Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 19, 2009

Federal Appeals Court Declines To Re-Hear Dwight Whorley Case

Wired has a concise piece up on the decision Monday by a federal appeals court not to rehear the case of Dwight Whorley. The court decided 10-1 not to rehear the case, where Whorley was convicted in 2006 for a variety of offenses including but not limited to possession of obscene manga.

A silver lining may be that the dissenting vote by Judge Roger Gregory was extremely strong, hitting on the idea of the government regulating private thoughts, decrying a conviction regarind wholly imagined beings, and stating that the interstate commerce part of the conviction did not reflect modern practices where the Internet is common. He urged the Supreme Court to consider the case and reverse it.

A previous panel including Gregory had voted 2-1, Gregory again dissenting, to uphold parts of the original conviction including the possession of manga portion.

Both the Wired writer and other observers believe there is a direct link between portions of Whorley's conviction and the decision by authorities to pursue a case against Christopher Handley concerning possession of manga. Handley eventually accepted a plea, and awaits sentencing.
posted 8:25 am PST | Permalink

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