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#504791 - 08/16/02 01:57 PM CBLDF Appeals Texas Retailer Conviction
Scout99 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/22/01
Posts: 1223
The lawyer for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has filed an appeal for the highest criminal court in Texas in the obscenity conviction of Jesus Castillo, manager of a Dallas comic store.

Castillo was convicted by a jury in August 2000 of "display of obscenity" for selling Demon Beast Invasion #2 to an adult (What the fucking hell?!). He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, a year's probation and a $4,000 fine.

Check out cbldf.org or icv2.com for the skinny.

CENSORSHIP: WHAT A FUCKING JOKE! :rolleyes:

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#504792 - 08/16/02 02:19 PM Re: CBLDF Appeals Texas Retailer Conviction
Dan Carroll Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 4588
Loc: Chicago, IL
From the article:

Quote:
"And, again, why are we here? ... This medium, the medium that this obscenity is placed in is done so in an appealing manner to children. Comic books, and I don't care what type of evidence or what type of testimony is out there, use your rationality, use your common sense. Comic books, traditionally what we think of, are for kids. This is in a store directly across from an elementary school and it is put in a medium, in a forum, to directly appeal to kids. That is why we are here, ladies and gentlemen. I want to re-emphasize that the fact that all this smut is out there, does not mean it's acceptable and is decent by our community. We're here to get this off the shelf."


Where's the rage, people? Gimme some rage! mad

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#504793 - 08/16/02 02:26 PM Re: CBLDF Appeals Texas Retailer Conviction
Scout99 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/22/01
Posts: 1223
That was the closing argument from the prosecution a.k.a. Lush-headed Elitist Shitscum.

The person is probably doing his/her job, yet that person (and the jury) must be a product of incest. laugh


CENSORSHIP: WHAT A FUCKING JOKE! :rolleyes:

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#504794 - 08/16/02 03:34 PM Re: CBLDF Appeals Texas Retailer Conviction
flying pig Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 277
Loc: Denver, CO
Which one is the stupid person? The store owner for having a display of adult comic books when his store is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL or the lawyer who didn't encourage his client to take a plea bargain? Your going to tell me that parents weren't going to get upset with the store owner for having an adult only section. Don't you think someone would have talked to the store owner before they filed a compliant with the DA's office? Don't you think that the store owner was given a chance for a plea bargain for lesser charges or a suspended sentence if the display was moved? But none of that is mentioned in the CBLDF statement. Nothing is mentioned of the defendants closing arguement or who defended the store owner in the case. Who was the idiot lawyer for the defendant that didn't express the fact the store did step's like placing the adult comic book in a bag, having an adult watching the adult only section, etc. to prevent the display of an adult book in his store to minors? So, it's the DA's fault that he did his job, winning a case in front of a jury. Shame on him. Doesn't he know that comic books and comic book store owners are out of his reach because they have the first amendment to hide behind, at least that's what the CBLDF and store owner thinks?

Again, this is a lossing case in which the CBLDF will cause nothing but heartache for the retailer, the fan and themselves. It only shows how far off the center CBLDF wants to go. CBLDF could careless about the small publisher who can't get into Diamond just because five guys don't like the art inside (talk about censorship). CBLDF could careless about small press trying different things to get them attention at SDCC because they wouldn't want to hurt a big fundraiser for them. CBLDF could careless about the facts of the case as long as it is o.k. to push porn. Right King Velveta? Velveta is a trademaked name just like Kodak. Kodak and Velveta are unique names and can not be used on any product with the permission of the owner just like Superman, Spiderman or Batman.

You want me to give money to CBLDF to support a losing case? You want me to feel outrage for a store own that has little to no common or business since? How many people do you think will go into his store knowing that he was convicted of displaying adult material to the general public?

So, go ahead and rip into me. But remember, I have the first amendment to back up what I say. It works both ways.
_________________________
"Weaseling out of things is important to learn"
Homer Jay Simpson

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#504795 - 08/16/02 03:44 PM Re: CBLDF Appeals Texas Retailer Conviction
Dan Carroll Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 4588
Loc: Chicago, IL
Quote:
Originally posted by flying pig:
Doesn't he know that comic books and comic book store owners are out of his reach because they have the first amendment to hide behind, at least that's what the CBLDF and store owner thinks?


Do you realize what you're saying here? "Does he actually think he's exempt from prosecution, just because there's a law protecting him from prosecution?"

