Friday, July 11, 2008

Florida Sex Offenders Have Right to Porn

Florida’s Supreme Court hears issues of critical importance to the residents of the Sunshine State on a regular basis – the decision to sentence a juvenile to life in prison, the right of a religious organization to share its beliefs on the public square and … whether or not a sex offender can possess pornography. Yes, it’s true. The seven justices of the Supreme Court ruled yesterday on this hot topic. Pedophiles and gropers anxiously bit their nails on the steps of the courthouse while waiting for this historic ruling. They collectively exhaled with relief when the 5-2 decision determined that the right to own porn could not be denied.

The decision stemmed from the Miami case involving a man named Donald Kasischke, who pled guilty in 2001 to three counts each of lewd or lascivious battery and exhibition on a fifteen-year-old boy. After spending a year in prison, Kasischke was let out on probation and a search of his home led to the discovery of pornographic photos and videos. He was immediately sent back to jail, with the Third District Court of Appeals upholding the jail time in 2006.

So, why did the Supreme Court overrule the Court of Appeals this week? The relevant Florida statute includes the statement that sex offenders may not own “any obscene, pornographic or sexually stimulating visual or auditory material, including telephone, electronic media, computer programs or computer services that are relevant to the offender's deviant behavior pattern.'' Does this mean that a man who accosted young children can own pornography involving only adults? Can a man who inappropriately touched a female co-worker possess photos that are absent of women? When ambiguous language in law raises such questions, the accused must receive the benefit.

Kasischke will now be given a new hearing in Miami following this ruling by the Supreme Court. Assuming no other probation violations have occurred, he may soon find himself a free man who can boldly own porn without fear of repercussions.

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