Missouri hunter David Berry Jr. has been found guilty of poaching. Over the past three years, the 29-year-old and two of his family members have been involved in the illegal killing of “several hundred deer.” Missouri’s conservation department called it one of its “largest conservation cases involving the illegal taking of deer.”
“The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste,” said Don Trotter, the prosecuting attorney in the case.
On December 6, Berry Jr. was sentenced to one year in jail in Lawrence County after pleading guilty. However, the judge added an extra condition to his sentence. Once every month that he spends behind bars, he must watch this animated Disney classic:
The judge’s ruling not only calls into question the effectiveness of said punishment, but also lends to the controversial debate on the morality of hunting that has surrounded Bambi since it was first released in 1942.
An article about the case by the Straits Times mentions the now iconic moment in which the young titular deer must confront the death of his mother by the hands of poachers as one of the saddest in cinematic history. The power of that crucial scene even inspired the American Film Institute to include the film’s representation of humanity as one of the greatest cinematic villains of all time, coming in at #20.
The question is, can a fictional, animated family film about a young deer’s tragic youth serve as an effective method of redemption for a poacher? Perhaps, but, if you ask us, this is the movie that would really do the trick:
What do you think? Do you support the idea that Berry Jr.’s forced exposure to Disney’s most distressing and traumatizing animated feature is deserved, or is this a little ridiculous and the guy should just pay a fine? Let us know in the comments below!