Well... yes. I would imagine he does. Y'see, that's what protective laws do.

As far as the appeal to children goes, let's look at the article again:

Quote:
The original conviction was surprising. The store in question handled its adult materials carefully, with three display areas: its general display area, an 18 and up section in the back of the store, and explicit adult materials kept in a box behind the counter. Store employees also required proof of age before selling adult materials to younger customers.


In other words, he took all rational steps to keep it out of the hands of children. Your guess that he was probably offered a plea bargain is irrelevant. He shouldn't have to go to undergo any punishment, whether he was offered a little less or not.

Additionally, his lawyer did bring the issue of how the comics were kept out of children's hands up at trial. The jury ignored it. The prosecution based their case on the idea that the very fact that it was in comic form meant it was being sold only to children.

My favorite line of the trial is this one:

"I don't care what type of evidence or what type of testimony is out there, use your rationality, use your common sense."

The D.A. says that he doesn't care about evidence.

Clap. Clap.

Quote:
It only shows how far off the center CBLDF wants to go. CBLDF could careless about the small publisher who can't get into Diamond just because five guys don't like the art inside (talk about censorship).


Love to. But this isn't censorship. Censorship is done by a government. A business choosing not to sell something is not a freedom of speech issue. So yes, I'd imagine they could care less. They're a legal defense fund. Your argument here is not a matter or law.

Quote:
So, go ahead and rip into me. But remember, I have the first amendment to back up what I say. It works both ways.


Yes. It does. And on the off chance that the government shows up to shut you down, I'll be sure to back you up.

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#504796 - 08/16/02 04:01 PM Re: CBLDF Appeals Texas Retailer Conviction
Elayne Riggs Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/99
Posts: 2983
Loc: Bronx, NY, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Mvoid:
From the article:
"And, again, why are we here? ... This medium, the medium that this obscenity is placed in is done so in an appealing manner to children. Comic books, and I don't care what type of evidence or what type of testimony is out there, use your rationality, use your common sense. Comic books, traditionally what we think of, are for kids. This is in a store directly across from an elementary school and it is put in a medium, in a forum, to directly appeal to kids. That is why we are here, ladies and gentlemen. I want to re-emphasize that the fact that all this smut is out there, does not mean it's acceptable and is decent by our community. We're here to get this off the shelf."
Where's the rage, people? Gimme some rage!


Well, I'm pissed that the guy was convicted for selling adult material to adults, which was supposed to be at the heart of the case. However, that closing argument actually does make sense. The guy's correct when he says "Comic books, traditionally what we think of, are for kids." That's absolutely the perception of most of the American public, we all fight against that every day. Of course children are (pun intended) drawn to drawings. That's why people get so up in arms about Joe Camel, and cute cartoony characters used to sell "malt beverages". But as a society we're in deep denial to begin with over the fact that drawings have appeal to all ages, including well-adjusted (i.e., non-geeky) adults, so we don't necessarily have a framework to deal with ones specifically designed to exclude children. I think it might have something to do with the persistent confusion of "pre-literate" (which drawings are, historically) with "sub-literate."

The problem with said argument, of course, is that as true as it may be, it's completely beside the point of selling an adult book to an adult, which is and ought to be a legal transaction.

- Elayne
_________________________
"Life is truly normal only when people feel safe enough to critique, defend, and analyze art and popular culture." - Lisa Schwarzbaum
Click here for my blog, Pen-Elayne on the Web
Click here for Robin Riggs' latest interview

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#504797 - 08/16/02 04:15 PM Re: CBLDF Appeals Texas Retailer Conviction
Dan Carroll Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 4588
Loc: Chicago, IL
That's a good point. My issue, however, is with the D.A.'s statement that the evidence in the case doesn't matter, because comics are for kids no matter how much evidence the defense presents to the contrary.

The words "I don't care about evidence" should not be in a D.A.'s vocabulary.

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#504798 - 08/16/02 05:54 PM Re: CBLDF Appeals Texas Retailer Conviction
flying pig Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 277
Loc: Denver, CO
If a company puts a label on the from for the comic says "For mature readers", according to Frank Miller, that censorship. That's a big statement coming from a mouth piece of CBLDF. Considering that Diamond is a monopoly for new comics (dispite what the government says) and five people control what goes through Diamond, wouldn't you consider that censorship. Why not let the market place decide if it good enough? After all Diamond doesn't lose anything. In fact that my friend was willing to pay for a half page ad each month they would be in Previews didn't matter.

