As GamePolitics has been reporting, convicted cop killer Devin Moore (left) was in court this week, appealing his Death Row conviction for killing two police officers and a dispatcher during a 2003 rampage.
Moore’s defense lawyer contends in part that her client was driven to kill by playing Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto Vice City.
In wake of the appeal, an Alabama newspaper scoffs at Moore’s video game defense. In an editorial, the Montgomery Adviser says:
The notion that the courts should take into account whether someone was exposed to violent video games as a reason for that person murdering someone has no real place in the criminal judicial process…
If courts started routinely to allow exposure to fictional violence in such things as video games and movies as a way to avoid or minimize punishment for violent acts, it could have a huge, negative effect on the nation’s entire criminal process. Every violent criminal has been exposed to fictional violence in some form…
Millions of people, young and old, choose to watch violent movies and play violent video games and never harm anyone because of it.
Parents should monitor what their children watch… Consumer groups should campaign to minimize violent content… But those arguments belong in the court of public opinion, not in a criminal courtroom where a murder trial is being conducted.
GP: As a matter of clarification, this appeal involves Moore’s criminal case. He was convicted in 2005 and sentenced to death. Moore is also a defendant – albeit an impoverished one – in Strickland vs. Sony, a lawsuit filed by Miami attorney Jack Thompson against several video game companies. Thompson was thrown off Strickland in November, 2005 by an Alabama circuit court judge, but remains associated with the case in what appears to be a behind-the-scenes role.