Prisoner Denied His First Amendment Right to Look at Jennifer Aniston
Today I bring you a sad tale of horrible torture and the very definition of cruel and unusual punishment. This is sad so please, if you have already had any of the self-realizations in the last 24 hours that are listed below, then I beg of you, do not read this because I do not want to be responsible for sending you in to a deep depression.
Don’t read any further if any of the following has come to your mind today:
1. That you cannot possibly get everything finished in time for Christmas,
2. That one of your parents wants to live “the rest of his/her life” under your roof,
3. That your 16 year old daughter wants a belly-piercing,
4. That you missed your Christmas bonus elligibility by one dollar/hour/sale, etc….
5. That you just broke off a long-term relationship.
Okay–here goes. yesterday an AP story by Scott Bauer broke entitled, Inmate Loses Bid to Hang Aniston Photo .
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – All Jevon Jackson wanted was to hang a picture of Jennifer Aniston in his room. But because his room was a cell at a Green Bay prison, the warden wouldn’t allow it. Jackson took his case all the way to federal court, which ruled in favor of the prison Wednesday but offered the inmate a ray of hope.
A convicted murderer, Jackson ran afoul of the state prison system when he ordered a commercial picture of Aniston, who gained fame on the television series “Friends.” Turns out the prison has a policy against inmates receiving, and thus displaying, commercially published photographs. The prison adopted the policy in 2006 because of the increasing volume of mail. It told the court that it gets about 1,500 pieces of mail a day and processing it required a ban on commercially published photos, which often contained nudity or other forbidden content such as gang symbols. Inmates are allowed to display pictures of non-celebrity friends and relatives, as well as commercially produced photos published in magazines. Neither Jackson nor the prison said there was anything inappropriate about the photo he wanted to display.
“That’s good,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in its unanimous, and somewhat snarky, opinion. “In 2000, Aniston sued ‘Celebrity Skin’ magazine for publishing photos taken of her while sunbathing topless in her own backyard!” The three judges also identified Aniston as an actress who appeared in “several forgettable recent films.” They named a couple: “Rumor Has It” and “Along Came Polly.”
Jackson was sentenced to life in prison for murder in the 1993 killing of a woman who had just left a Milwaukee fast-food restaurant. He was 17 at the time of the murder. Now 30, he sued after his complaint was dismissed by the prison. He argued that his First Amendment rights had been violated. He also said it didn’t make sense to disallow commercial photographs but at the same time allow magazines that could contain hundreds of images.
In ruling against Jackson, the appeals court said the prison’s policy was reasonable – and Jackson could always get around it by ordering magazines. Even though Aniston may not be in every issue he subscribed to, the court said, “the likelihood of an eventual photograph of her is sufficiently high to suffice as an alternative.” Jackson had argued a commercial photo would be less trouble for the prison than if he had to order several magazines to find the one picture of Aniston he wanted.
Oh the humanity! How dare that pretentious arrogant 7th Circuit write a “snarky” opinion saying that Ms. Aniston has appeared in “foregettable recent films.” What about “Leprechaun”
or the hit TV movie “Camp Cucomonga”
or who could forget “The Thin Pink Line”
But seriously the point of this story is that this poor murderer is being denied the one and only thing he wants- a picture of his favorite hottie–is that so wrong?
I mean look at his prison:
Anyway–back to the real story–after an interview with the warden of the prison who instituted this “no commercial photographs” policy but nevertheless allows magazines in cells, he has decided to alter the policy slightly. He realizes that Jackson does have a point–I mean the LAST thing we want to do to a murderer is violate his First Amendment right. You know the First Amendment which states in relevant part, ” Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to hang pictures of hot babes in their prison cells.”
The warden said that “hot babes” is not defined in the constitution and since he doesn’t think Jennifer is “hot” he won’t let her picture be used. He then referred me to an excellent blog post regarding beauty written by the world famous Laurie Kendrick (“The Beauty Post“). Beauty therefore is definitely in the eye of the beholder or the air brusher or the make-up artist. The warden is kind of a naturalist and believes that true beauty is found when you shed all of those man-made props and so he is now willing to relax the policy to allow some commercial photos that are limited to the following photos ONLY: (by the way the warden sounded very sarcastic during the entire interview–more on that in a moment):
HOT BABES OF GREEN BAY PRISON:
and finally as a bonus picture–this next one is the most popular in cell block D
I withheld my comments during our discussion but asked the warden if I could take his picture for my blog post–he obliged:
I don’t know but I think the warden has a hidden agenda going on here–nevertheless, finally all of the murderers, theives, rapists, molesters and drug dealers will have some commercial photos to look at as they pass their time away behind bars.