MCKINNEY v. PARSONS
423 U.S. 960

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U.S. Supreme Court

MCKINNEY v. PARSONS , 423 U.S. 960 (1975)

423 U.S. 960

Chester McKINNEY
v.
James C. PARSONS, Chief of Police.
No. 75-428.

Supreme Court of the United States

November 11, 1975

On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, being of the view, stated in previous opinions by himself2 and by

Page 423 U.S. 960 , 961

Mr. Justice BLACK,3 that any state ban on, or regulation of, obscenity abridges freedom of speech and of the press contrary to the First Amendment, would grant certiorari and summarily reverse.

Mr. Justice BRENNAN, with whom Mr. Justice STEWART and Mr. Justice MARSHALL concur, dissenting.

Petitioner was convicted in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Ala., of violating the obscenity ordinance of the city of Birmingham. Birmingham Ordinance No. 67-2, 3, provides in pertinent part:

    'It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly . . . exhibit, distribute or have in his possession with intent to distribute, exhibit, sell or offer for sale . . . any obscene matter.'

As used in Ordinance No. 67-2, 'obscene' meant at the time of the alleged offenses:

    'that to the average person, applying contemporary standards, the predominant appeal of the matter, taken as a whole, is to prurient interest, i. e., a shameful or morbid interest in nudity, sex or excretion, which goes substantially beyond customary limits of candor in description or representation of such matters.' Id., 1.

On direct appeal, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed when petitioner's appellate brief was untimely filed. Petitions for writs of certiorari were filed with the Supreme Court of Alabama and denied. A petition for a writ of certiorari was filed with this Court and denied for the reason that the judgment below rested upon an adequate state ground. [423 U.S. 960 , 962]


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