This week in ridiculous criminal laws


What the hell?

What in god’s name am I talking about?

Jackrocks, also known as caltrops, are a device, generally with four point arranged similar to a pyramid, that always leaves one point sticking up if you were to toss them. That point, sticking up, is a dangerous object, especially to horses. So, if you use them against a horse, it will injure its hoof and cause it to pull up lame. Sort of like the spike strips used by police officers today.

It is illegal in Illinois, under state statute, to use, toss, sell, possess, give away, manufacture or purchase jackrocks. 720 ILCS 5/21-1.4.

So what’s the point? Ha.

This is the first in a series what will show the ridiculous, vestigal tails of the Illinois criminal code. There are numerous laws on the books that are either no longer a big deal (jackrocks), politically motivated (all sorts of enhancements and separate laws for child molestation, sexual assault) or just dumb.

This series will highlight those laws. If the Legislature ever gets around to reforming the state criminal laws (something it’s supposedly getting on…any…day….now) it may use this series for some ideas on where to start.

The criminal code in Illinois is complex, complicated and unnecessarily so.  This is a way to highlight that fact.


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