First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
News Story
Mich. appeals court rubs out mural artist's jail sentence

By The Associated Press

ROSEVILLE, Mich. — The Michigan Court of Appeals says an artist who got in trouble over a mural on the exterior wall of his studio shouldn't have been sentenced to jail time.

An appeals court panel ruled 2-1 on Feb. 21 that Ed Stross' First Amendment rights were violated. He was ordered in 2005 to serve 30 days in jail for violating a Roseville sign ordinance.

Stross' mural is a take on Michelangelo's "Creation of Man." It depicts Eve with a bare breast and has "love" written on it.

The appeals panel majority wrote in People v. Stross, “There appears to be no dispute that the mural is protected under the First Amendment.”

The majority added, “the restriction prohibiting lettering is an unconstitutional regulation of speech, infringing on defendant’s First Amendment protections.

In his dissent, Judge Bill Schuette wrote that the majority had found the city’s restriction on lettering “is an unconstitutional restraint on defendant’s First Amendment rights. I disagree.”

Stross did not serve time. The 46-year-old told the Detroit Free Press he was "ecstatic" about the ruling.

The city may appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Artist threatened with jail for painting topless Eve
Edward Stross reproduced part of Michelangelo fresco on the side of his studio in Detroit suburb. 08.12.04


Nudity in art, theater & dance

News summary page
View the latest news stories throughout the First Amendment Center Online.

print this   Print

Last system update: Monday, September 22, 2008 | 21:36:08
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment

First Reports
Supreme Court
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Freedom Sings™
First Amendment

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment

Lesson plans
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links