Gordon Lee Trial Delayed Again
The long running case of Georgia v. Gordon Lee just got longer. The closely watched Free Expression case, which was scheduled to go to trial yesterday, was postponed because the judge was unable to appear due to illness. The case will be rescheduled, and is likely to run on the next misdemeanor trial calendar this November.
“Obviously we’re disappointed that the case was unable to go yesterday, as scheduled, but understand that this kind of delay is nobody’s fault and unavoidable. We wish Judge Salmon a speedy recovery,” says CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein.
Mr. Lee still faces two misdemeanor counts of distributing harmful to minors material, carrying penalties of up to a year and prison and $1,000 in fines for each count if convicted. The current delay is the latest development in a legal saga that has lasted nearly three years. The case arises from the Halloween 2004 distribution of Alternative Comics #2, a Free Comic Book Day sampler which featured an excerpt from the critically acclaimed graphic novel The Salon that depicted Pablo Picasso in the nude, and was allegedly handed to a minor. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has spent $80,000 on Lee’s defense since taking the case in early 2005, and anticipates expenses to run at least another $20,000 before the trial is over.
Since its start, the comics, publishing, and Free Expression communities have been following the case’s progress. It is also being closely watched by the mainstream media for its implications on Free Expression. Coverage of the case has appeared in venues including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR’s Morning Edition, CourtTV, New York Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, and The Book Standard, in addition to countless legal, comics & media blogs.