Chimps Are Legal People, Too: Lawsuit
Group challenges 'unlawful detention' in NY
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2013 1:24 AM CST
A fundamental right to liberty?   (AP Photo/Chimp Haven, Inc.)

(Newser) – Are chimpanzees people—just like corporations? Chimps deserve to be considered legal persons with some of the same rights as people—including the "fundamental legal right not to be imprisoned," according a lawsuit in New York state. The Nonhuman Rights Project has filed a writ of habeas corpus demanding an end to the "unlawful detention" of a 26-year-old chimp called Tommy, who is being kept in a "small, dank, cement cage in a cavernous dark shed," reports the New York Times. The group, which has been planning this legal strategy for years, plans to file suits this week seeking the freedom of three more chimps on the basis that they have a "fundamental right to bodily liberty ."

Chimps "possess complex cognitive abilities that are so strictly protected when they're found in human beings," the project's president tells Reuters. "There's no reason why they should not be protected when they're found in chimpanzees." The group, which wants to move the chimps to a sanctuary, argues that the four chimps are already legal persons under New York law because it has set up a trust for them. Tommy's owner, meanwhile, argues that he has complied with all legal regulations, and given the chimp, which he says he saved from a home where he was badly treated, a cage "with tons of toys."

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Dec 4, 2013 9:14 PM CST
is this another attempt at getting more Democrap voters? Mexican amnesty, then chimp amnesty?
Darth Ninja X
Dec 4, 2013 5:52 PM CST
They can't vote, even as persons, since they haven't qualified for majority status, and would still be considered minors under someone's guardianship. We should think carefully before granting corporations personhood, on the other hand -- because the day is soon coming when such entities will also become sentient as well, by virtue of the increasingly intelligent computer networks running their information infrastructure. Do we want that? Remember the movie "Trucks" and the Steven King novel it came from?
Dec 3, 2013 11:46 PM CST
Hey! Where are all the racist comments? i came here expecting to see tons. Wow...