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Strange But True — It’s Illegal to Jump Off a Building in New York City

New York City
HarshLight, flickr

There are a lot of crazy laws out there that don’t make a lot of sense at first glance. One such law is a statute in New York against jumping off of a building more than 50 feet tall. And what’s the penalty for such an infraction?

Why death, of course. Those New York lawyers really know how to stick it to you.

The real question, of course, is why does this law even exist?

“No, judge, sir, I was only jumping for fun.”

You read  it right — if someone decides to jump from a high place in New York, the death penalty can be applied. Now, you’re probably thinking what everyone else is thinking. That’s just plain silly. People willfully jumping off of tall buildings are committing suicide. If the fall doesn’t kill them somehow, the government will simply finish the job?

The truth behind the law

In all likelihood, New York’s ‘jumper’ law was first enacted to discourage jumpers of any kind, because the streets of New York City are extremely crowded. Someone leaping to his or her death might take out a few pedestrians, as well. Of course, discouraging someone who is trying to commit suicide by threatening that person with the death penalty does seem to lack a certain amount of basic logic.

A better solution?

Okay, we know this is a somewhat macabre subject, but hey, we didn’t write the law. To be fair, a proposal is being put forward to amend the penalty to time in prison, and a hefty fine, if the jumper miraculously survives.

We live in a very strange word, indeed. Maybe it’s time to hug your friends and family right now, and be glad for what you have.

[Dumb Laws]

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