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by Peter Moskos

February 7, 2010

Undoubtedly the most demoralizing force in the country today

It's official:
Responsibility of the Moving Picture Show for Crime

The demoralizing character of some of the moving picture shows, says the New Jersey Law Journal, continues to be exemplified by proceedings from time to time in our local and county criminal courts. One of the latest instances was a case which came before Judge Case, of the Somerset County courts, where a bright little fellow of nine years of age was arraigned before the judge for truancy and for incorrigibility. The prosecutor informed the court that the root of the boy's misconduct was the moving picture show, and the counsel for the boy stated that the offender had been a good child at home and obedient until he developed the passion for attending moving picture shows. The account of the case then goes on to say: "When the boy was commanded to stand up before Judge Case he burst into tears. Judge Case called him to his seat behind the bar and talked to him kindly, after which he announced that he would place him in charge of Probation Officer Osbourn for three years. In closing his remarks Judge Case said that the moving picture shows were undoubtedly the most demoralizing force in the country to-day. The pictures had a great fascination for even adults, and the graphic portrayals of holdups, robberies, and of immoral scenes and characters, made a lasting impression on the minds of children that were demoralizing in the extreme. Judge Case said that the court would expect the law relating to moving picture shows to be strictly obeyed in the county."

From the Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology.Vol. 1(5) January, 1911. p. 788.


David Bratzer said...

Great post, as always. Glad to have you back blogging again... Sounds like you had a good trip.

PCM said...

Thanks. It was a good trip. Thailand rocks.

Angelo said...

Hi - I know this is such a bizarre request - but would it be okay to mail you a screener for the new season of Southland on TNT for possible review? I know that's not what your blog is about - but considering your readership (they'd love this show)... Let me know! - agianni@youcastcorp.com