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Michigan Supreme Court hears arguments on fiction as evidence

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network


The Michigan Supreme Court is faced with the question of whether a work of fiction can be used against the author if they are charged with a crime.

A Bay County man was convicted of molesting his young granddaughter. Used against him during the trial was a fictionalized "sex manual" he wrote about incestuous sex between siblings and their father.

Chief Justice Robert Young.

"We're now trying to determine the extent to which this incest fantasy is admissible, and why if it is," he states.

The prosecution says the story can and should be used against the defendant because it shows motive and intent in his sexual attraction to pedophilia and incest. The defense says allowing the story to be admitted as evidence would open the flood gates for works of fiction to be used against their authors. One justice noted that the prosecution's argument would mean Agatha Christie could have all her murder mysteries used against her if she had been accused of similar crimes.

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