Rick Cupp amicus brief in Nonhuman Rights Project v. Lavery in the news

June 15, 2017 | By Kylie Larkin — Professor Richard L. Cupp‘s amicus brief in the case of Nonhuman Rights Project v. Lavery, 2017 NY Slip Op 04574, has been receiving recent attention in the news.   The case involves habeas corpus petitions filed in New York on behalf of two adult male chimpanzees.

Via the New York Law Journal, “Panel Rejects Habeas Appeal for Pair of Captive Chimps”:

“The asserted cognitive and linguistic capabilities of chimpanzees do not translate to a chimpanzee’s capacity or ability, like humans, to bear legal duties, or to be held legally accountable for their actions,” wrote Justice Troy Webber in Nonhuman Rights Project v. Lavery, 162358/15, and Nonhuman Rights Project v. Presti, 150149/16.

Webber also indicated that “any chimpanzee charged with a crime in New York could [not] be deemed fit to proceed, i.e., to have the capacity to understand the proceedings against him or to assist in his own defense.”

While citing the amicus curiae brief of Pepperdine law school professor Richard Cupp, Webber added that “nonhumans lack sufficient responsibility to have any legal standing, which, according to Cupp is why even chimpanzees who have caused death or serious injury to human beings have not been prosecuted.”

The complete article may be found at www.newyorklawjournal.com (subscription required)

Via the National Review, “NY Court Rules Chimps Not Entitled to Rights”:

Petitioner does not suggest that any chimpanzee charged with a crime in New York could be deemed fit to proceed, i.e., to have the “capacity to understand the proceedings against him or to assist in his own defense” (CPL 730.10[1])…

Moreover, as noted in an amicus brief submitted by Professor Richard Cupp, nonhumans lack sufficient responsibility to have any legal standing, which, according to Cupp is why even chimpanzees who have caused death or serious injury to human beings have not been prosecuted.

The complete article may be found at www.nationalreview.com

Via Courthouse News Service, “Advocates of Caged NY Chimps Lose Habeas Appeal”:

“The asserted cognitive and linguistic capabilities of chimpanzees do not translate to a chimpanzee’s capacity or ability, like humans, to bear legal duties, or to be held legally accountable for their actions,” Webber wrote. “Petitioner does not suggest that any chimpanzee charged with a crime in New York could be deemed fit to proceed, i.e., to have the ‘capacity to understand the proceedings against him or to assist in his own defense.’”

Richard Cupp, a [Malibu]-based professor who filed an amicus brief in the case, noted that this lack of legal standing is precisely why prosecutors have never gone after any of the chimps that have caused death or serious injury to humans.

The complete article may be found at www.courthousenews.com

Professor Cupp’s amicus brief, “Litigating Nonhuman Animal Legal Personhood,” may be found at papers.ssrn.com

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