Child Molesting Manual is Legal in US

Shay Welch sent this story
to FEAST-L.

A 170-page manual explaining step by step how to molest children which police in Orange County, Fla., believe has been circulating there for months, is not illegal. Investigators have stated that they still want to know where it came from.

Shocking and horrifying. But as far as I know bomb-making instructions are also legal.

Any thoughts from you free-speech experts out there?

5 thoughts on “Child Molesting Manual is Legal in US

  1. I, for one, are among those that maintain that freedom of speech includes the protection of these kind of speech. (1) writing about how to commit an act is not the same thing as committing it. You cannot try someone for just thining about doing something (2) you don’t fight these kind of behavior by preventing people from talking about them in any particular way, you do by actually fighting the behavior.

    I think that Japan is an excellent example of this: if I read the news correctly, the introduction of a child abuse protection program resulted in a heightened sensitivity from the population to the problem, and a progressive and significant increase in reported/discovered cases of child abuse, despite many cases not being discovered in time due to understaffing of the agency responsible to act in these cases. On the other hand, the ban on child pornography (november 1999) doesn’t seem to have been of help in any way.

    I can probably go as far saying that banning these kind of _fictional_ speech (as opposed, e.g. to real movies involving real children being abused), it if has any effect, it’s in the opposite direction than the one intended: I’m no psychologist, but I believe that banning this material actually means blocking a pressure valve. I’d gather that more people are going to find a way to relieve their criminal insticts by consuming the fictional works instead of actually committing the acts, than people are going to discover (and then act following) previously unknown urges by coming across such a fictional work.

  2. I don’t tend to like the idea that written expression needs to have a beneficial effect that outweighs its harmful effect, but I will nonetheless note that any manual on how to commit a crime will be very useful to police trying to catch a criminal following the manual.

  3. I agree with Aaron. Not that protection under principles of free expression should necessarily depend on beneficial use, but virtually any information potentially useful to the commission or concealment of criminal activity is also potentially useful to the prevention or detection of such activity. Vice versa, too – note how law enforcement and intelligence agencies are loath to see the tricks of their trade publicly disclosed.

  4. Add my group on facebook, we need to get this manual off the shelves, people use the how to make a bomb book in science but what is even a minor explanatory reason for this manual? seriously. get this book off the shelf!

  5. Sadly, the same laws that protect Willis Domingo’s nasty site also protect the creep that wrote this manual. There are no photos of children engaged in actual, as opposed to simulated sex acts. There are no photos at all; only words, and words are the property of the American who creates them. The only loophole that will get this freak prosecuted will be the “somebody just started a riot” provision.

    So, does anybody out there have the brass cohones to write a manual entitled How to Successfully Override the First Amendment And Bring A Pervert To Justice By Inciting A Kick Ass Riot?

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