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Texas Judge Says Animal Snuff Films Protected Under First Amendment

Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Justice
Houston Police Department

It is your First Amendment right in the Lone Star state to videotape the savage abuse and brutal killings of animals.

At least that is according to the latest ruling by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake, a federal judge in Texas, who announced earlier this week that animal “snuff” or “crush” films, as they are commonly referred to, are protected as Freedom of Speech.

Animal activists across the country progressed to a state of shock on Monday after Judge Lake ruled that the criminally dysfunctional act of filming the torture and murder of animals is protected under the U.S. Constitution.

Judge Lake dismissed the charges against Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Justice, who were arrested last year for producing several snuff films featuring animals. Many of the films are said to show puppies being beheaded with meat cleavers and kittens having their eyes crushed with stiletto heels.

“The acts depicted in animal crush videos are disturbing and horrid,” said Judge Lake. “It is still considered protected speech.”

Reports indicate that the couple were the first to face prosecution under a statute implemented in 2010, which outlawed the following:

“Any photograph, motion picture, film, video or digital recording, or electronic image that: (1) depicts actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury; and (2) is obscene.”

However, Judge Lake declared that the statute was “overbroad,” making it unconstitutional.

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