- 20 Years in Prison for Buying a Manga - Anime News Network
Iowa Collector Charged for Allegedly Obscene Manga (Update 2) - Anime News NetworkIn less than two months, starting on February 2, 2009, a court case will begin in Iowa. The defendant, Christopher Handley, is facing as much as 20 years in prison for the charge against him. This is, as we say on the intarwebs: serious business. Twenty years? They must claim he did something really bad. Something really bad to someone, right?
Actually, he just ordered some manga from Japan. And...that's all he did.
Some of these manga contain images that are supposedly—according to the prosecutor—"obscene." But we'll put aside what kind of images they are claimed to be for the moment, because that isn't being decided anywhere but in this court case. And although we can debate it, there's no practical point in doing so here—because debating their content on ANN won't, and can't affect the outcome.
Maybe there are certain types of manga you'd never read or buy. Maybe you've got strong feelings about some kinds of manga, and you don't think they're right. In fact, you're pretty sure you don't even have anything like that in your collection.
So basically there's this dude. He likes anime (who doesn't) and collects manga and such. I can relate, I do too. Ordered some stuff from Japan, Post Office inspector general opens it, thinks it's obscene. Police get a warrant and bust down his door. Now he faces up to 20 years for manga. For those that may not know, manga is sorta like comic books. Now there's lots of strange things from Japan, including but not limited to lolicon. I don't know if that's what he had or not, but I don't understand how you get 20 years even if it is lolicon. It's drawn, there's no people involved, there's no rights violated, so how can there be a crime? I'm of the opinion that crime can only occur when rights are violated, or potentially so. The potentially so is going to have to be a case involving actual live people, not drawings. Drawings are drawings and nothing more. Hentai may be "obscene", but that's sorta the point. Like all porn really, and porn in general isn't banned.CBLDF's United Defense Group team, led by Eric Chase, has successfully petitioned District Judge Gritzner to drop some of Handley's charges and rule parts of a controversial law unconstitutional. Handley was initially charged under the United States Code, which was amended by section 504 of the PROTECT Act to prohibit distribution or possession of "a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting," that —
• ‘(1)(A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; and
• ’(B) is obscene; or
• '(2)(A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; and
• '(B) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;
I think this whole case to be absurd and an overstepping of the authority into the lives of the individual. Almost makes me wonder if I have anything considered "obscene". Or what the government really consideres "obscene". It seems to me that they made the definition loose enough so that they allowed themselves way too much freedom of movement. It's not right, and this law should definitely be stricken from the books.