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WTF?

http://volokh.com/posts/1238285248.shtml
the law (in Massachusetts) would make it a very serious crime — tantamount to child pornography — to make, and distribute "with lascivious intent," "any visual material that contains a representation or reproduction of any posture or exhibition in a state of nudity" involving anyone age 60 or over, or anyone who has "a permanent or long-term physical or mental impairment that prevents or restricts the individual’s ability to provide for his or her own care or protection."


http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/186/ht01/ht01688.htm

Yes, I checked the date, and no, it's not dated April 1.

Since when did the writers of The Onion get elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives?

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
supergee
Mar. 31st, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
Well, there goes the McCain Porn industry.
fauxklore
Mar. 31st, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
There is probably good intent behind this - protecting people who are not able to give meaningful consent. The flaw is, of course, the assumption about what defines such people.
(Deleted comment)
kightp
Mar. 31st, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
Damn. I guess this means I won't be sending any nekkid self-portraits to my friends in Massachusetts after December...
epi_lj
Mar. 31st, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
Just sayin'
*not in Massachusetts*
epi_lj
Mar. 31st, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
Wait, what the fuck??
pameladean
Apr. 1st, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
That's all just crazy, but the "over 60" doesn't seem to make sense even by the horribly twisted lights apparently governing the other categories. Ugh.

P.
lcohen
Apr. 1st, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)
exactly. the rest is insane, but that's insane and ageist.
innerdoggie
Apr. 1st, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's totally weird!
rmjwell
Apr. 1st, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
Somebody tell them it means no more naked Helen Mirren.
cakmpls
Apr. 1st, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
As someone over 60, I am VERY pissed off about the implication that I cannot make such a judgment on my own behalf. (Not that anyone wants to see me naked, except my spouse, bless his heart.)
pir_anha
Apr. 1st, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
no elder pr0n in MA?
i don't quite see the problem here, though i've only read the proposed law very quickly. it's clearly meant to protect people who are not capable of protecting themselves, and who are likely going to be under the care of others who might abuse them.

section 1D has the salient insertion of text: "an elder or a person with a disability adjudicated as incompetent by a court of the commonwealth".

"adjudicated as incompetent" refers to both "an elder" and "a person with a disability", because there is no comma after "elder". right? ergo, this does NOT cover elders who're competent, or persons with disabilities who are competent.

though i'd have to do the replacements and read the entire thing carefully to see whether this makes any sense or is written way too vaguely.
firecat
Apr. 1st, 2009 09:52 am (UTC)
Re: no elder pr0n in MA?
Also read the volokh.com post: Only two of the eight sections of the law that are changed include the "adjudicated as incompetent" insertion. Four of the sections are included below; the other four sections are similar but the title is "Dissemination of visual material of child in state of nudity or sexual conduct; punishment."

Anyway, if the intent really is only to prevent the abuse of people who are mentally or physically incompetent to consent, the problem could be corrected by a simple wording fix. But I know enough people who think old people and people with disabilities of all types are automatically incompetent and sexless, so I do wonder.

CHAPTER 272. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY, DECENCY AND GOOD ORDER

Chapter 272: Section 29A. Posing or exhibiting child, an elder or a person with a disability in state of nudity or sexual conduct; punishment

Section 29A. (a) Whoever, either with knowledge that a person is a child under eighteen years of age, an elder or a person with a disability 
or while in possession of such facts that he should have reason to know that such person is a child under eighteen years of age, an elder or a 
person with a disability and with lascivious intent, hires, coerces, solicits or entices, employs, procures, uses, causes, encourages, or knowingly 
permits such child, elder or a person with a disability to pose or be exhibited in a state of nudity, for the purpose of representation or 
reproduction in any visual material, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not less than ten nor more than twenty 
years, or by a fine of not less than ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment. For purposes 
of this section “an elder” and “a person with a disability” shall be defined as those terms are defined in Section 13K of Chapter 265.

NOTE: This section defines the terms as follows:
http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/265-13k.htm
“Elder”, a person sixty years of age or older. 
“Person with disability”, a person with a permanent or long-term physical or mental impairment that prevents or restricts the individual’s 
ability to provide for his or her own care or protection.

(b) Whoever, either with knowledge that a person is a child under eighteen years of age, an elder or a person with a disability or 
while in possession of such facts that he should have reason to know that such person is a child under eighteen years of age, an elder 
or a person with a disability hires, coerces, solicits or entices, employs, procures, uses, causes, encourages, or knowingly permits 
such child an elder or a person with a disability to participate or engage in any act that depicts, describes, or represents sexual 
conduct for the purpose of representation or reproduction in any visual material, or to engage in any live performance involving sexual 
conduct, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not less than ten nor more than twenty years, or by a fine 
of not less than ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(c) In a prosecution under this section, a minor or an elder or a person with a disability adjudicated as incompetent by a court of 
the commonwealth shall be deemed incapable of consenting to any conduct of the defendant for which said defendant is being prosecuted.

(d) For the purposes of this section, the determination whether the person in any visual material prohibited hereunder is under eighteen 
years of age, an elder or a person with a disability may be made by the personal testimony of such person, by the testimony of a 
person who produced, processed, published, printed or manufactured such visual material that the child person 
therein was known to him to be under eighteen years of age, or to be an elder or a person with a disability or by expert medical 
testimony as to the age or disability of the person based upon the person’s physical appearance, by inspection of the visual 
material, or by any other method authorized by any general or special law or by any applicable rule of evidence. 
pir_anha
Apr. 1st, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
Re: no elder pr0n in MA?
ok, so it embraces the power of 'and'; it makes sense, and it's written too vaguely.

you're probably right to wonder. besides, a well-intentioned but badly written law will be used by less well-intentioned people to screw with us.

i just thought the comment section was getting a little ... frothy.
firecat
Apr. 1st, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
Re: no elder pr0n in MA?
i just thought the comment section was getting a little ... frothy.

I agree but I also understand why some of us are a bit extra-concerned about our rights at the moment.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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