New York Justice Denies Habeas Corpus Relief for Hercules and Leo Given Precedent Set in Previous Case, ‘For Now’

The Nonhuman Rights Project issued the following press release today:

New York Justice Denies Habeas Corpus Relief for Hercules and Leo Given Precedent Set in Previous Case, ‘For Now’

July 30, 2015 – New York, NY – New York County Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe has issued a 33-page decision in the Nonhuman Rights Project’s (NhRP) habeas corpus case on behalf of two chimpanzees being held in captivity in a Stony Brook University laboratory. Justice Jaffe said that “for now” she is bound to follow the previous determination of a state appellate court in the case of another chimpanzee, Tommy, whose case is now before the New York Court of Appeals pending the NhRP’s request for further review.

In today’s decision, Justice Jaffe, citing the New York Court of Appeals, said, “’Legal personhood’ is not necessarily synonymous with being human … Rather, the parameters of legal personhood have been and will continue to be discussed and debated by legal theorists, commentators, and courts and will not be focused on semantics or biology, even philosophy, but on the proper allocation of rights under the law, asking, in effect, who counts under our law.”

In her decision, Justice Jaffe agreed that the NhRP had standing to bring the case on behalf of a chimpanzee and rejected all the procedural barriers that the Attorney General of New York attempted to place before the court.

Concluding that, “Efforts to extend legal rights to chimpanzees are thus understandable; some day they may even succeed … For now, however, given the precedent to which I am bound it is hereby ordered that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is denied…”

“The Nonhuman Rights Project is looking forward to promptly appealing Justice Jaffe’s thoughtful and comprehensive decision to the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, which unlike Justice Jaffe is not bound by the decision of the Third Department in Tommy’s case,” said Steven M. Wise, President of the Nonhuman Rights Project.

Comments
11 Responses to “New York Justice Denies Habeas Corpus Relief for Hercules and Leo Given Precedent Set in Previous Case, ‘For Now’”
  1. Beverly Foster says:

    Very disappointing, but not unexpected. Here’s hoping against hope, that the Court of Appeals has the intelligence to accept the appeal from the previous denials.

    What a beautiful, compassionate, and knowledgeable interview with Marianne on OHH that I heard last night. Steve Wise is my greatest hero.

  2. Sue Andrew says:

    Soldier on. We’re behind you 100%.

  3. jude says:

    I look forward to the day we advance to true realization that all animals exist in their own right. They are not our property.

  4. Anne Green says:

    Makes one wonder why these courts so quickly make any excuse. Compassion is only one word but it speaks for itself no matter how many pages and pages of reasons not to release these animals they are just words. We need action by people in authority. Please keep us all updated on Facebook please.

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