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Judge Declares Animal Snuff Films Okay

 
Judge Declares Animal Snuff Films Okay
Posted April 24th, 2013 @ 7:53am by By KTRH's Nik Rajkovic

A federal judge cites the First Amendment when dropping several charges against a Houston couple accused of filming themselves torturing puppies, kittens and other animals for sale on the Internet.

Ashley Richards and Brent Justice,are charged with filming so-called "animal crush videos."

A federal judge cites the First Amendment when dropping several charges against a Houston couple accused of filming themselves torturing puppies, kittens and other animals for sale on the Internet.

Ashley Richards and Brent Justice,are charged with filming so-called "animal crush videos."

The case marks the first prosecution under the federal Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

The ruling sparked outrage among local animal lovers.

“That's the most disgusting thing ever, its completely unreal that anybody would actually do that,” said one KTRH listener.

“We have the greatest respect for the court, but we are disappointed and believe this is an error,” said the Houston SPCA's Meera Nandlal.  “Torturing innocent animals and videotaping their death is a crime.”

Local attorney Chris Tritico says like it or not, the judge was probably correct in his ruling.

“All he said was the First Amendment allows people the freedom to film what they wish to film,” he says.

Tritico points out the couple still faces other charges, but thinks the filming aspect should be appealed.

“This law is only two years old, it has never been challenged on First Amendment grounds,” he says.  “This is the first opportunity for us to have a court determine if this type of activity is protected by the First Amendment.”

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