Friday, April 03, 2009

Enhancing crustacean-related crime

I've frequently made fun of the fact that Texas has labeled 2,324 separate acts "felonies," including eleven felonies involving oysters. As if on cue, then, Sen. Mike Jackson this session has proposed another oyster-related enhancement, this time from a Class B to a Class A misdemeanor in the Parks and Wildlife Code for repeat offenders who take oysters from restricted areas. SB 2379 will be heard in Monday's Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

The wag who pointed this out to me wondered, "
What do you call an enhancement for oyster crimes? A Tabasco bill? A horseradish bill? This is ridiculous. It's enough to put me off oysters altogether." I replied that since this is "only a misdemeanor enhancement. I suspect Mike Jackson is soft on oyster crime."

See related Grits posts:

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oysters taken from closed beds can cause hepatitis. The oyster beds are usually closed because they are close to sewer outlets. It is a serious health threat - hence the enhanced charges.

Anonymous said...

Oh please, 6:09. There are a host of other "serious health threats" that are highly unlikely to be (and don't need to be) included in any criminal code.

Grits, thanks for the comic relief.

Anonymous said...

Why, if taking oysters from closed beds is a serious health threat, then THE CHILDREN(tm) are in danger! Why mess around with only a misdemeanor charge for this threat to our future!

Anonymous said...

The only thing worse than the asswipes who think oysters are sacred is the morons who make blogs allowing posters to comment anonomously and then whine like little teenage girls cuz they didn't give a made-up name.

You're such a pussy, Scott.

Anonymous said...

Scott, if I ever meet you in public and you act the way you do here I will drag your little pussy ass into the little boy's room and stuff your head in the toilet.

After I flush you can go run off to call 9-1-1 and have those cops you are always bad-mouthing rescue you, fucking pussy.

I'll gladly do a little probation just to see you get real. And I'm sure I'll have every cop in Texas applauding me.

You don't like anonymous posters, asswipe? Then turn it off and you don't have to see it. Oh wait, if it wasn't for us nobody would give a shit about you.

The Monty Blog said...

Damn, somebody doesn't have a sense of humor...

Anonymous said...

I believe 1:00 am has committed a criminal offense.

Anonymous said...

Folks: You may not always agree with Scott or with the causes or people to whom he provides coverage, but could we at least have a little civility and manners here? And perhaps, if 1:00:00 is really a law enforcement officer, as implied, he or she could reflect on the fact that s/he dishonors his/her badge by talking like the very people s/he doubtless thinks should be behind bars. Thank you.

Bill Baumbach said...

Should it not be "mollusk-related crime"?

Mollusk liberation Mollusk sentience

Bill Baumbach

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"Should it not be 'mollusk-related crime'?"

Perhaps so ... I was looking for the alliteration.

1:00:00 - grow up.

Anonymous said...

1:00 am - sober up

David said...

Gritsy, you are way off on this one. Sen. Jackson has it right. As usual, btw.

He is like the best kind of politician. People say he doesn't do much but that is a GOOD thing not a bad one. If he files a bill, you can pretty much count on it being something positive for the state.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

David, do you say that because you have some particular knowledge about the oyster issue, or just to defend Mike Jackson?

Penalty enhancements almost always reflect a lack of imagination about other ways to influence human behavior. Enhancing current penalties should be a last resort since it's among the least effective approaches - once something is illegal, making it more illegal won't reduce the number of people who do it much. Instead, penalty hikes are usually the first thing legislators want to do, even though by definition it's an admission that the same strategy (criminalizing the behavior) failed to solve the problem in the first place.

Jon said...

To be both alliterative and scientifically accurate you could use the title "Enhancing Crassostrean-related Crime". Crassostrea is the genus that includes the kinds of oysters to which the statutes are applicable.