New campaign and online video encourage the public to support stronger federal animal fighting sentencing guidelines
To view the ASPCA’s video, please visit: [http://www.aspca.org/GetTough]
NEW YORK— Following today’s commendable decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) to consider revising the federal sentencing guidelines for animal fighting, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is launching a campaign -- including a compelling new video -- urging the public to actively support stronger sentencing guidelines.
The current sentencing guidelines do not reflect the maximum penalty allowed under federal law, which can discourage federal prosecutors from pursuing animal fighting charges that may only yield a sentence as paltry as six months in jail.
“The current guidelines for dog fighting are woefully inadequate, and don’t come close to matching the heightened seriousness with which Congress, law enforcement, and the public view this barbaric activity,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President & CEO. “By proposing to amend the animal fighting guidelines, the U.S. Sentencing Commission moves us one step closer to giving judges the tools they need to punish these criminals more appropriately, as well as to deter potential criminals.”
In 2008, Congress acknowledged the depravity of dog fighting by increasing the maximum penalty for participating in animal fighting from 3 to 5 years. They again strengthened animal fighting statutes a few years later when they made attending an animal fight a federal offense and added additional penalties for bringing a child. However, federal sentencing guidelines have not been updated to include these increased penalties, creating a discrepancy between what is allowed under federal law and what is expressed in sentencing guidelines. As a result, convicted dog fighters are receiving unacceptably weak sentences.
To help raise awareness about the need for stronger sentences, the ASPCA has released a video as part of their #GetTough campaign to crack down on animal fighting. Featuring interviews with the public, the video reveals the surprise and disappointment of average Americans once they become aware of the terrible disparity between horrific animal crimes and their inadequate penalties.
“This video clearly illustrates the strong public sentiment that dog fighting is a vicious blood sport that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “Congress already spoke up on behalf of animals when they strengthened the federal laws on animal fighting, and we hope the U.S. Sentencing Commission will follow their lead.”
Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Although illegal everywhere in the U.S., dog fighting still occurs in every part of the country and in every type of community. For more information on the ASPCA’s #GetTough campaign and their work to end dog fighting, please visit http://www.aspca.org/GetTough.
About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
20th Century Fox, A Cloudy Productions and MARV present a 129 minute, R rated, Action, Adventure, Comedy, directed by Mathew Vaughn, written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman with a theater release date of February 13, 2015.
Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures and Cruel & Unusual Films present an R Rated, 102 minute, 3D, IMAX, action, drama, war film, directed by Noam Murro, written by Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad with a theater release date of March 7, 2014.
Appian Way, Energy Entertainment, Red Granite Pictures, Relativity Media and Scott Free Productions present a 116 minute, crime, drama, thriller, directed by Scott Cooper, written by Cooper and Brad Ingelsby with a theater release date of December 6, 2013.
Warner Bros. Pictures, Dark Castle Entertainment, IM Global and After Dark Films present an R rated, 91 minute, action, crime, thriller, directed by Walter Hill, written by Alessandro Camon, novel by Alexis Nolent with a theater release date of February 1, 2013.
Columbia Pictures, Broken Road Productions and Happy Madison Productions present a 105 minute, action, drama, comedy directed by Frank Ciraci, written by Kevin James and Rock Reuben with a theater release date of October 12, 2012.
Lionsgate, Mimran Schur Pictures and Solaris Entertainment present a PG-13, 139 minute action, drama directed by Gavin O’Connor, written by Gavin O’Connor and Anthony Tambakis with a release date of September 9, 2011.
General Audiences Can See The Film On Labor Day Weekend, In Advance Of Its September 9th Release
Santa Monica, CA, August 30, 2011– LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, today announced a special sneak preview screening program for the inspirational sports drama WARRIOR. The screenings will be held on Sunday, September 4th at 7:00 pm, at theaters nationwide. The announcement was made by Lionsgate’s co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake.
To promote the sneak previews, Lionsgate has partnered with Twitter to designate the hashtag #WARRIORMovieSneakPreview, which Lionsgate has also sponsored as a Promoted Trend, allowing Twitter’s powerful user base a direct link to buy tickets and continue to spread the tremendous word of mouth the film is receiving.
Moviegoers interested in seeing the film, which Rolling Stone’s chief film critic Peter Travers calls “fiercely moving,” can purchase tickets in advance at www.warriorsneakpreview.com and use #WARRIORMovieSneakPreview on Twitter to share information about the movie with friends.
“We are in a fortunate position in that the best promotional tool for this incredible film is the film itself,” explained Drake of the motivation to allow general audiences this special advance access. “This is truly a movie for everyone, and as we’ve screened it, people in all demographics- even those who might not have otherwise sought the film out- have been enthralled by its blend of triumphant, inspirational sports storytelling with poignant and powerful family drama.”
Adds David Spitz, who heads Distribution for Lionsgate, “Critics and private screening guests have shown extreme enthusiasm for this film in advance of its release, and we are honored to be able to share the experience earlier than promised with audiences everywhere, especially on a patriotic, family oriented weekend like Labor Day that fits so well with the themes of this particular film. We can’t wait to read the sneak preview audience’s tweets as they become the first consumers to share their reactions with the world.”
Rising stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton command the screen as two estranged brothers facing the fight of a lifetime in Lionsgate’s WARRIOR, a moving, inspirational action drama from acclaimed director Gavin O’Connor (Miracle).
Haunted by a tragic past, Marine Tommy Conlon (Hardy) returns home for the first time in fourteen years to enlist the help of his father (Nick Nolte) to train for Sparta, the biggest winner-takes-all event in mixed martial arts history. A former wrestling prodigy, Tommy blazes a path toward the championship while his brother, Brendan (Edgerton), an ex-fighter-turned teacher, returns to the ring in a desperate bid to save his family from financial ruin. But when Brendan’s unlikely, underdog rise sets him on a collision course with the unstoppable Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart, facing off in the most soaring, soul stirring, and unforgettable climax that must be seen to be believed.
A rousing ode to redemption, reconciliation and the power of the human spirit, WARRIOR is also a moving testament to the enduring bonds of family. WARRIOR stars Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom, Star Wars: Episode III), Tom Hardy (the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Black Hawk Down), Jennifer Morrison ("House", Star Trek) and Nick Nolte (Tropic Thunder, The Thin Red Line). The film is directed by Gavin O'Connor; screenplay by Gavin O’Connor & Anthony Tambakis & Cliff Dorman and story by Gavin O'Connor & Cliff Dorfman. Lionsgate and Mimran Schur Pictures present a Lionsgate / Mimran Schur Pictures production. A Solaris Entertainment and Filmtribe production.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as "Mad Men", "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie" along with the comedy "Blue Mountain State, " the upcoming drama "Boss" and the syndication successes "Tyler Perry's House Of Payne", its spinoff "Meet The Browns", the upcoming "For Better or Worse," "The Wendy Williams Show" and "Are We There Yet?".
Its feature film business has generated more than half a billion dollars at the North American box office in the past year, fueled by such successes as THE LINCOLN LAWYER, TYLER PERRY'S MADEA'S BIG HAPPY FAMILY, THE EXPENDABLES, which was #1 at the North American box office for two weeks, THE LAST EXORCISM, TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?, KICK ASS and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards®. The Company's home entertainment business has grown to more than 8% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
# # # #