EP Rewind – Free Speech Harming the Speechless

Earthpages.org

This post originally appeared on 2009/11/03. The related articles at bottom are current.

By Abigail Taggart

Peace for Animals by Lawrence OP via Flickr Peace for Animals by Lawrence OP via Flickr

Ten years ago Congress put into place a federal law to make illegal video depictions of animal torture and murder that were made to appeal to “crush fetishists” among others. Crushing is a sexual fetish which generally shows women, often clad in high heals or dominatrix style clothing stepping on small animals or bugs. They occasionally also depict other forms of animal abuse.

In the years since its being put on the books, the law has only been called upon only three times, including the case being heard, United States v. Stevens. While the law was written to crack down on the “crush videos”, all three times its use has been applied to prosecute manufacturers of videos of dog fights. In Stevens, the defendant…

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