Update on April 20, 2013
BREAKING: Torturing animals and filming their painful deaths is an activity protected by the U.S. Constitution, according to a federal judge in Texas.In an opinion issued this week, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake tossed out charges against a Houston couple accused of violating the federal "animal crush video" statute.
Lake wrote that the law "abridges the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment." Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Justice allegedly created and distributed violent sex fetish videos -- nimal snuff films -- that depicted the torture of puppies, kittens, rabbits, and other animals.
In one of the videos, Richards was seen torturing a pit bull puppy. According to the Houston Chronicle, Richards bound the puppy's mouth with tape, cut its back leg with a meat cleaver, slit its throat and severed the dog's head from its body.
Other videos purportedly show Richards crushing crawfish, crabs and lobsters under her bare feet or stilettos. According to the Houston Press, Richards allegedly stomped a kitten then ground her shoe heel into the animal's eye-socket.
Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/Judge_Animal_snuff_films_protected_by_1st_Amendment.html?gjgj&fb_source=message (http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/Judge_Animal_snuff_films_protected_by_1st_Amendment.html?gjgj&fb_source=message)