Mississippi House Bill 57 would deem the sale of sexual material of minor to be a “sexual offense” on the part of the retailer. H.B. 57 would add a sex crime designation and a potential 10 year prison sentence on top of the penalties already contained in the 97-5-27 statue, which are a $500-$5,000 fine and one year in jail.
Media Coalition stipulated in it’s memo in opposition that merely containing sexual conduct is not enough to make a book, movie, magazine or sound recording illegal unless it violates the obscenity tests outlined in the Miller/Ginsberg test, which H.B. 57 does not follow. The bill would cause a strong chilling effect on retailers, who would be reluctant to sell any movie that contains nudity or moderate sexual conduct and risk a 10 year prison term.
1/6/2009: Mississippi House Bill 57 introduced to House
1/21/2009: Media Coalition filed memo in opposition to Mississippi House Bill 57
2/3/2009: Mississippi House Bill 57 rejected in committee