August 18, 2007
Oyster-related crime is on the rise in Texas

Grits for Breakfast has a question I don't hear every day:

Texas' overcriminalization trivializes 'real' crimes, writes Marc Levin of the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation in the Houston Chronicle. I laughed out loud when he announced that eleven of the 2,324 felonies created by the Texas Legislature related to oysters.

Can you think of eleven different felonies you could commit with an oyster?

This being Texas, I feel fairly confident that the phrase "crime against nature" would be involved with at least one of those felonies. Beyond that, I'd prefer not to think about it.

"Between now and the next legislative session," Levin recommends, "Texas lawmakers should identify some of the thousands of criminal laws to repeal or convert to civil infractions." That's certainly needed; let's hope somebody out there is listening.

To put it mildly, that would seem unlikely to me. But hey, at least we can all take comfort in knowing that the $35,000 a year we spend to keep all those oyster molesters off the streets is money well spent. Right?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 18, 2007 to Crime and Punishment

You'll be pleased to know, as was mentioned on, that none of the 11 oyster-related felonies require sex offender registration. :)

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast on August 18, 2007 5:43 PM