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NCJ Number: 141939 Find in a Library
Title: State Restrictions on Violent Expression: The Impropriety of Extending an Obscenity Analysis
Journal: Vanderbilt Law Review  Volume:46  Issue:2  Dated:(March 1993)  Pages:473-501
Author(s): J Hershinger
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 29
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A new movement in State legislation has spawned statutes that restrict minors' access to violent video cassettes, books, and other forms of expression. The movement arose out of the public reaction to several unsuccessful lawsuits that attempted to blame an individual's violent behavior on his exposure to television and other media.
Abstract: The constitutional status of this type of statute remains uncertain, although vendors of expressive material have challenged violence statutes passed in Tennessee and Missouri. This article explores the implications of the Supreme Court's first amendment jurisprudence in terms of the possible validation of violence statutes. The recent passage of State laws is discussed, as is the reasoning used by two State courts to declare the regulations unconstitutional. The Supreme Court's approach to obscenity laws and the development of Court-imposed restrictions on freedom of speech are examined. The author compares regulations on obscene and violent speech by examining a proper first amendment inquiry and applying 14th amendment due process analysis to restrictions on speech. The article explores the States' interests in upholding morality, preventing incitement to violence, and protecting children, and addresses the problem of providing adequate procedural safeguards in statutes that restrict violent expression. The author concludes that, while violence statutes have a stronger constitutional basis than obscenity laws, current statutes violate the 1st and 14th amendments. 204 notes
Main Term(s): State laws; Violence prevention
Index Term(s): Freedom of speech; Pornography; Right to Due Process
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