Expedite the appeals process so that Judge Lake’s ruling is overruled.
  • Petitioned The Honorable Gregory Abbott, Attorney General of Texas

This petition was delivered to:

The Honorable Gregory Abbott, Attorney General of Texas

Expedite the appeals process so that Judge Lake’s ruling is overruled.

    1. Ann Thayer
    2. Petition by

      Ann Thayer

      Erie, PA

District Judge Sim Lake's dismissal of five charges against Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Justice is in direct conflict with the federal law, "The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010." His failure to uphold the spirit of the law and decision to focus on semantics will have far-reaching, negative repercussions.

Recent signatures


    1. Updates (Posted in reverse order for ease of reading.)

      Ann Thayer
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you again for all of the support. It is important to get the word out there that the federal law known as the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act needs to be upheld in our courts in order to be effective!


      From the StopCrush FB Event page:
      "...we have reached our goal...Thank you so much, everyone, for helping us garner these necessary funds. We want to let everyone on this event page to know that you can continue to follow the main organizational page here: https://www.facebook.com/STOPCRUSH.ORG to keep tabs on the case, moving forward...
      Again, "gratitude" does not do justice for what we are feeling."

    2. Updates (In reverse order for ease of reading.)

      Ann Thayer
      Petition Organizer

      Also, on May 31, 2013 (thanks to Bill Ratdaddy for sharing this):
      "Ashley Nicole Richards, 21, and Brent Justice, 51, appeared before a Houston court on Thursday morning and were re-indicted for animal cruelty by the Harris County District Attorney's Office. According to ABC13News, the pair remained in Harris County Jail on Thursday evening.
      Richards is accused of five counts of animal cruelty. Justice has been charged with one count of animal cruelty although authorities allegedly blame Justice for Richards' involvement in the egregious acts of animal torture. If found guilty, each count is punishable by a maximum of two years in prison. The couple were originally accused of violating a federal law for "animal crush" videos in 2012, a despicable filming of small animals being tortured for deviant sexual perversions.

    3. Updates (In reverse order for ease of reading.)

      Ann Thayer
      Petition Organizer

      The charges, however were thrown out by United States District Judge Sim Lake in April 2013 citing the law was too broad and interfered with the First Amendment right to free speech. Seven federal counts against the couple were eventually dropped. Richards is reported to have admitted to killing two animals a day through the years as her partner, Justice filmed the horrific acts. According to the Houston Press, federal prosecutors have filed a notice to appeal the five counts under the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act."

    4. Updates (In reverse order for ease of reading.)

      Ann Thayer
      Petition Organizer

      ***As for the current status of the case, as of September 19, 2013, amicus briefs have been filed by the United States, the Humane Society, the San Francisco-based Animal Legal Defense Fund along with the Prosecuting Attorneys Assn., represented by Austin attorney Scott Hendler, and by Stopcrush.org through Daphne Pattison Silverman. (http://www.stopcrush.org/?p=1805)
      *Ms. Silverman's amicus brief can be found here: http://thesilvermanlawgroup.com/pdfs/Amicus%20Appeal%20Brief.pdf
      *Summary statement in the brief: "For the reasons given in this Brief, Amicus Curiae Stopcrush.org urges this Honorable Court to find that the District Court erred in determining that Section 48 violates the Constitution and therefore to reverse the Court’s ruling dismissing the case."

    5. Updates (In reverse order for ease of reading.)

      Ann Thayer
      Petition Organizer

      ***The defendants remain in jail pending further review of the case.

      Further reading of interest:

      Article in the Houston Press on 5/15/13, "Open Season: Do Laws Against Animal Crushing Videos Violate Free Speech?" http://www.houstonpress.com/2013-05-16/news/ashley-nicole-richards/ On page 4 you can read a good summary of the logic employed by Judge Lake regarding his "free speech" ruling.

    6. Updates (In reverse order for ease of reading.)

      Ann Thayer
      Petition Organizer

      The most recent update that I could find, from 8/26/13, Houston Press online: "Appeal Filed in Animal Crush Video Case" http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2013/08/crush_videos_ashley_richards_brent_justice.php "…federal prosecutors have filed an appeal arguing that the judge ruled in error."

      A blog worth reading explains WHY it is important to be aware of such atrocities: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/05/animal-crushing-what-it-is-why-we-have-to-look-stephanie-vessely/

      And one more thought...an article discussing how we as a society should treat animal abusers:

    7. Reached 1,000 signatures
    8. Thank you to all who have signed this petition so far!

      Ann Thayer
      Petition Organizer

      Please continue to spread the word. To answer Cameron and others who may be wondering, state animal cruelty charges are still pending against these two, but with far lower penalties than the felony charges would carry.
      Established animal rights organizations are planning legal protests, too. I encourage you to check out the websites for the ASPCA, PETA, StopCrush (http://www.stopcrush.org/) and AELLA (http://aella.org/) to see if you can help in their efforts.

    9. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Courtney Geltzeiler NEWARK, NJ
      • 5 months ago


    • Phaedra Dresch CRAWFORDVILLE, GA
      • 6 months ago

      Sim lake needs to go

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 7 months ago

      "Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time must come wherein humanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come. The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil. Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. It is man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a man."

      "Affirmation of life is the spiritual act by which man ceases to live unreflectively and begins to devote himself to his life with reverence in order to raise it to its true value. To affirm life is to deepen, to make more inward, and to exalt the will to live. At the same time the man who has become a thinking being feels a compulsion to give to every will-to-live the same reverence for life that he gives to his own. He experiences that other life in his own. He accepts as being good: to preserve life, to promote life, to raise to its highest value life which is capable of development; and as being evil: to destroy life, to injure life, to repress life which is capable of development. This is the absolute, fundamental principle of the moral, and it is a necessity of thought". - From: Out of My Life and Thought.

      Albert Schweitzer

    • Ana Morris LV, NV
      • 7 months ago

      where is the humanity! BAN CRUSH VIDEOS.

    • Lorna Reutner AUSTIN, TX
      • 12 months ago

      This is beyond disgusting and cruel. We are not savages.


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