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Obscenity is a unique legal phenomenon for three reasons. First, the defendant does not have to know the exact content of the material at issue; he or she only has to know the general nature of the material in order to be convicted. Second, the defendant almost necessarily has to employ social scientists to conduct a study indicating that the material does not offend the community's standards. Third, because the crime of obscenity depends on the community's sentiment, the defendant does not know if he or she has committed a crime until the verdict is returned. Thus, someone can own obscene material and not know that the material is illegal until a jury decides whether it offends community standards. Psychological research is used to measure ...

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