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Michigan erases several out-of-date laws from criminal code

As the years pass by, what was once considered criminal activity now is no big deal or a relic of an earlier century. Police and prosecutors have long since stopped enforcing these types of laws, but they may remain on the books for decades. Technically, they could be revived at some point, putting someone who had no idea they were “breaking the law” in danger of criminal penalties.

That is why it is important every once in a while to go through the criminal code and clean out the parts that no longer make sense. The state of Michigan did this back in December, when Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill to repeal a range of “crimes,” according to WOOD-TV.

These offenses including cursing in front of women and children. Another statute made performing the national anthem publicly “without embellishments or other melodies.” Then there was the law that prohibits trampling blackberry bushes.

A few of the laws remain somewhat relevant, but go against modern values. One law banned advertisements related to sexually transmitted diseases. In theory, this could mean that ads for condoms and certain medications were illegal. Another statute restricted “endurance contests” like walkathons, something that few Michigan residents find offensive today.

Then there was the law that made stealing vegetables from a garden a crime. Don’t worry, it is still against the law for someone to steal your vegetables. Lawmakers reasoned that the state’s laws against trespassing and larceny already cover this theft.

In a statement, Snyder said that the laws the new legislation erases “no longer make sense in the 21st century.”

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