Community Standards? To each his own…

April 9, 2006

Usually when we learn, seeing specific examples relating to what we learn in lecture allows us to bring everything into focus. I found a court case that discusses the idea of community standards being the way to judge whether material is obscene or not. Its helpful to be able to see the principle being applied to a real situation. In the case, a store owner is being prosecuted because of the alleged selling of obscene videos. The article goes on to talk about the difficulty of getting a guilty verdict because community standards vary from person to person. Anyone can interpret that how they want, based on their values. The prosecution complains that any juror during selection that states they believe pornography is wrong gets thrown off the case. Therefore, these type of cases are hard to prosecute and often times the make-up of the jury doesn’t accurately reflect the community standards for the city. However, this downfall does not deter the DA from the case, and he plans on more cases against other store owners in the county. To me, it seems like 90 percent of the time, a jury wouldn’t convict someone mostly because the defense will throw out the always useful “first amendment.”

Here’s the article.. for some reason the link button has been missing on my wordpress page!


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