Canadians Charge Website Operator With Obscenity Over Publication of Murder Video

Unknownjun_lin.jpg.size.medium2.promoWe have interesting case this week out of Canada that raises the limits of free speech and the use of decency or morality laws. The Canadians have criminally charged the owner of a website for the posting of a horrific video showing the murder of an individual by Luka Magnotta (left) and then sexual relations with the corpse of Jun Lin (right). The concern is that the site owner is being charged with “corrupting morals” a largely undefined crime and has traditionally been used to impose and enforce the moral values of the majority on people who do not share them. It is the natural extension of laws prohibiting the publication or possession of obscene materials, a long controversy in this country as well.

Malek’s site is disgusting and his posting of the video is disgraceful. However, he is not being charged with complicity or conspiracy in the crime. The 38-year-old owns and runs the website. In a truly unnerving twist, he bills himself as a wedding photographer. However, his website appears to specialize in images of death and dismemberment.

Since police believe that Marek knew it was a real murder, it was deemed obscene. If you are going to prosecute obscenity, this would certainly seem to fill the bill. The question is whether governments should prosecute obscenity or simply restrict it in terms of forums and times.

This case began with the killing of Jun Lin and his dismemberment in May 2012. Soon a video appeared entitled “1 lunatic 1 icepick.” Parts of the body were found around Vancouver including his head found in a park. Ironically, it was the video that allowed the police to find the culprit.

Marek clearly caters to a sick crowd who love to see grotesque images from accidents, war zones, and crime scenes. Marek’s computers were seized and police say that he was “evasive” with no known addresses. They are also considering hate crime charges because of alleged racist aspects of the videos and pictures.

I think that we can all agree that Marek and his site regulars are the lowest forms of human existence in relishing scenes of death and misery and torture. The question is whether it should be a crime. If these photographs were legally obtained and these people were not co-conspirators or involved in the crime, should this be a crime? Clearly the operators can be sued civilly for any privacy or other civil violation. Moreover, if this involves child pornography, it can be a crime. However, if these pictures are evidence of crimes or scenes for war, there remains a free speech issue. It is often hard to discuss such issues in a grotesque case of this kind. Few people have anything but disgust for Marek and his followers. However, Western countries have spent decades trying to draw a line of where obscenity begins and simple bad taste ends.

Finally, there is the question of newsworthy videos. Can these videos are legitimately shown on a site that covers legal or political controversies? If so, you have to draw a line between people who say they want to watch it for fun and those who want to watch it for news. Taken the execution video of journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. That was the same type of gruesome video but many felt it was news and left it up to the viewer to decide whether to watch.

Do you believe that immorality or obscenity should still be prosecuted as criminal acts? If so, would you make any exceptions?

 Source: The Star

33 thoughts on “Canadians Charge Website Operator With Obscenity Over Publication of Murder Video”

  1. It’s an exceedingly stupid and vague charge as dumb as Ed Meese’s claim of “I know porn when I see it”. This is selective prosecution, not “public morals”.

    Go on youtube and look for videos of car racing or even accidents on road in Russia, China and other countries. You can find literally HUNDREDS of videos showing people killed in car crashes. And I’m not just talking about Allen Simonsen, who died inside his own car at Le Mans in 2013.

    Go look up the video of Formula 1 driver Tom Price who died in Kyalami, South Africa, back in 1977. Price’s death isn’t the disturbing one. The really horrifying part was the track marshal hit by another car, his body flying into the air and being dismemberd. That video is available for public viewing, and nobody is being criminally charged for showing that one.

    Why is google not being prosecuted for those videos? The only people going after them are lawyers with copyright lawsuits.

  2. And I did say, “not generally criminal.” As you and I know, whether something is criminal is an entirely separate issue from whether it should be. I don’t feel particularly philosophical tonight.

    1. God knows what is criminal. Don’t have charity have no protection when his judgment is given. A person doing what he did on that video is void of charity as in 1 Cor, 13:4, KJV not loving anyone. Not showing mercy. Not having forgiveness. Not having any of the fruits of the spirit as they are written in Galatians 5:22 – 23.

  3. Or not.

    Anyway, as long as he’s not a proponent of snuff films, I think the discussion is done.

  4. Porkchop,

    You might want to ask JH what his views on bestiality are before you go down this road with him. He’s an open bestiality proponent in addition to being prone to rambling theological discourses.

  5. Jonathan Hughes:

    “People who are the most deveious heartless people on earth have loved ones watch loved ones be killed before their eyes. That is done to cause psychological damage and exstreame mental grief. No damage, Come again?”

    And that has what to do with obscenity?

    I think most, if not all (I hope), participants in this discussion would agree that snuff films are of a different nature than pornography. For one thing, they (by definition) depict and document a crime, murder, while pornography depicts and documents sexual acts (sometimes, pretty strange ones, to be sure), which are not generally criminal.

    1. Taking Gods name in vain is not doing what Jesus would do. Religions lie thinking swearing is describing a body part, body function. or natural acclivity of the body or Gods light which is Hell to evil. .Religion makes people paranoid for a time the people did not even wanbt to say hello for fear of saying the word Hell wanting the greeting to be heaveno. That is the truth.

    2. Taking Gods name in vain is not doing what Jesus would do. Religions lie thinking swearing is describing a body part, body function. or natural acclivity of the body or Gods light which is Hell to evil. Religion makes people paranoid. For a time Texans did not even want to say hello for fear of saying the word Hell wanting the greeting to be heaveno. That is the truth.

  6. Porkchop,

    Feminism in general I have no issue with and in fact support it, but yeah, I think they both miss the mark on the pornography issue. They’re fighting a battle against human nature that cannot be won. The best we can hope for is to create a business environment where women are not subject to coercion, protected from violence and fairly paid for what they choose to do of their own volition. The business of pornography has changed a lot in its mainstreaming. There are more and more women every day building their own financial empires based on pornography. That being said, is there room for improvement? Without question. But to fight against pornography in general? Is futile. Dirty pictures have been around since Neanderthals figured out you could takes that rock and make pictures on the walls with it. Men (and some women) are very visually oriented when it comes to sexual stimulation. Fighting against 250,000 years of evolution around a primal urge heavily keyed to vision (which a huge part of our brains are dedicated to process) just doesn’t seem like a fruitful endeavor.

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