitarianism. But I would say it is particularly noticeable in your country and the UK. The NWO NOW OWN the world. Been to an airport lately?

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Random quote of the day: "I like girls, but I'm more into justice."

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