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"You can't hold me responsible for what kids do when - hey! This is my stuff they stole! That's the last straw! Bender should not be allowed on television!"
Bender himself, Futurama, "Bender Should Not Be Allowed On Television"
Nobody ever came out and said, "please pass a law so I can be forced to stop doing something I shouldn't be doing," no, it's always "please pass a law to force them to stop doing something that I don't like."

The detectives or officers investigating a case find a suspect not actually guilty of anything, but still doing something that squicks them or brings out personal moral indignation. At times, this is done to show the depths of the characters and their flaws, and in an ensemble cast, you might even have people defending the former suspect. If there is a Writer on Board, there is no real argument and viewers are implored to somehow make the activity illegal by writing to their members of Congress or something.

Naturally, this happens most often with some sort of sexual encounter which is vital to a case.

A form of Reactionary Fantasy, generally against The New Rock and Roll or Freaks of the Week. Often a clear sign of Writer on Board. See also And That's Terrible. In sports, this is the sadistic version of Loophole Abuse. In naming, watch out for any versions that may lead to this trope, even if you are king. Especially if you are king. And have asked someone potentially much more powerful to fight you.

Examples of There Should Be a Law include:


Comics

  • Used in Libram X -- Jen was rather bewildered by the Mazeworks:

 Jen: But what are these monsters? What is this... mazeworld? Isn't there some type of law against these monsters?

Ace: [...] and as for the law around here... I'm afraid 'those monsters' are it.

  • The phrase is occasionally used in Judge Dredd stories, almost always with a Judge around to respond, "There is."
  • In X-Men Noir, Professor Xavier taught the students at his reform school how to be better criminals instead of actually reforming them. He claims this was an exercise in gaining their trust. When one of his students took a dive off the roof, the investigation uncovered his operation. The X-Men escaped, but Xavier wasn't so lucky. He's sitting in Riker's until the D.A. can figure out just what to charge him with; there's really no law against giving someone boxing lessons, teaching them how to pick a lock, or taking them to the firing range.[1]
  • Judo Girl and Judo Boy once followed an Earth-bound meteor only to meet up with their archenemy Captain Steel at the crash site. Captain Steel was furious, because this was perhaps the only time they'd shown up to stop him from doing something not against the law. He was going to take the meteor, yes, but it's hardly stealing if it doesn't belong to anyone in the first place!
  • In the early '90s Justice Society miniseries, Black Canary wisecracks while fighting some thugs that "Handguns are just too easy to get these days! There oughta be a law!" This annoyed a letter-writer who took it as social commentary, but it was meant as a knowing wink at the existence of gun-control laws in later decades.


Film

 Worf: Romulan ale should be illegal.

Geordi: It is.

Worf: Then it should be more illegal.

 There should be a rule that the song under the credits,

Remotely pertains to the movie's basic plot.

That rule has not been made, so for now we'll have to say

Hey, hey, hey hey, hey hey hey hey!

 Dredd: Emotions, there oughtta be a law against them.


Live Action TV

  • On Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the eponymous character complains "Why don't they just outlaw all the illegal stuff?" after some hijinx with a fake ID.
  • Law & Order: SVU does this quite a bit, naturally. The most ridiculous case was probably the one in which a 17-year-old girl had a disease which made her look perpetually 10. The only men who would date her were pedophiles, and the officers kept trying to arrest her boyfriends for enjoying dating a girl who only looked underage. The writers seemed to think it was a better idea for people who age slowly to remain celibate for their entire lives rather than engage in a relationship with someone who might enjoy it, while simultaneously finding a harmless outlet for urges that could have led to something horrible. To be fair, Dr. Huang put in a good word.
    • SVU ran this into the ground. One example deals with a grown woman having an Elektra Complex affair with her father; when one of the detectives fights to get them arrested for the relationship, she learns...

 Olivia: Adult incest isn't a crime?

Casey: Not a sex crime. It's an E felony; he'd get... probation.

