The high court case stemmed from the arrest and conviction of a Virginia-based documentary producer named Robert Stevens who sold videos containing scenes of dogfights. Mr. Stevens said his videos were aimed at portraying the aggressive characteristics of pit bulls and the use of pit bulls in hunting. He argued that his documentaries were protected by the First Amendment.
A federal judge disagreed and a jury convicted him of selling banned depictions of dog fights in violation of the 1999 law. He was sentenced to three years in prison.
A federal appeals court overturned the conviction by declaring the underlying law unconstitutional. On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court also declared the law unconstitutional, but on different legal grounds.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Supreme Court Strikes Down Depiction of Animal Cruelty Act
The Supreme Court struck down a law that outlawed the depiction of animal cruelty.