A Word about Words

Part: 
One
Chapter: 
3

It was the majority opinion of the Commission that law enforcement agencies should not be encouraged to commit resources to the prosecution of the non-illustrated pornographic written word, unless the message is directed to children or involves child pornography. Again, there has been a great deal of concern regarding the possible proliferation of obscene books which encourage sexual perversions and other crimes. While I agree that passages in certain paperback books sold in adult book stores represent the most vile and offensive messages imaginable, I do not believe it is realistic or constructive to presume that obscenity prosecutions can be initiated or will be effective in protecting the public from any possible negative effects from the materials. I do, however, believe that the fear of censorship expressed by librarians and others concerned for the protection of literature which may contain "explicit" passages, is an extremely important consideration. Our Commission's respect for the special place of the written word was more a statement of support for freedom of speech than an action which was meant to, or will, change existing practices in the enforcement of obscenity laws.