Now back to the retailer. The charge against the retailer wasn't that he sold the comic to the customer but how he displayed it. Did the store owner hold it up to someone in the store and say, "Hey, Joe (or Mary or who ever). Look what I just sold. And you told me no one would buy it." thus displaying an adult only comic book to the whole store? What precaution did he take when giving the comic to the adult? Were children around that could see the cover or insides? Did he put it in a bag or did he toss it to the guy so that the whole store could see it? The article doesn't mention that. The article also didn't mention what was said by the defense attorney. So you are assuming that the jury was told about the precautions of the store owner on the displays. They may or may not have been. You don't know. The only thing you know about the case is what CBLDF said. They censored the information to you by putting in just what they wanted you to read. You don't know what the defense attorney said in his close. You weren't there for the trial. You probably haven't read the transcripts from the trial.

Almost every case will have a plea bargain offered to the defendant for a lesser charge and in this case probably a slap on the wrist. If found guilty, most sentencing judges will go hard the convicted person if they knew a plea bargain was offered but was refused. The judge's consider that a big waste of tax payer money. So, the store owner took a chance that he would win in front of a jury but lost. Now he has to pay the price.

It's the job of the DA to convict the person. He is allowed to say almost anything in his closing arguement as is the defense attorney. The jury is the ones who desides if certain facts are important to the case or not. As an attorney freind of mine said, "Facts are funny things. Facts can be turned to anything I want them to be, depending on my point of view." Besides you don't know where the DA said that in his closing arguement. It could be taken out of context. But the CBLDF wouldn't do that when begging for money would they?
_________________________
"Weaseling out of things is important to learn"
Homer Jay Simpson

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#504799 - 08/16/02 08:30 PM Re: CBLDF Appeals Texas Retailer Conviction
Lord Julius Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 523
Loc: St. Louis, Mo.
"Forget the testimony and the evidence, use your common sense."

From that standpoint, any 12 right-minded people should convict every science teacher of teaching lies to kids for telling them the earth goes around the sun. I mean, look up there, you can see the sun moving across the sky every day. Of course the sun goes around the earth! Forget the evidence, use your common sense!

That one statement alone should get the man disbarred. But it won't. This is, after all, Texas -- where my ludicrous analogy might actually happen someday, and people are actually proud of being backward and ignorant.

Aren't you happy this is where our President calls home?
_________________________
Lord Julius
Grandlord of Palnu
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend;
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

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#504800 - 08/16/02 09:04 PM Re: CBLDF Appeals Texas Retailer Conviction
NatGertler Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/99
Posts: 4618
Quote:
Originally posted by flying pig:
Considering that Diamond is a monopoly for new comics (dispite what the government says)
And, of course, what the facts say.... or aren't you aware that comics are also sold through newsstand distributors, bookstore distributors, Cold Cut, FM, direct-to-retailer, and direct-to-customer sales?
Quote:
and five people control what goes through Diamond, wouldn't you consider that censorship.
No, I consider that a customer choosing what to buy.
Quote:
Why not let the market place decide if it good enough?
The market place did decide. Diamond was the potential customer, they decided not to carry it.
Quote:
After all Diamond doesn't lose anything.
Carrying books in their catalog does indeed cost Diamond... and carrying books that don't sell through at the retail level ends up costing everyone but the publisher.
Quote:
Almost every case will have a plea bargain offered to the defendant for a lesser charge and in this case probably a slap on the wrist.
Even if something was offered (which I would not assume) and even if it was a slap on the wrist (which, again, I would not assume), the store owner should not have suffered that slap. Also, by having taken on outside legal assistance, he might have agreed not to take a plea bargain.
Quote:
It's the job of the DA to convict the person.
Not if that person isn't guilty of a crime, no.

Quote:
Don't you think someone would have talked to the store owner before they filed a compliant with the DA's office?
They didn't. Plain and simple didn't.
Quote:
Don't you think that the store owner was given a chance for a plea bargain for lesser charges or a suspended sentence if the display was moved?
No. Why would they give the store owner a chance for a plea bargain? He wasn't the one arrested. Don't you think you should have a clue what you're talking about before going off on a rant?

If folks want to see someone who isn't the CBLDF covering the case, here's a report on an earlier trial: http://www.dallasobserver.com/issues/2001-01-04/news.html

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