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Crawfish Rustling And Several Other Laws To Be Reviewed By Legislature

Sacks of Crawfish

When you think of rustling you think of John Wayne and dusty cowboys and hundreds of head of cattle on the Santa Fe Trail. We don’t have a lot of dust in Louisiana and our money herds have pincers. As crawfish season comes into full swing so does crawfish rustling season. It’s exactly what you think it is. Crawfish rustling is when someone steals the catch out of another fisherman’s traps. The current punishment could land you a hefty fine or some time in jail. That is unless the legislature votes to change the law.

Louisiana is expected to eliminate 11 of 28 specialty theft laws from the books by March. Among those laws are the crawfish rustling law, the holding a pet for ransom law and the stealing of alligators law. The idea is to switch the focus from the thing that got stolen to the value of the thing that was pilfered. This would make it a little easier for the courts to decide a punishment.

Governor Jindal has given the Louisiana Sentencing Commission the go ahead to start rewriting some of the specialty theft laws in order to have the rewrites ready for the legislative session that begins March 10. The changes in the laws will have to be brought up for public comment and many of the state’s crawfish farmers are not really happy with the idea.

Those in favor of the rewrites cite a more simplistic code for enforcement and judges point to the simplification of the statute as a more streamlined way to administer justice to fullest extent of the law. It will also allow the state to stop being the butt of late night comedians and some of the jokes they make about states with stupid laws.

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