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BREAKING 1:30pm 5-19-08 U.S. Supreme Court Rules 7-2: Child Porn Not Protected by Free Speech
The case involves Michael Williams, convicted in a Florida federal court for promoting child pornography on the Internet, CNN reported.
As part of a 2004 sting operation, an undercover Secret Service agent (using the screen name "Lisa--n--Miami") communicated with Williams in an Internet chat room.
Williams allegedly wrote, "Dad of toddler has 'good' pics of her an (sic) me for swap of your toddler pics, or live cam." He posted nonpornographic photos of a young girl and claimed he had "hc," or hard-core, kiddie pictures, prosecutors contend.
The man then allegedly posted photos of youngsters involved in "sexually explicit conduct," according to court records. Twenty-two other child porn images were found on his home computer.
A three-judge panel concluded the provision was "substantially overbroad and vague," and that "non-commercial, non-inciteful promotion of illegal child pornography, even if repugnant, is protected free speech." In other words, the judges said merely talking about child porn is not necessarily criminal.
Scalia said judges had proper discretion to decide when anti-pornography laws should be properly applied, but he noted that such illicit material has increased in recent years.
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