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Alabama Supreme Court sets limit on obscenity prosecutions

Alabama- The Alabama Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a person can be convicted only once for possession of obscene material no matter how many pictures he had when arrested.

In an 8-0 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that struck down nine of the 10 convictions against David A. Girard of Baldwin County.

In October 2001, a Baldwin County jury convicted Girard of 10 counts of possession for obscene material involving boys under 18. The obscene material was contained on a computer discs.

Attorney General Bill Pryor’s office maintained that each obscene image is a different crime, but the Supreme Court said the possession of obscene material is one offense, “regardless of how many items are actually possessed.”

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals had reached the same decision last year.

When Girard was convicted, he was sentenced to 10 concurrent sentences of three years in prison and five years on probation. The Supreme Court said one of those sentences would remain.



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