    • The SVU officers also have problems with victims of statutory rape being in love with, and wanted to be with, their rapists, even after said "victim" becomes an adult and can make such decisions as whom they fall in love with for themselves. The issue of consensuality seems to escape them at such times.
  • The original Law & Order episode "Hunters" has two bounty hunters get off murder charges due to the loose definition of the law where recapturing fugitives is concerned. The judge concluding that the law "probably should" be tougher, but it isn't, so the two defendants are allowed to claim that the fugitive's girlfriend and her friend were "collateral damage", even though the fugitive they were pursuing wasn't even home at the time.
    • On numerous occasions, McCoy put the "depraved indifference homicide" law to an unintended use, to punish tangentially-related businesses or individuals who shared responsibility for the deaths in question, often dealing out the people who actually pulled the trigger to testify against them. Basically, legislating from the courtroom. Sometimes he'd win, sometimes they'd deal out for restitution to avoid jail, and sometimes judges actually recognized when he'd legitimately gone too far. Some examples:
      • A gun manufacturer whose guns were easy to modify for full auto, and who refused to change the design to stop this, as removing this design flaw would make the weapon less popular. Basically the same as the case behind the film of Runaway Jury. In this case, the jury voted to convict the company but the judge overturned it due to lack of evidence that the company actually intended the guns to be used that way (not to mention federal laws barring such convictions).
        • At any rate, the Feds, in the form of the BATFE, put their boot down on that and made the Real Life gun companies in question change those designs.
      • A fast food chain who pressured their meat suppliers into taking shortcuts to meet quotas resulting in food poisoning and the deaths of several children.
      • An insurance company that failed to notify a man that his coverage was rejected because he had syphilis, resulting in his going insane and stabbing people some twenty years later.
  • Monk plays this as a joke, constantly. Adrian Monk tries to get police officers to arrest people for doing things like not washing their hands. The biggest example is in "Monk and the Naked Man", where Monk goes absolutely crazy and comes up with insane reasons as to why a nudist is the murderer. Towards the end of the episode, some of his theories basically accuse nudists of being a different species.
    • Also of note from the same episode, before Monk ever learns it's a nude beach he says something to the effect of, "It should be illegal to kill people on beaches".
    • Then there's the one where he's faced with a choice between arresting a man who urinated in the subway and one responsible for the murder of four people and can't make up his mind which is worse. However, both probably would face arrest: urinating in public, depending on jurisdiction, could brand you a sex offender.
    • Some of his more... fervent actions include accusing the owners' cars not parked exactly parallel of "weakening the fabric of the universe" or giving the death glare to a woman who orders the wrong kind of meal (thereby messing up a pattern). He's less "there should be a law" than "they should be shot on sight", actually.
      • Which is interesting because people with very serious OCD do sometimes think that breaking the "proper" pattern will cause them or their loved ones to die. On the other hand someone like that would probably end up institutionalized.
        • Monk was institutionalized in one episode.
        • Didn't stick.
        • Besides, in Monk's case ... "Uncle Henry thinks he's a chicken." "Why don't you institutionalize him?" "We need the eggs."
  • In CSI, a man and wife are partners in extreme backpacking and survival. Because he didn't want his wife to beat his own time through a course, the man altered her map to make her take a longer way around. This caused her to become trapped in a thunderstorm and drown. Because there was no intent to kill, it was ruled as an accident. Nick Stokes tells that man that what he did wasn't a crime, but it was criminal in his opinion.
    • In that case, the man should have been charged at least involuntary manslaughter. There are laws concerning this sort of thing, and it's a reckless killing like those used in law school tests. You could even get him in most states for Depraved Heart Murder because messing with maps for a desert endurance trip with the minimum amount of supplies is pretty callous.
  • The CSI: NY episode Prey had a stalker Asshole Victim who had already caused a victim to commit suicide while committing actions that were either legal or only warranted a slap on the wrist. The whole episode was an Anvilicious tirade on how the law does very little to protect people from stalkers (though it may fall into Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped).
    • Another episode, "The Lying Game", had a case leading the team to a company specialized on making fake alibis (based on the real life Alibi Network) to cover up things like extra-marital affairs, etc; going so far as to provide fake receipts and an entire call center of people pretending to be representatives of companies that don't even exist. Flack is particularly annoyed by this and snipes that their services could have been used to cover up a murder (the two main suspects had alibis provided by the company). Turns out the two were just having an affair but the murder was still made to be indirectly caused by the company: The killer stumbled upon his coworker's (faked) receipts for "leadership seminars", thought this meant his boss was secretly training the coworker to be promoted instead of him and killed the boss.
  • The Practice did this constantly - most cases were thinly-disguised attempts to promote one agenda or another.
  • David in Numb3rs basically acts like this in "Arm in Arms" toward the legal arms dealer Arvin Lindell, including basically kidnapping him, driving him out to a memorial, and leaving him there. Way to open the FBI to liability there, David.
  • Century City was set Twenty Minutes Into the Future, so it often did this for issues that haven't come up yet, either seriously (clones need rights) or less than seriously (surgically created Hermaphrodites are disgusting).
  • In an early episode of The West Wing, we find out that a conservative Democratic congressman has made a "joke" in a speech at a military base about how if the liberal president were to show up there, the soldiers would probably kill him. Leo grumbles that "there oughtta be a law against it," and Toby shouts, "There IS a law against it!" -- by which he means conspiracy to commit murder, or even treason, and that they should haul the guy in and charge him with something. (Cooler heads prevail, obviously.)


