The owner of a gore-themed website is charged with corrupting morals after he purportedly posted the killing of Jun Lin – an exchange student from China– by Luka Magnotta. Mark Marek, the owner of bestgore website, has been arrested in Edmonton on charges of corrupting morals and is scheduled to appear in court in the coming days after a year-long investigation. Marek, a 38-year old, is alleged to have violated a section in the Criminal Code that prohibits the publication or possession of obscene materials. It is alleged that Market posted the video on his website knowing full-well that the contents of the video depicted a real and premeditated murder. Marek has been granted bail.
The dismemberment video of Concordia student Jun Lin prompted an international manhunt for Magnotta, who was later spotted and arrested in an internet café in Berlin, Germany. The video ghastly titled “1 lunatic 1 icepick,” appeared on Marek’s website shortly before Magnotta had decided to flee Canada. Parts of Jun Lin’s body was were found in garbage bins, while others were mailed to political party headquarters in Ottawa and to a Vancouver school. The first-degree murder trial of 30-year old Magnotta starts in the fall of 2014.
Edward Prutschi was a guest legal analyst on CTV News to discuss the confusing nature of a “corrupting morals” criminal charge and what might transpire with this perhaps precedent-setting case. Mr. Prutschi discusses that this charge is a unique one and is often not associated with our current time and era. Mr. Prutschi briefly mentions how this is a charge that was seen more in the 1980s and 1990s and had to do with some forms of pornography.
Society’s general outlook has changed significantly from then, we tend to be more liberal and tolerant when it comes to such materials, and the justice system has aligned itself with this paradigm shift. Mr. Prutschi asserts that we generally invoke and appeal to freedom of expression and debate its artistic merit rather than escalate it and deem it criminally obscene. When it takes an undue exploitative, sexual and violent nature then it enters the criminal realm. Police believe that Marek knew that this was an actual homicide being captured by video and are therefore going through with the criminal investigation.
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