Andre Robinson was arrested after a video of him kicking a stray cat several yards was posted on Facebook. He now faces jail time. According to the The New York Times, however, "had it been a person he kicked, Robinson most likely would have received a quick plea bargain requiring no jail time" — if he had been arrested at all.
"With one seemingly unconsidered kick," the Times reports, Robinson has "unwittingly placed himself at the center of an impassioned, growing debate" between powerful animal rights activists and lawyers defending the accused who "say that punishment in such cases can seem disproportionate to the crime when an animal is the victim."
Animal rights activists show up every time Robinson appears in court in Brooklyn, surrounding him and calling for a jail sentence. The FBI has begun categorizing animal abuse as a separate crime, and has begun taking such cases more seriously.
Robinson has yet to receive a plea offer from prosecutors, which the Times notes is "extremely rare in misdemeanor cases." Robinson faces up to a year of jail time if convicted. Read the full story at The New York Times.