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

November 18, 2010

Go, Read: Follow-Up Article On Man Who Entered Guilty Plea For Owning Filthy Simpsons Imagery

Sean Michael Robinson digs into the Steve Kutzner case, including contact with prosecutor Jim Peters. I personally don't take any comfort in the distinctions made by Peters and by the article generally that note, correctly, that Kutzner was charged with a specific thing, that context matters, and that Kutzner's plea is a partial indicator that the law was applied in a just way here and probably wouldn't if someone went after me for owning a copy of Lost Girls. I'm also not willing to cut Kutzner loose just because what he did doesn't by reasonable measure apply to what I do, or perhaps because his guilty plea supports that they "right" person was prosecuted in this case. I think it's crappy law no matter how applied, no matter what the outcome. Kutzner's case didn't just make me worry about me; it also made me worry about Kutzner.

I also believe more people think this is crappy law than is otherwise assumed. Back when it broke I related the story to a friend of mine who's deeply and profoundly religious, someone I expected to recoil at the thought of this material even existing. He shrugged his shoulders and said, "You shouldn't go to jail for an idea, even an abhorrent one." And you shouldn't.
posted 6:00 am PST | Permalink

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