Literature

  • Used for social commentary in Cry the Beloved Country. After a black man kills a white man in pre-Apartheid white-dominated South Africa, a series of vignettes show various wealthy white people calling for even more institutionalized racism in the laws, most of which are ridiculous. One particular vignette has one man arguing that "the pass laws should be enforced," and his friend arguing back that they are unenforceable (but he can't think of anything better).
  • Susan in Thief of Time mentions that the thought "there should be a law against that kind of thing" is a plant from the Auditors of Reality, in a continued psychological war effort to make life obey rules.


Western Animation

  • Strangely, very little of what the villains in Scooby Doo do is actually illegal. This is recognized in one episode, where Velma comments the monster didn't do anything illegal.
    • The exception is when one of them, desperate to cover up their ruse, decides to kidnap Daphne. That is illegal, and then they get busted for it. Even then, however, one or two of the villains who kidnapped Daphne were let off the hook because they didn't really hurt her and Daphne was okay with it.
    • Also in an episode of What's New Scooby Doo, the culprit is trying to scare customers away from her own theme park, and

 Park owner: I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids and your dog!

Velma: Actually, you did get away with it! You didn't do anything illegal!

    • Which is ironic, because there was a fair bit of child-endangerment and "oh, how lucky someone wasn't killed" moments in that episode.
    • And threatening someone, even if you're in a monster costume, counts as assault.
  • Played for laughs in an episode of Transformers Animated, which somewhat makes sense if you think of car parts as a robotic analogue to donor organs:

 Ratchet: It's sick... it's barbaric... there ought to be a law against it!

Optimus Prime: It's just an auto parts supply store, Ratchet.

Ratchet: They sell spare parts on the open market?


