There are crimes where a defendant’s depraved actions almost beg for a strong sentence. Torching a pet store and pouring kerosene on puppies certainly qualifies.
Just over a year ago we reported the case of Gloria Eun Hye Lee who, along with codefendant Kirk Bills were accused of conspiracy, insurance fraud, arson, and animal cruelty for an outrageous event where the two set fire to Gloria’s Las Vegas Prince and Princess Pet Botique.
In what some regard as an affront to both free speech and whistleblowing, Washington legislators Joe Schmick, J. T. Wilcox, June Robinson, and Vincent Buys sponsored House Bill 1104 introducing the new crime of “Interference with Agricultural Production.” The bill, if signed into law, will have the effect of criminalizing whistleblowing and the free speech activities of those seeking to publicize allegations of animal cruelty and other concerning farming methods under the guise of protecting agribusinesses from economic harm.
The bill also provides for troubling retributions against those who have traditionally revealed acts of cruelty to animals and shown food safety abuses by several farms and businesses.