Leo and Hercules, the chimps, weren't present in the courtroom
(NEW YORK) — A New York City judge has heard arguments over the rights of two chimpanzees that advocates hope to free from a state university where they’re kept.
Manhattan Supreme Court judge Barbara Jaffe didn’t make a ruling Wednesday on Leo and Hercules’ fate. But she did entertain nearly two hours of exchanges between a lawyer for the Nonhuman Rights Project and an assistant state attorney general.
Much of the hearing centered on the interpretation of centuries-old legal principles. The chimps didn’t attend.
A lawyer hoping to free the chimps said they’re “autonomous and self-determining beings,” should be granted a writ of habeas corpus and be moved from Stony Brook University to a sanctuary in Florida.
A government lawyer said the case should be dismissed because, among other arguments, the venue isn’t proper.