Legal statutes have been used for thousands of years to define the laws in different lands. These laws are usually meant to protect people and the public interest in general, but every now and again a law is made that is so strange or unnecessary that it piques the public interest.
Several of these laws are remnants of times past that just haven’t been taken off of law books yet. Even if that is the case, each of these laws is still prosecutable regardless of how strange they are.
Here are five examples of very weird laws that are actually still on the books in various places around the country:
1 – No Cussing Over the Phone
There are several strange laws on the books in Columbus, Georgia, but the law that prohibits cursing over a phone line has to be the strangest. The law prohibits using “any vulgar vituperation or profane language” within the city limits. The law can’t be enforced too often since people don’t usually record their conversations, but residents of Columbus should really watch out when having a recorded conversation with a telemarketer.
2 – No Insults at Boxing Matches
All states have rules governing boxing matches, but Louisiana has taken these rules to a new height. If someone is attending a boxing match they are not allowed to insult or make abusive remarks to boxing contestants. This law applies to managers as well as spectators. Violating this statute carries with it the punishment of being ejected from the arena. It’s probably the least harmful consequence of insulting a professional boxer.
3 – No Bear Wrestling
Most people would simply laugh at the idea of a law banning wrestling matches between bears. Not Alabamans. It turns out that in years past bear wrestling was an actual problem in the state. People would train bears to fight and even have them surgically altered to make them better fighters.
It makes a person wonder what kind of bear needs training to fight. Either way the law remains on Alabama’s law books statewide. The crime is considered a Class B Felony, but police must have a hard time arresting a man who can make bears do what he wants.
4 – Roadkill is a Good Meal
Legislators in West Virginia at some point got tired of all of the money that was spent on the Department of Transportation’s road kill cleanup efforts. In a brilliant move that not only saved the government money but really lowered the cost of a robust dinner, legislators passed a law making it legal to eat any animal found dead on the side of a road.
There are literally no restrictions so any West Virginian with a hankering for dog meat can just drive along the side of an interstate looking for their next meal. If the bear wrestlers from Alabama just dropped off the losing bears in West Virginia a family could eat well for weeks.
5 – No Seduction Under False Pretense
South Carolina is known to be one of the more conservative states in America. It turns out that they even codified their convictions. If a man who is at least sixteen years old convinces an unmarried woman to sleep with him by promising her that they will wed he has officially broken the law.
The law is actually only considered violated if the man doesn’t intend to marry the woman. The guy can actually avoid any punishment having to do with this law even after he is convicted. If he decides to actually marry the woman he made the promise to then all legal proceedings against him will be stopped. The smart decision, of course, is for men to alter their favorite pickup lines while in South Carolina.
Crazy laws are often just forgotten and simply not enforced after they no longer have an effect on a population. Some of these laws would lead people to ponder ‘when was this law ever necessary?’ Regardless of how strange these laws are they still exist, even if their only function is now to humor people in day to day conversations.
About the author: Harmony Miller is a criminal law paralegal and guest author at www.bestparalegalschools.com.
Photo credit: Loozrboy