I, Erzählende Schriften 30, Casanovas Heimfahrt, Seite 152

Casanovas Heinfahrt
box 4/11
30 eenene e ene e e e
of eminence testified that“A Young Girl’s Diary'
has a great educational value in sex education for
the young. This evidence, admitted to indicate to
the court °common knowledge' is no bevidence' at
all on the point of whether or not, in law, the books
are obscene and indecent. No expert testimony is
required to determine that. Whether a book is
obscene or not falls within the range of ordinary
intelligence (People v. Muller, 96 N. Y. 408, 48 Am.
Rep. 635).
The question is, How will the books affect the
ordinary person in whose possession a copy of the
book is likely to fall? (People v. Miller, 96 N. V.
408, supra; Regina v. Hicklin, L. R. A., 3, C. B.,
The community has the right to protect itself
from obscene and indecent books (People v. Moller,
32 Hun, 213).
By enacting section 1141 of the Penal Law the
Legislature sought to prevent and prohibit the pro¬
duction and circulation of books that would lower
the moral standards of the community. Courts
must zire force to the statute. And they must give
to the language employed by the statute the mean¬
ing intended bythe Legislature. What do the words
Pobscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, indecent or dis¬
gusting'' mean? The statute does not define these
words, but the cases construing it have amply de¬
fined them (People v. Eastman, 188 N. V., 478;
People v. Muller, 96 N. Y., 408; People v. Brainard
& Harper & Bros., 192 App. Div. 816; Halsey v.
Society for the Suppression of Vice, decided by¬
Court of Appeals, N. Y. Law Journal, July 22,
The test employed in these cases is not whether
the publication is scurrilous, vile, vulgar or gen¬
erally reprehensible.