Writing for ComiPress, Lawrence A. Stanley provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of the prosecution of Christopher Handley for possession of obscene images:
“It is often said that ‘bad cases make bad law,’ but here the bad law is being made by legislators and judges alike who climb over each other in an effort to prove their moral uprightness and supposed concern with protecting children.”
Over at MangaBlog, Brigid Alverson considers the chilling implications:
“This case is frightening on a number of levels: The eagerness of state and federal authorities to invade someone’s privacy for a victimless crime (remember, we’re talking about drawings here), the disregard of the constitutional rights to privacy and freedom of speech, and the government’s treatment of Handley, which reads like something out of a dystopian novel.”
Oooh… Is that the same Lawrence A. Stanley involved in child pornography charges in Brazil? The Handley case is scary beyond belief and he does make a very good point, but it would be a lot more persuasive coming from someone without the skeevy background…
I saw Gia wondering about that over at AnimeVice. I have no idea, but I totally agree — it would be better without so much of a “consider the source” factor.
JRBrown: got a link about that factoid?
ComiPress updated the link above with a bio.
What was basically a very well-written article on the case, *sighs* is now being questioned ad hominem on the basis of the author’s background. Until Stanley came to write it down, no one with a full legal background couldn’t explain the nuts and bolts of the controversy to the average manga aficionado.
A few months ago, we had legislators in the Philippines who attempted to pass a so-called anti-hentai law banning child porn (without much understanding what defines hentai and its subcultures). Currently it is in limbo.
Now I presume that the same congressmen are following this case, and might be adjusting their bill (even though all forms of pornography are prohibited according to the Philippine Revised Penal Code) to changes in the Whorley and Handley cases.
(Strange, it seems to be a coincidence that the mentioned surnames end in “ley”.)
DDT, I agree that it’s a well-written and informative article. Unfortunately, having a person previously charged with child pornography arguing in defense of another person charged with child pornography is not going to be persuasive to the types of people who are willing to condemn Handley out of hand. The ones of us who already think this case is bad precedent don’t need persuading. As to Stanley’s background, this claims to be a reprint of a Washington Times article from 2002.
OK, Stanley has posted a comment to the ComiPress article saying the Washington Post article is “inaccurate”, and that he’s never been convicted of anything.