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  1. #1

    15 Years in Prison for Manga Posession

    The Chicago Tribune newspaper reports that Christopher Handley has pleaded guilty on Wednesday "to possessing drawings of children being sexually abused." The Iowa man faces up to 15 years in prison and a US$250,000 fine, although sentencing has not been scheduled.

    Handley was accused of receiving and possessing obscene manga, as opposed to child pornography (as they previously tried to charge him with), via the United States Postal Service in May of 2006. The judge in Handley's case struck down some of the charges against Handley and ruled parts of the PROTECT Act of 2003 unconstitutional for restricting free speech. However, Handley still faced charges for possession of obscene material because it was "moved in interstate commerce".


    He was a collector of Japanese manga not some sort of raging pervert. His sentence is based off of the “possession of 150 but less than 300 such images in total.” Not 150 to 300 magazines mind you, but cartoon pages with one or more panels or individual jpgs. That is of over 1,000+ books, several computers, and hundreds of DVDs seized from his house by the prosecutors.

    The dude had a massive collection and if you were to look into any library of that size I am sure you can find plenty of material some might find obscene. I am looking at my own collection and my uncensored Tokyopop releases of Yubisaki Milk Tea start coming to mind…

    I am extremely disappointed in his lawyer Eric Chase, his firm United Defense Group, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund who acted as special adviser to the defense. The CBLDF used Hadley's case as a flagship for fund raising and when push came to shove according to the family they let his lawyers screw him.


    The ANN article is here, Japanator's comments section has commentary from someone close to the defendant, ComiPress has a writeup by a lawyer overviewing the case and its background, Newbery Medal-winning Neil Gaiman commented here.

    The Department of Justice's press release announcing their great victory against the manga scourge can be found here.

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  2. #2
    Queen of the Boredom Zone Arhazivory's Avatar
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    Whoa...

    I remember the thread that was made a couple months back when he was first arrested. BUt man...15 years. That's a long time to serve for manga.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Afro Thunda's Avatar
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    15 years is an obscene amount of prison time. He should be trying to claim Cruel & Unusual punishment for this. Nobody was getting hurt as a result of his buying. And if I remember correctly, he's only in this position because someone got nosy with his stuff. Just crazy. If anything, that fine should be enough.

  4. #4
    Up to 15 years but it will probably be less since it was part of what is likely a plea bargain so the Department of (in)Justice could declare victory against Manga-kind.

    Still Handley may get off light this time but this marks a slide down a slippery slope where there is now legal precedent for "manga = obscene" type cases in federal court.

    I wish the CBLDF was in charge of his defense because they would have never settled for a plea and fought this tooth and nail.
    "Mr. Handley now faces the loss of his freedom and his property, all for owning a handful of comic books. It's chilling. The Fund remains unwavering in our commitment to be prepared to manage future threats of this nature wherever they arise. This is the unfortunate conclusion of Mr. Handley's case, but it is not the end of this sort of prosecution. For that reason, the Fund stands steadfast in our commitment to defending the First Amendment rights of the comics art form."

    Still I am disgusting instead of hunting down real pedophiles, drug dealers, terrorists or a number of other things our government is busy hunting down manga collectors...
    Last edited by Ariolander; 05-25-2009 at 09:25 AM.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member kuroihikari's Avatar
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    Not that I condone it, but I think he would've actually been better off having sex with jailbait. That's just ridiculous.

    Hey, why don't we go ahead and demolish the statue of Atlas in New York and Michaelangelo's David while we're at it?

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Light-kun's Avatar
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    This is just BS!
    They should go and use their whole effort on prosecuting real criminals instead.
    I know a guy who got only 2 months prison for multiple burglary, and this poor guy get years? Come on!

    This is clearly a "WTF-moment"!
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    Member Wingzy's Avatar
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    ......... Usa.......

  8. #8
    Senior Member Maximo's Avatar
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    What can I say - LIFE IS A BITCH

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  9. #9
    King of The Bleachtards BWORMKING's Avatar
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    this is BULLSHIT
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  10. #10
    Silent-ish stewchan's Avatar
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    This is actually unreasonable, especially since it is all over drawings that have been published to the masses even if it is from another country. There is no harm in drawings, only in the exploitation of real indivuals should they have a case against the guy. Saying that I'm not overly fond of manga showing people underage naked but its from another culture, it shouldn't be a crime to enjoy the another culture.

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