Judge rules only people are people
The New York Supreme Court has rejected a claim by an advocacy group that two chimpanzees held in captivity should be treated like legal persons and granted the right of habeas corpus – relief from unlawful imprisonment.
The Nonhuman Rights Project and its president, Steven Wise, sought habeas corpus relief for Tommy and Kiko, two chimpanzees held in cages by private owners in upstate New York, and argued that chimpanzees were entitled to many of the same legal rights as humans.
Five judges on the Appellate Division of the state’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the group on Thursday. Any shared abilities the chimpanzees may have with humans do not translate to their ability to be held legally accountable for their actions, Justice Troy Webber wrote in the decision.