Posted by MD on June 30, 2003 at 20:55:50:
OK, the law says illegally taken fish shall be confiscated. Therefore, let us assume the warden confiscates the fish. Next, the law says the fish must be disposed of per regulations promulgated by the commissioner. I have yet to locate the absolutely invariable instruction for disposal. Therefore, I will assume that returning the fish to the criminal is within the warden's authority. That sounds silly, but anyway what purpose would be served in dumping the fish back into the lake, knowing that statistics show that the fish will likely be dead within three days? Because the fisherman broke the law? Which law? The law which is intended to protect the resource from high-stakes willful poaching, or the law which is intended to harass and condemn anyone who slips-up occasionally? If you wish to live under the latter, are you certain you follow every right-of-way regulation when leaving, or returning to, port? Does your small child in the boat wear a life-preserver at all times (even while applying sun screen or changing clothes)? Do you always signal when overtaking another vessel? Have you ever returned home and been surprised to find you have one-over-the-limit of bream? Are you really interested in this becoming a nation of people unwilling to set foot outside their door, lest they inadvertently violate another regulation? But yes, periodically the little man who committed a minor mistake will suffer the maximum fury of the law (possibly because the lawman had a bad attitude that day but likely because the lawman is passionate toward his duty). Nothing designed by man will work perfectly every time. No two lawmen will perform identically in given situations. Please allow us to be the imperfect creatures God created. Be merciful as He is surely merciful. Thanks for allowing me to vent.
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