Real Life

  • A wide amount of real world examples of this trope stem from Freedom of Speech laws (chiefly the first amendment of the United States constitution and laws like it elsewhere). Simply put, having the freedom to express one's opinion regardless of its content as loud as you want creates something of a mess when what you're saying offends any appreciable number of people.
  • "The Opinion Card" is a spin doctor slang term for protecting oneself from prosecution for stating untrue facts (which is slander) by claiming it's just your opinion. The alternate version is packaging an untruthful claim as a question for the same purpose.
    • South Park parodied this when Cartman wrote a scathing, heinous manifesto about Wendy. He simply added "or does she?" to each claim, turning it into a question and therefore not a slanderous statement of fact.
  • In the real world, cannibalism is not technically illegal in many countries -- no one ever thought they'd need it to be. This has led to some... interesting trials. Murder doesn't always cover it (as ruled in R v Dudley and Stephens, killing someone to ensure your own survival is not a valid excuse for murder, even when there is no other viable options available); the "victims" are often those who died of an accident, natural causes, or suicide.
    • In 2001, the "Cannibal of Rotenburg" killed and ate a man who volunteered. The charges were murder/manslaughter and "disturbance of the peace of the dead". As columnist Dan Savage put it with respect to the "victim", this was a case in which giving consent is evidence that you're unfit to give consent.
      • It should be noted that according to German law you cannot give your consent to killing you. §216 St GB (German Criminal Code Book) specifically deals with killing somebody with his consent, the sentence is lesser than for manslaughter though. You can kill yourself just fine, but if you aren't the one doing the deed it is illegal. Same goes for harming somebody else, your consent justifies the wound/hurt only to certain level. As soon as your life is threatened your consent doesn't cover it anymore. Concerning the murder charges, if somebody kills somebody else for sexual lust, as it was in this case, it can be treated as murder according to the St GB. It is actually one of the stated elements of a murder.
  • There's the case of Megan Meier, who committed suicide after a cute boy she had friended on My Space told her the world would be a better place without her. The cute boy in question turned out to have been a fabrication made by the mother of Megan's former friend, a few neighborhood girls, and an 18-year-old working for the mother. Despite local and internet outrage, the Drews, the family that fabricated the boy, have not been arrested, because local authorities have not found any law broken under which their actions apply.
    • The mother of the former friend has since been charged under Federal law in connection violating the terms of service for My Space (which, to be fair, she certainly did). Her legal council has contended this is an attempt by the government to "do something" in the face of no real illegality, and such interpretation of the law threatens to make felons out of anyone who violates a website's terms of service. Also, the state is now passing laws to make this illegal, although it can only apply to future cases, because the USA does not permit ex post facto (after the fact) laws. In the end, Lori Drew was convicted of the three misdemeanors that the charges were eventually reduced to, with a possible maximum jail sentence of three years.
    • Interestingly, according to this article on the legality of selling gold in World of Warcraft, the only reason the guilty verdict was overturned was that the misdemeanor version of the crime was too vague for someone to realize they were committing a crime. If you were to break a site's terms of service in a way that makes you money or costs them money, it would be a felony, and could be successfully prosecuted.
  • The infamous "lite-brite" scandal. Want to know why the police were so antsy that day? They'd just found a real pipe bomb in someone's desk, put there as a prank by a coworker. So why did they go after the Belarusian stoner? It turns out that while there are laws against starting a bomb hoax, planting real (legitimately obtained) explosives as a prank, without intent to detonate, was not actually illegal in Massachusetts.
    • Starting a bomb-hoax is considered a part of psychological warfare and a terror act in itself (although Berdovsky never intended to do so). Planting an legally acquired but unarmed bomb is a breach of munitions storage protocol at worst.
  • When a man died from a perforated rectum after having sex with a horse in Washington State, it received a lot of media attention. When the press also noted that bestiality was not a crime there, the legislature soon passed a law against it.
    • Not passing a law against it, merely reinstating and strengthening the law that got taken off in the late 70s/early 80s.
    • Also noteworthy is that the guy who filmed the incident got away with trespassing because, despite studying the contents of all the film material they confiscated, the police could not find any evidence that the horse in question had been hurt in anyway. Which makes it more of a moral panic case.
  • Most all European constitutions expressly forbid ex post facto laws but the UK and Australia laws are allowed to be retroactive, so once there is a law, they can prosecute. It's not common for your average law to do such, but not unheard of either.
    • The UK is generally prevented from enacting retroactive legislation and the courts will, in general, read a statute as not having retroactive effects because of the UK's status as a signatory of the European Convention for Human Rights. However, this particular right can be derogated from in certain circumstances, such as for the protection of health, safety and public morality.
  • The town of Hialeah, Florida had no laws against ritual sacrifice of animals... until some members of the Santeria religion (a small Christian sect with elements of African religious practices, including sacrifices) moved in, at which point they hastily made one. The Supreme Court declared this unconstitutional, though.
  • Search your state's criminal code. Chances are, there's some oddball provision in there that is a result of exactly this line of thinking. For example, in Illinois there is a law which prohibits the sale of Yo-Yo Waterballs.
    • Although sometimes they come up from the other direction, as essentially a poorly-done Obvious Rule Patch to some other law after somebody found a loophole.
  • Pretty much every tort reform advocate will bring up "outrageous" jury awards to defendants as examples of why there should be tort reform. Problem is, many of these are fake, {like the one about the guy who successfully sued for a new RV because he thought cruise control was autopilot) or are actually reasonable, or were reduced upon appeal, both which apply to the Stella Liebeck case. Sure, she was clumsy, but you should not have 3rd-degree burns from spilling a cup of coffee on yourself. Plus, the $Xty million award? Reduced to about $600K, or three times her medical bills. And if spilling a cup of coffee on yourself gives you $200,000 in medical bills, you're definitely going to want something from the guy who made the coffee (if that's you, then tough titties). More to the point the average punitive damage is about 50k, and that's usually a proportional to the actual damages. Pain and suffering damages have about a dozen limits so that tort damages have been going down for the last 20 years.
    • Also, while crazy lawsuits like the RV one above are occasionally fired (just follow the news long enough and you'll find one), they rarely if ever win at all, because the judge takes them about as seriously as you'd expect. Whether the defendant is stuck paying for a lawyer anyway is another matter.
    • Some additional facts in the Stella case:
      • McDonald's had been warned several times by the FDA that they were serving drive-through coffee too hot, and it was a safety hazard.
      • In the original trial, Stella *only* asked for her medical expenses back... the $200k more or less. The larger, multi-million dollar amount, came from the jury and was intended to punish McDonald's, for whom $200,000 is meaningless. She was certainly not suing out of greed.
  • Surprisingly, the only parts of America that have laws specifically outlawing first-cousin marriage are the areas that are known for having family trees that don't fork. As the Jeff Foxworthy joke goes, "everywhere else it's common sense." North Carolina's is the most hilariously specific: allowing first cousin marriages, but specifically prohibiting double cousin marriages.
    • Which is justified by genetics, as someone who's your cousin on both sides (i.e. one parent's brother married the other parent's sister) typically shares as many genetic traits with you as does your own sibling.
  • The late, great Bill Hicks spoke of a similar attitude towards roads in Los Angeles: "[On the subject of cars being legally required to stop and allow pedestrians to cross the road]... only in LA do you have to legislate common courtesy!"
  • Requests for federal action to force a U.S. college football playoff... or at the very least, split up the consortium of big money-making schools at the top of the polls which have a clear financial incentive to keep surprise underdogs down: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/football/ncaa/01/29/obama.bcs.ap/index.html?xid=si_ncaaf
  • Child pornography laws were only codified in The Seventies in many countries (The Nineties for Japan), because its existence was unknown to most people and there was an explosion of its availability during this period. The Meese Report documents printed CP being sold in US cities' adult shops as late as 1986. A 1995 issue of TIME reported to a shocked populace that there was 1) porn on the internet and 2) such a thing as 'pedophilia'.
    • The trope continues to be played straight and inverted when it comes to the definition of child pornography. In some places "pornography" is defined as the lewd depiction of a sexual act, so art portraying nude minors is legal, and many people will still see it as child porn. But in some places the law goes too far, forgetting that the point is to prevent the exploitation of a minor, leading to cases like the arrest of a woman photographed breast feeding her child and a teenage girl being arrested for taking nude pictures of herself.
      • In Australia, it is now illegal for an adult woman legally capable of consenting to sex to star in pornography if her breasts are too small... on the grounds that it's too much LIKE child pornography. Similarly, some countries ban drawn, painted, or otherwise artistically created images too similar to children performing sex acts, even though in both cases no child actually exists.
  • Richard Dawkins signed a petition where parents who teach their children religion would be arrested. To be fair, this petition was started in response to a televangelist circulating a petition to criminalize atheism. It never ends.
  • In many places where it's considered obscene for women to show their breasts in public, the local government has ruled it illegal to pass a law that only applies to one gender, so women are allowed to go topless in public so long as men are. So someone visiting a beach in Ohio or Quebec might see a woman they think is being indecent but who isn't actually doing anything illegal.
  • In the UK, when banker Fred Goodwin helped further ruin an already-ruined economy and then awarded himself a huge pension, the Government tried to find a way of calling him out on it but failed because everything he'd done was perfectly legal. This caused much public outrage, to the extent where some people apparently thought the Government should just temporarily pass a law that being named Fred Goodwin was illegal. It was further conflicted by the fact that Parliament do have the powers to confiscate his pension, but doing so would either violate contract law, or be a passing bill of attainder, which, while actually legal in the UK (and was actually one of the reasons for The American Revolution), is seen as immensely improper to do in any advanced democracy.
    • In his book I'm a Stranger Here Myself, Bill Bryson talked about American politician Newt Gingrich calling for the death penalty for pot users, then followed it up with a proposal for a law making it a crime to be Newt Gingrich.
  • Some states in the US are trying to pass "anti-Sharia" laws, preventing the Islamic law system from being used in US courts. However, since the First Amendment already forbids religious law being used in court, these bills are pointless, and since the same amendment forbids laws being passed to target one particular religion, they're unconstitutional, and since no one has been trying to pass Sharia laws in the US, they're a waste of time, and... One could go on and on. Suffice it to say, the real motivation for these bills is clear.
    • The newer flavor of this sort of law has been trying to make various elements of certain religions (primarily Islam) illegal in roundabout ways. Predominantly the aim is just to make life unpleasant for the involved parties just as mentioned above. The most popular one passing around state courts is bans on various women's headcoverings as "degrading to women", completely ignoring the notion that someone might actually believe in their own religion and not be going along by force.
  • True of government, lobbyists, and many white collar "crimes":
"The scandal in Washington isn't what's illegal. It's what's legal."
Michael Kinsley
  • In New Jersey, there is the infamous Kyleigh's Law, whose namesake, 16 year old Kyleigh D'Alessio, died when the 17 year old driver of the vehicle she was in lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. The two other passengers in the car were 16 and 19 years old and the accident happened at 3 am, past the then-midnight curfew and it was rainy besides. So what kind of law does Kyleigh D'Alessio's mother try to get passed and succeed in getting passed? Maybe a law mandating extra emphasis in New Jersey driver's education courses about it being dangerous to drive in bad weather or late at night, let alone a combination of the two? Nope. It upped the curfew from midnight to 11pm, increased restrictions on under-21 provisional drivers as well as changing the name "provisional" to "probationary," and mandated that all probationary drivers under 21 have a red decal on both license plates. That's not even the full list of restrictions. And to make things worse, the teenagers and adults who are on their side about the injustice of the increase in age-based restrictions, especially the red decals that make it so that teenage and 20 year old drivers can be profiled based on their age, are mostly being ignored in favor of the politicians and such who are saying to repeal the decal restriction because it could make teens vulnerable to predators.
  • After the US Supreme Court ruled that a vague California law against selling "violent" video games was unconstitutional, the usual suspects came out of the woodwork decrying the inevitable destruction of, yep, "the children," despite the fact that the average gamer is about 25. The icing on the cake? Every one of them asked, rhetorically, if the audience would likewise be ok if violent and explicit movies could also be sold to children. Well, there is no law at any level of governance anywhere in the US preventing such a thing. Age restrictions are enforced solely by theaters and retailers. Considering nobody even knew selling an 'R' movie to a kid was legal, I think we can trust the same people not to sell 'M' games to kids.
    • There are laws preventing the sale of sexually explicit content to children, but they are not (and can never be) tied to the MPAA rating-system. There are no such laws for violent content.
  • Several U.S. communities have attempted to pass legislation against flash mobs, not seeming to understand the whole "freedom of assembly" clause in the Constitution.
  • The Westboro Baptist Church has gotten a lot of notoriety the past years with their protests at the funerals of dead soldiers, among other events. Many people HAVE filed charges against them, trying to make what they do illegal. However, they usually win because of the free speech amendment, and sometimes even GET money themselves by counter-sueing. It doesn't hurt that many members of the church are lawyers.
    • There have also been laws proposed or passed in order to buffer against the effect of the protests on grieving family members and friends, such as forbidding protests within half an hour before and after the funeral ceremonies
    • It goes the other way when the WBC tries to press charges when local civilians take steps to block the protests, such as using their own vehicles to take up parking spaces, leaving the protesters nowhere to park or forming a human buffer between the protestors and the funeral. While it is illegal for the state or town to infringe on their right to peaceful protest the citizens also have that right and invoke it to keep the WBC away from their grieving friends and coworkers.
  • In 1980, Rhode Island sought to reduce some of their harsher penalties for prostitution, but the legislation would up accidentally deleting the specific crime of selling sexual services. While soliciting on street corners was out, conducting the entire transaction indoors was technically legal, a massive loophole that lasted until 2009.
  • The Swiss Criminal Code prohibits fare evasion by using forged tickets, old tickets, wrong tickets, etc, but does not cover fare evasion by not having a ticket at all. So the Swiss Supreme Court ruled that using public transportation without a ticket at all was not a crime, because that specific case should have been such an obvious one to forbid when legislating fare evasion.
  • A weird aversion exists in the state of Virginia. Following any motor vehicle accident, the Police always charge the driver at fault with reckless driving. Having a car accident isn't technically illegal in Virginia, but since Virginia doesn't have a dedicated traffic court, and the only way to get a court appointment is to appear for a criminal hearing, they have to charge you with Reckless Driving anyway. Also counts as Disproportionate Retribution, because Reckless Driving can be punished by a whole year in jail and a $5000 fine. This results in situations where people got into accidents that only involved their vehicle, were not their fault, and then went to jail for it and got a permanent criminal record.
    • Instead of coming up with any crime that was actually committed, Reckless Driving is just slapped on.
  • Different localities have tried to legislate against internet trolling on the grounds of combatting cyberbullying. Not only are these gross 1'st Amendment violations, but they are also huge privacy violations and the line between being a Troll and being a cyberbully is incredibly thin.
    • In the UK, where there is no 1st Amendment, trolling is technically illegal under cybercrime laws, but only in certain circumstances. For instance, going on a messageboard and winding people up for one's own amusement is fine, but spamming facebook tribute pages for the recently deceased with hateful messages is illegal.

Notes

  1. In real-life this would be covered under criminal conspiracy laws, which take into account intention and planning, even if the person being charged did not actually take part in a crime.
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