Wierd Olde Court Cases

Venusian Broon

Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity
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Just finished reading a brilliant article in this months edition of Fortean Times, (the article is titled 'The Law is an Ass'), which is about unusual court cases from History. For example, putting a locust on trial for plaguing local farmers. i.e. physically putting an insect in the dock.

But also includes: "The most famous case against vermin was a 1587 trial of green-coloured weevils in St Julien, France. Claiming damage to their vineyards...the town filed suit before the local prince-bishop, but the advocate for the insects put up a canny argument. He pointed out that, according to the Book of Genesis, lower animals were created before man, and God instructed them to be fruitful and multiply. God also stated that: 'to every thing that creepeth on the earth, every green herb has been given for meat.' He argued that God, in his infinite goodness, would not so command the weevils if it would cause harm to others. After several weeks of wrangling, the town was forced to offer a settlement - the weevils could have a piece of land outside of the vineyards to dwell in and do with as they liked. But the advocate for the insects rejected the offer, claiming the land was not good enough for his clients. They wanted the vineyards."

If you think this was just our French cousins being a bit light in the head, there was also the case of a bale of hay accused of murder in Nottingham, England in 1535 (when a whole stack fell on a certain Anthony Wilde, killing him) "...but jurors called to hear testimony determined the particular bale which was directly responsible for the incident and delivered an inquest to the local jail" The article continues, "...(this judgement) was not stern enough to discourage two thraves of rye from murdering Robert Yreland, again in Nottingham, seven years later."
 
The article continues, "...(this judgement) was not stern enough to discourage two thraves of rye from murdering Robert Yreland, again in Nottingham, seven years later."
Would it have been worse if the two thraves had previously been released on bail...?



:rolleyes::eek::)
 
OMG. Fortean Times is still running? Used to read it all the time. :)

Yes still going strong, just recieved issue September's issue, #305, a few days ago. I don't think I could survive without my monthly fix of eclectic weirdness with a Fortean squint on the world.
 

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