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NEWS: Christopher Handley Pleads Guilty to Possession Charges


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ArthurFrDent



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 466
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 5:50 pm Reply with quote
so was there more than meets the eye to the case, or was the plea agreeement setting bad prescedent? Anyone with more in depth info on the story?

The only thing I found from the small blurb from the AP

Federal law prohibits the possession of any visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexual conduct, including drawings, cartoons, sculptures or painting.

and the key issue had been, what constitutes "minor" Anyone under 19? If they look like they are under 19, even if you say they are that old, does it matter? In addition, I just have to love how the AP characterizes as this is about "children"... My understanding is that it was more ambiguous than that... Guess this renders all content that occurs in high schools arrestable for possession, no?
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FeralKat



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:08 pm Reply with quote
I think there's more going on to this than meets the eye. I can't find any information about this case, so I can't say whether this is good or bad... Confused
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Ashen Phoenix



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 2727
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:22 pm Reply with quote
Until the time comes, if ever, that they can release the titles of the seized manga I don't know if we'll ever be able to determine if there has been such a distinction or if this indeed bodes badly for otaku everywhere. Sad
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Rolando_jose



Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 238
Location: Ahhhh it's vacation time again!
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:23 pm Reply with quote
So, what now? Should mangaka put a warning on the cover saying that all character are of legal age even thou they look younger?
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boznia



Joined: 28 Aug 2005
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:36 pm Reply with quote
So from what I can tell (with my extremely limited legal knowledge), they couldn't get him for possessing the drawings privately, but instead got him for importing it from Japan (interstate commerce laws: you can't send, receive, or transport illegal material across international or state lines). Seems to me they got him on a loophole.

...and I'm not even going to get into the question of whether the drawings should be illegal in the first place, other than saying I'm not a fan of the laws Handley violated.
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Wetall



Joined: 20 May 2009
Posts: 70
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:38 pm Reply with quote
Didn't somebody say the titles in question were yaoi, not loli/shota?
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ninjaclown



Joined: 17 Dec 2008
Posts: 199
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:40 pm Reply with quote
Fifteen years seem to be a bit harsh for possession of a few vaguely described books. Confused
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peachsncreamsoda



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 270
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:41 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
People who had commented on the Handley case included Handley's lawyer Eric Chase, Newbery Medal-winning Neil Gaiman, Dark Horse Comics manga editor Carl Gustav Horn, Eisner-nominated Manga: The Complete Guide author Jason Thompson, and lawyer Lawrence A. Stanley.


I'd have liked to know what they said about it.

And I highly doubt that they'll release the titles though I am a tad curious as to what they might have been, and if his sentence was deserved. All in all, from what I can tell based on what I know, I guess he got what he deserved Confused
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Tempest
I Run this place.
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:43 pm Reply with quote
Rolando_jose wrote:
So, what now? Should mangaka put a warning on the cover saying that all character are of legal age even thou they look younger?


Right now? American residents absolutely should not import any manga that depicts anyone that might look to be under the age of 18 in a graphic sexual act.

It's a bit like the Catholic Church's stand on avoiding unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted deceases. The only way to be 100% safe is to abstain 100%.

Although the definition of "obscene" is extremely vague, the only way to be certain is to avoid anything explicit (in relation to minors).

Although depictions of young adults and older-minors are easily mistaken for one-another, the only way to be certain is to avoid anything that could possibly depict a minor (in relation to pornography).

In all likelyhood, for the prosecution to go ahead, and for Handley to plead guilty (meaning he believed that his chances of winning were slim), the depictions were probably clearly of minors, as in pre-teens and children. Of course, this is 100% conjecture on my part.

On the up-side, by pleading guilty, no judgment was passed. This does not set any sort of technical legal precedent. Regardless, it will set a virtual precedent, law-enforcement and CBP officers and district attorneys are likely to act as if a precedent has been set. Again, 100% conjecture on my part.

Congratulations, you've just lost that much more of your freedom.

Unfortunately I can't gloat, while the law remains murky in the US, virtual child porn is clearly illegal here in Canada. But at least here, it's clear. Lot's of US citizens are under the impression that lolicon is clearly legal in the USA.

It's hard for me to feel strongly on this subject. While my opinions on the ethics of virtual depictions are very much black and white (I have a libertarian view on this issue), I honestly don't feel any sympathy for lovers of the material. Basically "I think lolicon is disgusting but I believe that it's none of the government's business as long as no one is harmed in order to further individual's enjoyment of the material."

Obscenity laws suck...
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halo



Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 353
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:44 pm Reply with quote
One line from the DoJ press release that I find interesting is:
Quote:
In addition, the FBI's Language Services Section has provided significant assistance in the prosecution.

So I'm guessing they did some translation work here to determine that the images were intended to depict minors and not just going by arbitrary appearances of characters. This is just speculation though.
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Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 5344
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:46 pm Reply with quote
sounds like Title 18 is also breaking freedom of speech to me. No one is harmed...so I don't see any legal problem. This is just opinionated BS because the guys tastes are different than other peoples. Really unjust, unless of course there was something ELSE going on like real minors..but that isn't stated so I'll just keep assuming Iowa is an unjust and BS state.
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Hon'ya-chan



Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Posts: 973
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:48 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
and he agreed to forfeit all seized property.


...which will unexpectedly appear in the next seized property auction conducted by the Feds.
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Some Guy



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 135
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:57 pm Reply with quote
peachsncreamsoda wrote:
Quote:
People who had commented on the Handley case included Handley's lawyer Eric Chase, Newbery Medal-winning Neil Gaiman, Dark Horse Comics manga editor Carl Gustav Horn, Eisner-nominated Manga: The Complete Guide author Jason Thompson, and lawyer Lawrence A. Stanley.


I'd have liked to know what they said about it.

And I highly doubt that they'll release the titles though I am a tad curious as to what they might have been, and if his sentence was deserved. All in all, from what I can tell based on what I know, I guess he got what he deserved Confused


The articles were link to in the article, click the blue ones. I am in the process of reading the 10 page (roughly) article by that lawyer guy.

Yeah, it seems like they got him on a technicality. [slightly uneducated rant][rehashing old argument][ruffling feathers] The Protect Act really shouldn't exist. Not because it is a "bad idea" but because there is absolutely no scientific basis for what the law is trying to prevent (people moving on to the real thing) and there is no social benefit from it (nobody is hurt in the making of it).[/ruffling feathers][/rehashing old argument][/slightly uneducated rant]
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 8094
Location: Penguinopolis
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:02 pm Reply with quote
Because, as we all know, a human being that exists as ink on a paper can be vicitimized.

All comic book writers should therefore be charged with murder whenever they kill a character off.
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Muon



Joined: 20 May 2009
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:15 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
sounds like Title 18 is also breaking freedom of speech to me


Actually, a common misconception held by many citizens is that Freedom of Speech protects anything and everything when in fact there are exceptions in which pornography and obscenities meeting the requirements of the Miller Test are included.

Hence, Title 18 - in that respect - is not unconstitutional.


Last edited by Muon on Wed May 20, 2009 7:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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