Steven Wise stood up in a New York court room to make his case last week. It’s something he’s worked toward for years, and so far, the courts haven’t supported his efforts. But Steven knows that his clients need him – because they simply can’t speak for themselves.
Steven is the founder and president of the Non-human Rights Project, and the clients for whom he argued are chimpanzees being kept in confinement. The goal is to get these chimps, individuals of a species that experts have long identified as sentient, emotional, and social, out of cages and into sanctuaries. The case is to appeal the failure of the New York County Supreme Court to issue writs of habeas corpus on behalf of two captive chimpanzees, Tommy and Kiko, who were recently featured in the HBO documentary Unlocking the Cage.
Steven took a break from preparing his arguments last week to join Defender Radio and explain the background of the cases of Tommy, Kiko, and other non-human animals for whom the Non-human Rights Project is speaking, why the law should grant them freedom, and how animal lovers around the world can help.