Target: John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States
Goal: Praise prosecution in case of animal torture for the purpose of sexual gratification.
A Houston couple that allegedly disseminated videos of cats and dogs bring tortured and killed attempted to get out of animal abuse charges on the basis that animal torture films are protected by the First Amendment, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block prosecution, according to KPRC Houston. These types of videos are referred to as ‘animal crush’ videos, and are often made for purposes of sexual gratification.
The two people being charged in these crimes, Brent Justice and Ashley Richards, are accused of profiting from their videos. An indictment reported that the couple filmed the killing of both puppies and kittens. In 2014, Ashley Richards was sentenced to ten years in prison on state-level charges for using shoes and meat cleavers to kill the animals. These charges were dismissed in a shocking ruling by a judge who said that these films that show animals being tortured and slaughtered are protected forms of free speech. Thankfully, the case is now moving forward on a federal level.
Richards and Justice are accused of using a wide array of tools to torture the animals, such as pliers, screwdrivers, and high heeled shoes, according to a report in the Huffington Post. This case has drawn the attention of PETA, which alleges that up to two animals per day were slaughtered. One video purportedly shows a kitten bound and gagged with masking tape before being crushed under the Richards’ shoe. Another reportedly shows a puppy having parts of its body hacked away with a meat cleaver.
It’s difficult for any psychologically healthy person to understand how anyone could obtain sexual excitement from watching such things, but apparently such a phenomenon exists. The psychologist Steven Pinker notes that sadism can make a person feel dominant; whenever one can inflict unlimited pain on another creature, they experience the twisted pleasure of being in absolute control. How this pleasure becomes mixed in with sexual gratification is anyone’s guess, but the physical expression of such perversions remains inarguably dangerous.
Sign this petition to thank the Supreme Court for making the decision not to block the prosecution of this case.
Dear Mr. Roberts,
I am writing to praise the U.S. Supreme Court for refusing to block the prosecution of a couple who allegedly posted videos online that showed companion animals such as cats and dogs being brutally killed. These sorts of videos, known on the internet as ‘animal crush’ videos, are often made for viewers who want to experience a sexual high. The videos purportedly made by Brent Justice and Ashley Richards are alleged to include such atrocities as a kitten being crushed underneath a shoe, as well as a puppy having body parts hacked off.
Thank you for making the decision to prosecute this case. I believe that these kinds of acts should be dealt with by the highest punishment available under the law, and I hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will continue to rigorously prosecute cases of this nature.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nicolas Suzor via Flickr