Six Things More Illegal Than Watching Kiddie Porn In New York (Yes, Smoking Weed And Farting In Church Made The List)

kiddieporncat.jpg
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...which is perfectly legal in New York.
The New York State Court of Appeals on Tuesday determined that viewing kiddie porn isn't a crime. Possessing, producing, and distributing child erotica is still illegal (sorry, perverts), but the court decided that "possessing" kiddie porn and viewing it on the Internet are not the same thing. In other words, just because you saw smut on the Internet doesn't mean it's your possession, and therefore isn't illegal under the current law.

All the justices agree that kiddie porn is pretty disgusting, but the ruling now makes watching kiddie porn perfectly legal in New York, while several other (far-less perverse) activities could potentially get you thrown in jail (as mentioned in the headline, smoking weed and farting in church are on that list).

To illustrate how ridiculous it is that watching kiddie porn is now perfectly legal in New York, below are six things that will get you in more trouble than viewing child erotica.

*Smoking Weed: smoking weed was decriminalized in New York in the 1970s -- but that doesn't mean it won't get you in any trouble. You can still be cited for possessing weed. If you're caught displaying weed in public, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and potentially do jail time. According to weed advocates, the NYPD uses racist enforcement practices when it comes to weed, with 87-percent of those arrested for low-level marijuana crimes being black or Hispanic. Turns out, you're (legally) better off watching kids have sex than you are doing a bong hit.

*Mixed Martial Arts fighting: Despite the fact that it's two consenting adults beating the shit out of each other, MMA fighting was banned in New York in the mid-1990s. Since then, advocates of the sport have lobbied the state Legislature to lift the ban. This year, a lift on the ban seemed promising -- until the state Assembly decided the bill that would lift the ban wouldn't reach a vote this year. So, it's now more illegal to watch two grown men beat the crap out of each other in New York than it is to watch two children having sex.

*Talking On The Phone While Driving: In the government's best effort to protect you from yourself, it's illegal to talk on the phone without a hands-free headset while driving a car in New York. Two weeks ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed police to go gangbusters on "distracted drivers" using handheld electronic devices while driving a vehicle. His crackdown netted 3,172 citations. The kicker: if those 3,172 people cited were watching kiddie porn while driving -- as long as it was on a hands-free device -- they wouldn't have been in any trouble.

*Donating Food To Homeless Shelters: New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is actually enforcing a law that prevents food donations to city-run food shelters because the government can't monitor the salt content of the donated food. We developed a theory last month when we first heard about Bloomberg's being a salt bully: homeless people are more concerned with eating in general than they are with how much salt they're consuming. Not-so-shockingly, our theory turned out to be correct: 10 out of 10 homeless people polled agreed that they're more concerned with eating period than they are with their sodium intake. More on that here. So, next time you're compelled to share some food with the less fortunate, just throw on a kiddie porn video -- it will get you in less trouble than being charitable.

*Fortune Telling: Our personal favorite New York "crime" is "fortune telling," which is actually a misdemeanor in the Empire State. A person is guilty of fortune telling "when, for a fee or compensation which he directly or indirectly solicits or receives, he claims or pretends to tell fortunes, or holds himself out as being able, by claimed or pretended use of occult powers, to answer questions or give advice on personal matters or to exorcise, influence or affect evil spirits or curses; except that this section does not apply to a person who engages in the aforedescribed conduct as part of a show or exhibition solely for the purpose of entertainment or amusement." Thanks to the court's ruling, if you foresee someone watching kiddie porn in their future, you're better off watching it with them than telling them about it.

*Farting In Church: A person is guilty of disruption or disturbance of a religious service, funeral, burial or memorial service "when he or she makes unreasonable noise or disturbance while at a lawfully assembled religious service, funeral, burial or memorial service, or within one hundred feet thereof, with intent to cause annoyance or alarm or recklessly creating a risk thereof." Under the law, a fart could potentially get someone charged with a misdemeanor. So, you're better off watching kiddie porn before church than you are eating at Taco Bell.

We could do this all day -- watching kiddie porn in New York is now perfectly legal. Meanwhile, things like adultery, having a police scanner, and any of the other "crimes" in New York's penal code could potentially get you tossed in the slammer.

