This week in ridiculous criminal laws – Criminal Trespass to a Place of Public Amusement

It’s time to revive this puppy.  It’s been too long!  I’m really getting back into trying to post, if not every day, multiple times a week.  The push is definitely going to be for every day, however.

Alright, the point behind TWIRCL (I think you can get the acronym) is to highlight how meddlesome our legislature can get.  Now, I’m not really a libertarian.  I don’t believe in a completely limited government, or a free to be you, free to be me ethos.  I think that leaves a lot of people acting like assholes, and more than a few people left behind without certain forms of government assistance (schools, healthcare, uhh…sanitation?).  So, I’m not some drug war opponent or militia sympathizer thinking that all criminal laws are impositions on our free will.

However, I think a lot of what the legislature does is kneejerk law passing meant to mollify the public outcry of a recent shocking headline, or just to show that they’re tough on crime.  Or, it’s because the legislature just thinks that certain types of acts, already criminal, need a special tweak for punishment.  Or are afraid that the existing criminal laws don’t cover the potential criminal act.

The point behind any criminal justice system is that it should be simple, clean, and easy to navigate.  When you build in redundancies or try to make certain (already punishable acts) just more stringent because of a recent event, you aren’t being reflective, just reactive.

Which brings us to Criminal Trespass to a Place of Public Amusement.  Streakers!  Seriously, this is a crime meant solely for streakers.  Or party crashers of some sort. Trespass is going where you’re not supposed to (and you know so).  But this is a trespass crime for only certain areas.  Those areas include: athletic surfaces, stages, locker rooms, dressing rooms, or other places located at a place of public amusement.

CTTAPPA (this week’s ridiculous law…aww, you get the acronym) is a Class 4 felony.  For streaking!  With a fine not less than $1,000 and not less than 30 but no more than 120 hours of community service!  When normal trespass is a misdemeanor (and all those penalties could be applied within the discretion of the judge) this is just making something a felony for no (really good) reason.

So groupies, streakers, stage divers and jersey chasers look out!  You have a law specifically aimed at you! And if you aren’t careful, or forget to wear running shoes when taking the field to go yell at Bobby Howry (remember that last year?  Hilarious!), you might be charged with this week’s ridiculous criminal law!


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