Comic and manga fans especially have had a close eye on the obsenity trial of a man named Chris Handley. Handley, who has never been accused of any crime previously, was accused of possession of obscene materials when the Post Office intercepted a package of manga that had come from Japan to Iowa. Federal Authorities were called and to make a long (but fascinating) story short, Handley was looking at 75 years in federal prison for drawn images (contents not revealed).
In a surprise twist, Handley ended up pleading guilty to “possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children,” although he is the first person to be arraigned for having drawings and no one has gone to prison for this charge before. Despite the drop of most charges, he is still facing 15 in prison…again, for drawings.
Wired has a good summary of the guilty plea and what it means.
As you can imagine, the blogs are hot on the story, and there has been a lot of activity the last few days.
io9 also has a good recap of the case and guilty plea and asks the essential question: “..will actual children be protected by sending a man to prison for collecting fictional comic books?”