So, next time you get a parking ticket, keep in mind that you're in more trouble than if you were caught watching kiddie porn.
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13 comments
Guestguest
Guestguest

James King should retitle this article "Brain Fats of the Technically Illiterate" or  "Proof I am not a Lawyer" so people don't waste time on his crap.

It's telling when even the old justices of the NY courts better understand the reality of the digital era more than a 'professional' blogger.

Under the old law, you would be sentenced to prison if your computer was infected with a virus that forced your browser to visit child pornography websites. If a child pornographer posted pictures in a public forum of a perfectly legal discussion nature, every forum viewer could be forced to register as a sex offender under NY's previous policies.

This new ruling forces the courts to take into consideration if the computer user was willingly seeking out and acquiring child porn or merely took a wrong turn onto the back alleys of the net.  If anything, the judges put 'intention'' back into the law.

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

 "Brain Fats"?

Rush Limbaugh's problem?

Screw you, Lames King
Screw you, Lames King

As someone commented on a previous post, keeping someone from using a cell phone in his/her hand(s) while driving protects lots of other people, not just the dumbass doing it.

James King
James King

And I find it pretty hilarious that out of this entire post you pick out one line about texting while driving. Did you miss the part about how texting while driving is now more illegal than watching kiddie porn? I've had single-issue readers before but it's never been over a stupid law about texting while driving. Sheesh.

Screw you, Lames King
Screw you, Lames King

You think the prohibition on texting while driving is a stupid law?! Wow. And by the way, you wrote talking (on the phone, without a hands-free device) while driving, not texting. But that's bad, too.

The Voice is supposed to be a progressive paper. What's with this libertarian bullshit?

Cheshirehouse
Cheshirehouse

"Progressives" used to be called Liberals and actually WERE liberal in the true meaning of the word.  Now the only true Liberals are Libertarians. So I wonder: were you ever truly a Liberal?

I agree, and I think James K does too, that while it is in fact disgusting to watch kiddie porn on the net (or elsewhere)  we'd be entering the realm of thought policing to make it a crime.  His point, as I got it, is simply that in our micro-managed state, and especially city, far less and occasionally quite silly things ARE being criminalized. (Do you think that's "progressive"? Progress towards what?

James King
James King

I got a ticket for talking on my phone while driving on the Northway in the Adirondacks at midnight. The only other car on the road was the cop who pulled me over. Who was he protecting by writing me that ticket? The tree I might have hit? The deer? What's next -- eating while driving? Smoking? Chewing gum?

burning_plastic
burning_plastic

What is your point? You broke the law and got a ticket. Now you either use a hands-free device, or you don't talk whole driving, or you quietly take your chances and pay when you get caught. You're a moron, James. Everyone, every single person, ONLY talks on their cellphone when it's safe, right? When no one is around. And you knew it was safe and no one was around. Except, it wasn't, was it, James? No, there was a cop and he saw you and gave you a ticket (haha! - Nelson) before you saw him and ended your no doubt important phone conversation about how seatbelts are socialism or something. If you had been aware you wouldn't have gotten caught. Since you weren't aware you were putting other POTENTIAL drivers, that you hadn't seen, like you didn't see the cop, at risk, you idiot. According to your logic watching kiddie porn would be cool as long as no one is around.

I don't know the stats here, but I don't think very many people look at kiddie porn accidentally, which is what the law is about, and so while it's certainly the type of issue that a bored, dishonest or stupid reporter could make into a headline, twice, I'd have to say that I'm in more danger, statistically, from assholes talking on their phones while driving than from someone accidentally watching kiddie porn. Note that watching it on purpose is still as illegal as it ever was. You're a moron and a joke as a reporter.

AK
AK

love every last line of the paragraphs. I do not know if I am proud New Yorker any more hmmm...

Danielle Cap
Danielle Cap

ಠ_ಠ. Really?Especially #'s 2 and 4.

Oh, right. He can't control gambling on the MMA, or what people will do with their private time, so let's just outlaw it all.

And them bums are really missing out on my famous sauce I make every other Sunday.

Lee
Lee

Damn Jim....bravo for not jumping on the obvious "watching kiddie porn in a church" joke that was right there for the taking. Restraint should occasionally be applauded.....although, I would've laughed.

James King
James King

Shit! I knew I was forgetting something. Yes, Lee, you are correct -- under the current law, it's les illegal to watch kiddie porn in church than it is to fart there.

Offacue
Offacue

You forgot carrying a pocket knife with a locking blade.

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