In April, Robert Stevens, 64, was sentenced to 37 months in prison for selling videotapes of dog fights through the mail.
Stevens is the first person prosecuted under a 1999 law that makes it illegal to sell videotapes depicting animal cruelty. That law was passed to stop “crush” videos in which women were videotaped crushing small animals and insects.
The Humane Society of the United States was one of the groups that pushed for the 1999 law, and HSUS’s Ann Chynoweth told the Associated Press,
We’re thrilled with the sentence because Stevens deserved prison time for profiting from dogfighting. Without such a meaningful sentence, his conviction would have just been the cost of doing business.
Stevens’s attorney says he plans to appeal the conviction and argue that the law is unconstitutionally vague and violated Stevens’s rights under the First Amendment.
Va. man sentenced to 37 months for dogfighting video. Joe Mandak, Associated Press, April 21, 2005.
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