ERIC Number: ED158345
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Obscenity: Three Case Studies.
The Supreme Court's controversial "community standards" ruling in "Miller v. California" (1973) states that for materials to be judged obscene, they no longer need to be "utterly without redeeming social value," but must lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value, and that the question of offensiveness will be judged against local, not national, community standards. This report examines this ruling as it relates to three obscenity-related prosecutions: Larry Flint and his "Hustler" magazine, Al Goldstein and his publication, "Screw," and Harry Reems, an actor in the film "Deep Throat." These three trials have much in common in that they reveal the following problems associated with prosecuting national media in local jurisdictions: venue shopping in the use of conservative communities for prosecution, entrapment, political motivation for prosecution, and the use of conspiracy and organized crime statutes. The report reviews and analyzes these problems as they apply to each of the three cases, explains how the Supreme Court came to the Miller decision, and discusses some arguments surrounding the First Amendment and censorship issues. (MAI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Freedom of Information Center, Columbia, MO.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment