Sunday, October 18, 2009

Michigan to restore Dueling to its former honorable function in society

Michigan Senate to delete dueling as an archaic crime

As tracked by Michigan Votes, Senate Bill 761 along with tie-barred SB 762 and SB 763 will eliminate the felony charge of dueling in Michigan, prohibited by MCL 750.151, and the sentencing guidelines reflecting the punishment for dueling as well as for some other archaic crimes.

As it stands now, MCL 750.171 states:

Engaging in or challenging to fight duel—Any person who shall engage in a duel with any deadly weapon, although no homicide ensue, or who shall challenge another to fight such duel, or shall send or deliver any written or verbal message, purporting or intended to be such challenge, although no duel ensue, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 10 years or by a fine of not more than 5,000 dollars, and shall also be incapable of holding or of being elected or appointed to any place of honor, profit or trust, under the constitution or laws of this state.

Yes, the crime of dueling is quite archaic, and there hasn't been a decent formal duel in Michigan in remembered history. Besides, removing the penalty for engaging in this conduct may help encourage politeness in civil society, not to mention keeping the rowdies in line at the Michigan Renaissance Festival, and amongst our road-rage crazed drivers, something that is sorely needed.

In addition to dueling the crimes of teaching polygamy, promising to sell grain at a fictitious price, making a false protest on a boat, engaging in prizefights, and lastly taking a women against her will and forcing her to marry.

The removal of the last crime may help encourage people to move to Michigan and help turn around the loss of population - now you really can "take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife!", and then duel with her outraged clan for her honor. Thus should be entertaining.

(On a serious note, there are plenty of sufficient crimes still on the books that address all of this activity so removing the archaic ones helps to clean up a rather cumbersome laundry list of possible crimes with which someone can be charged for their bad conduct.)

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