The Printing Press to the Internet
12. Sexual Expression & the First Amendment
C H A P T E R T W E L V E Sexual Expression & the First Amendment CONTROVERSY: Had authorities arrested Dwight Edwin Whorley between April 17, 2002, and April 30, 2003, for possession of sexually explicit Japanese anime, chances are he would be a free man today. Anime, or manga, are hand-drawn or computer-animated cartoons featuring characters with highly stylized facial expressions. A variety of the illus- trative form exists that features adults having sex with minors. On March 30, 2004, a woman spotted Whorley downloading such images from a computer at the Virginia Employment Office.1 Whorley had used the Virginia Employment Office computer room, which is often monitored, to access pornography without incident many times before.2 Whorley believed the cartoons, though sexually explicit, were legal because they did not depict actual children. That defense would have worked under the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 (CPPA). That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002) that sections of CPPA were unconstitutionally overbroad because they would allow the government to ban sexual depictions of minors where no minors were used, such as by computer imaging, or when adult actors were made to look like teenagers. But the federal child pornography law changed. Under The PROTECT Act of 2003 (“Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today”3), depictions of minors engaged in sex- ual explicit conduct can be obscene whether actors are really underaged, digitally created,...
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