Magazine Publisher Ralph Ginzburg Indicted for Distributing Obscene Literature

Magazine Publisher Ralph Ginzburg Indicted for Distributing Obscene Literature

Ralph Ginzburg

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The federal government indicts magazine publisher Ralph Ginzburg for distributing obscene literature through the mail. In June he will be convicted and his magazine Eros, along with some other publications of his, are declared obscene.

It's important that Ginzburg is only charged because of the contents of his fourth issue of Eros: specifically, interracial sex. Attorney-General Robert Kennedy claims that the pictures will exacerbate racial problems in the South (even though they don't show actual sex, just suggest it).

Ralph Ginzburg will be found guilty and the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold his conviction, ruling in Ginzburg v. United States that if material is marketed based on its being possibly obscene, then even if it has redeeming social value the fact remains that the publisher is only appealing to prurient interests.

Ginzburg is fined $42,000 and sentenced five years in prison, but only serves eight months.


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