Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's amazing the things they can arrest you for in Texas

A commenter responding to this post quoted Tacitus declaring, "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." Isn't it true?

If I had my way, that epigraph would be engraved over the southern entrance to the Texas state capitol. It should arguably be the state motto.

I found the noble Roman's words ringing in my ears after spending the last hour looking at newspaper websites from some of Texas' regional dailies. It's amazing the things you can get arrested for in Texas:
At least you still can't get arrested in San Angelo for owning dogs. In Marshall, however, while it may not get you arrested, mowing the lawn can at least get you investigated.

3 comments:

FELIX said...

IT SEEMS THAT THE PERSON REPORTING THIS STORY FAILED TO READ THE ARREST REPORTS ON THE EXAMPLES USED AS "AMAZING THINGS THEY CAN ARREST YOU FOR IN TEXAS"! MOST STATES HAVE THE SAME LAWS WHICH PROTECT CITIZENS FROM DRINKING AND BEING RECKLASS ON ATV'S- WHEN BODILY INJURY, SERIOUS BODILY INJURY HAS OCCURED ,SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES WHERE PROHIBITED AND SO ON!!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

There should be laws against leaving comments in all caps!

I could care less what "most states" do. Texas has about 2,000 separate acts identified as felonies and another 3,000+ labeled misdemeanors. As a TPPF report notes, a great deal of activity that in times past was considered tortuous, like accidentally backing over an infant in a driveway, has come to be prosecuted criminally.

So I stand by my assessment of these things as overcriminalization. Just because something causes an egregious outcome doesn't make it a criminal act, and the distinction has too often become blurred.

800 pound gorilla said...

Yep. That's how you get laws passed: you represent atypical egregious offenses as typical and then arrest everyone who performs same acts. Some moron gets drunk and beats his family to shreds and you get alcohol prohibition where they can arrest you for sitting on your porch sipping a couple of beers.