Appeals Court reinstates charges for “Animal Crush” Videos

Meanwhile in despicable human garbage news – the 5th Circuit Court of appeals reversed the district court’s ruling allowing for prosecution to proceed against Nicole Richards & Brent Justice for “animal crush” videos.  The videos these two made are meant for the sexual gratification of their viewers; in the videos scantily clad Richards stabs & chops off the limbs of animals, even urinates on them. One videos the police seized animal_crushshows Richards puncturing a cat’s eye with a shoe heel.

These two are the first to be prosecuted under the federal Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama.

The District court got it dead wrong – they ruled that the crush videos were a protected form of free speech.  What they ignored is the utter horrendous inhumanity and cruelty that these depict, casting them far asunder from protected speech.  Luckily the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals put their foot down, ruling that he First Amendment does allow limited restrictions on some speech, including obscenity. THIS IS THE EPITOME OF OBSCENE.  Also noted was that the Secondary effects of the videos, not the actual content is the focus of the legislation this was meant to ban.

The appeals court does not always get it right.  That is being generous – but this time, they did.  We can’t allow for people to profit from the horrible and cruel torture, maiming and killing of animals.

Appeals Court asked to reinstate manslaughter charges for two BP employees

Two BP employees were charged with manslaughter in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 offshore oil rig workers.  Prosecutors have asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the charges after U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. threw out 11 counts of “seaman’s manslaughter.” Duval said the seaman’s manslaughter law didn’t apply to the well leaders – prosecutors contend otherwise.

The two had been set for trial in June. However, Duval postponed activity in the case pending the outcome of the appeal on the 11 seaman’s Gulf_2493787bmanslaughter charges.

The two BP employees, Kaluza and Vidrine have pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors claim the two botched a safety test and disregarded high pressure readings that were signs of trouble before the explosion.

Although my sincere sympathies go out to the families of the families that lost their loved ones – I do not think that the evidence supports a finding of manslaughter.  For such a finding, they would have to prove that the BP employees charged knowingly disregarded a known danger that could result in death.

Signs of trouble, and being aware that their negligence was dangerous is one thing, but it may not get the prosecutors far enough along when it comes to the mens rea, or guilty mind element – was it criminally negligent?  Did they know or should have known that the negligence and botched actions would result in death?…we shall see what the 5th Circuit has to say – but my bet is they will uphold the lower level courts determination that there is not sufficient evidence to support a manslaughter charge.