The Alabama Supreme Court has handed down the latest judgment in the high profile law against video game companies Sony and Take-Two and retailer Wal-Mart, which centers around the allegation that killer Devin Moore's playing of Grand Theft Auto III
and sequels contributed to the murders of police officers. The suit, filed by relatives of the three men shot to death, is being permitted to continue, disallowing the defence's attempts to have the suit thrown out.
According to an AP report, the justices refused to let the companies appeal the decision of a trial judge who refused to dismiss the suit, meaning that a trial could go ahead as soon as later this year or early 2007, the first of its kind. However, the courts did allow Sony, Take-Two, and the other defendents to challenge whether Alabama courts have the power to hear the case, meaning that the case may still be stymied.
Moore himself was convicted
of the crime last August, and has been sentenced to death. Defense lawyers had partly blamed Moore’s actions on the hours he spent playing video games from the Grand Theft Auto
series as well as post-traumatic stress disorder triggered by childhood abuse. Moore had pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental defect.
The Alabama violent game case was originally brought by
noted Florida lawyer Jack Thompson, who removed himself from the case last November, commenting: "The main thing was, I didn’t want him to have my personality and my presence in the case in any way effect the survivability and the merits of the case. My job is to serve my clients and not for them, in some way, to serve me." Thompson was subsequently barred
from his temporary privilege to practice law in the state.