GirlChat #738156

Start A New Topic!  Submit SRF  Thread Index  Date Index  

Freedom of Expression

Posted by Samizdat on Saturday, April 24 2021 at 6:11:39PM
In reply to The Government is clearly violating our rights posted by Robert777 on Monday, April 05 2021 at 0:14:27PM

> I have been doing some research regarding all of this it illegal to have drawn porn or anything that is even related to it and according to the
> the link below the Government clearly can not do that as it clearly falls into the freedom of artistic expression please see link below.

Robert, you will have to forgive me if my response comes across as more than a little harsh, but you really need to get your head out of the clouds.

You clearly do NOT have the first inkling of what you're potentially getting yourself into. Freedom of expression is not an absolute -- it has many exceptions, and the largest of those exceptions has to do with pornography. The details are naturally going to vary, depending on which country and legal system you're dealing with, but as a general rule, all of the English-speaking countries tend to have similar laws.

In Canada, any written or drawn materials that involve underage persons are classifiable as child pornography, with one exception. That exception comes into play ONLY if the material is NEVER shown (even accidentally) to anyone else by the artist.

In the United States, the scope of materials covered by the First Amendment was limited by the Roth case, in 1957, in which it was ruled that obscene materials were NOT covered by the First Amendment. The laws governing obscenity were finally codified in the seminal 1973 case Miller v. California, which covered illustrated materials. For a number of decades, following the Miller case, prosecutors even avoided the prosecution of text-only materials.

That ended in 2006, when Pennsylvania resident Karen Fletcher was charged for publication of graphic stories on a website she operated. Fletcher had lawyers who believed she had an excellent defense under the First Amendment, but the prosecutor stated she wanted a custodial sentence of five years. Fletcher suffered from an extreme case of agoraphobia, and the stress of going to jail probably would have killed her. So it was that she entered into a plea-bargain, to avoid the possibility of going to jail.

The Feds charged Fletcher under 18 USC 1862 §1462(a) and 2, which covers the "Importation or transportation of obscene matters".

This brings us to the case of the late Frank Russell McCoy. Frank died in April, 2020 of Covid19 at the half-way point of a ten-year prison sentence. He was seventy-six years old, and in poor health. If Frank had survived to finish his sentence, he would have had been on probation for a further ten years, taking him into his nineties. Like Karen Fletcher, the Feds charged (and convicted) him under 18 USC 1862 §1462(a).

Frank's first jail term was for about two and a half years. Within six months of his release from prison, he was in court again, this time charged as a repeat offender; this is why he was sentenced to ten years, to be followed by a further ten years of parole.

As I alluded to above, there was a period of about 33 years, from 1973 until 2006, when the Feds declined to prosecute text-only obscene material -- that period is long-gone. Frank appealed his original conviction, handed down in the Middle District of Georgia -- the Court of Appeal reviewed the case de-novo, and issued a ruling on his case in June 2015, upholding both the guilty verdict and sentence. (By this time Frank had served his entire sentence, so even if the Court of Appeal had quashed his conviction, the damage would have already been done.)

The reason I brought up both these cases, is that they are illustrative of what can happen to authors who produce even non-illustrated works.

Illustrated works, in contrast, are even easier to prosecute and obtain a conviction upon.

Frank had an obsession with freedom of expression, coupled with a fantasy about overturning Miller v. California. Frank was told, point-blank, that he was not going to overturn decades of settled law, but he pressed-on, regardless -- this is what led to his death in prison in April, 2020.

Don't be another Frank.

• ( https link )

Follow ups:

Post a response :

Nickname Password
E-mail (optional)

Link URL (optional)
Link Title (optional)

Add your sigpic?