Monday, November 12, 2012

Old Laws On The Books

For the internet project in Chapter 4, I have to admit having difficult time deciding what I was going to do research on. I finally decided upon researching a topic that was not so serious as, “The Code of Hammurabi,” or on the, “Honor Killings.” So, I opted to do a little research on the old laws after reading the section on Model Penal Code. Don’t get me wrong I know that the, “Model of the Penal Code,” was developed as a way to standardize and organize the disconnected criminal codes enacted by the states. But some of the sections of the MPC are now considered old-fashioned, and the code is inadequate to address various significant recent criminal law issues. My interests are mainly the old laws that are on the books for Alaska. I found most of them extremely funny and interesting.
I found this web site where you could select a state that you’re interested in and then it provides you with a selection of laws that are still on the books. The dumb laws of the United States web site has some old laws for Alaska like:
·         Moose may not be viewed from an airplane.
·         Waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.
·         It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.
The first law that is listed I found to be intriguing, because I couldn’t really come up with a reason why a moose could not be viewed from an airplane. Maybe it was related to a hunting law of some sort. Now anybody in their right mind would not wake a sleeping bear up just to get picture. Could this law have been written for purposes of waking a bear from hibernation and or maybe in an en-caged area like a zoo? Now, why would anyone push a moose out of a moving airplane? The law did not specify flying, just moving. Maybe if a person was being pursued by Fish and Game for taking an animal illegally?
·         Intentionally avoiding walking on the cracks in the pavement is illegal
·         Fairbanks: No moose is allowed to have sex (or even heavy petting on city streets.
·         Stealing snow from a neighbor’s garden to make a snowman is against the law. Using it for an igloo is acceptable.
Intentionally avoiding walking on cracks, I don’t get it. I remember the saying that we chanted when we were kids about stepping on cracks, but I truly cannot come up with any logical explanation why this was ever on the books. Research on this topic is for another day. The Fairbanks law I found quite funny about the moose and sex. To whom would you give the ticket to? Well, the stealing of the snow of course is logical, one would think that building a snowman is non-essential and an igloo of course is just the opposite. As I further explore these old laws I can see that many are outdated for our society and may if never used.
·         In Missouri, It is Illegal To Drive With An Un-caged Bear (Caged Bears Are OK)
·         In Maine, It's Illegal To Have Christmas Decorations Up After Jan. 14
·         In New Jersey, It is Illegal To Wear A Bulletproof Vest While Committing A Murder
Who in their right mind would drive around with a un-caged bear. Maybe someone in the circus, but that is stretching it pretty far. Now about having decorations up after January 14th, I’m sure glad that we don’t have that law here in Fairbanks. Most people leave their Christmas lights up year around. The last one that I listed I thought to be so funny, I practically fell off my chair. These laws are for extremely ignorant people and I would hope that our society has better sense than that. These states paid these people to spend time to come up with these laws, amazing.
I can still see where the Model Penal Code is needed in order to organize the criminal laws in the states. MPC is organized into four parts, helps define the crimes and organizes them:
(1) General provisions containing definitional functions and presumptive rules;
 (2) Definitions of specific offenses;
(3) Provisions governing treatment and correction; and
(4) Provisions governing the organization of corrections departments and divisions such as the divisions responsible for parole or probation.
But our states need to update their laws in order to reflect today society.

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