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  1. #1
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    New Hampshire criminalizes being dumb-assed

    This kind of appeals to me, but I guess that could be a sign I’m a bad person.
    … Authorities, though, charged the two hikers with reckless conduct for being so ill-prepared for their adventure...

    “Conservation Officers learned from the two hikers they had no plan for a hike that day. They were not familiar with the area, did not stay on any trail, and did not have any equipment or even footwear for entering such a steep and dangerous location, much less ropes, harnesses, or climbing gear.”
    Unprepared New Hampshire Hikers Were Charged With a Crime After Rescue

  2. #2
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    $248 fine seems a bit weak though

  3. #3
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    Ongoing discussion in ECRC thread.

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  5. #5
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    I have a hard time criminalizing people who don't have the correct gear, cause that seems like a big slippery slope into some real legal gatekeeping people outdoors. Someone gets hurt and gets fined for not having a compass or "appropriate" footwear? I don't know about that.

    Going off trail, or into close areas, I guess I could see it, but even still, maybe more time and money on education, less on policing people

  6. #6
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    Make ‘em pay sar expeneses. Shit ain’t free.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
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  7. #7
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    I was really hoping this was going to mean instant arrest for going the speed limit (or under) in the left lane.
    One can hope.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  8. #8
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    Not really accurate to say New Hampshire "criminalizes" this conduct. New Hampshire has a Reckless Conduct statute on the books, as does every state. A prosecutor there decided to use that statute to charge these guys, and they decided to plead guilty rather than go to trial. This could happen in any state depending on who the prosecutor is.

    Personally, sounds like they had a very winnable jury trial as the prosecutor would have to prove their conduct endangered others. They were rescued by experienced rock climbers via rappel from above. How is that endangering these rock climbers when they do this stuff for fun?

    It's a very similar case as the snowboarders charged with kicking off an avy above the Eisenhower tunnel. Although, at least in that case there was a stronger argument they were endangering others.

  9. #9
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    Upon closer review, they plead to infractions, not misdemeanor crimes. Infractions are like speeding or parking tickets. They don't go on your criminal record. Per Outside:

    The hikers, a 22-year-old from Lowell, Massachusetts and a 25-year-old from Windsor, New Hampshire, will each pay a $200 fine and a $48 penalty assessment after pleading their charges down from misdemeanors to violation-level offenses in the 2nd circuit court of Littleton, New Hampshire.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supermoon View Post
    I have a hard time criminalizing people who don't have the correct gear, cause that seems like a big slippery slope into some real legal gatekeeping people outdoors. Someone gets hurt and gets fined for not having a compass or "appropriate" footwear? I don't know about that.

    Going off trail, or into close areas, I guess I could see it, but even still, maybe more time and money on education, less on policing people
    These dumbasses wouldn't respond to education. Climbing cliffs with no gear whatsoever? Part of me wishes they didn't have cell service but in the end, I'm glad they're alive. If you don't live here, you can't imagine how many hipsters from Boston lose their shit in the "high alpine". There's an entire book cataloging everybody who has died on Mount Washington. I just shook my head as I read it. Another one bit the dust this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    I was really hoping this was going to mean instant arrest for going the speed limit (or under) in the left lane.
    One can hope.
    Thankfully, NH is pretty good on that issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    Upon closer review, they plead to infractions, not misdemeanor crimes. Infractions are like speeding or parking tickets. They don't go on your criminal record. Per Outside:

    The hikers, a 22-year-old from Lowell, Massachusetts and a 25-year-old from Windsor, New Hampshire, will each pay a $200 fine and a $48 penalty assessment after pleading their charges down from misdemeanors to violation-level offenses in the 2nd circuit court of Littleton, New Hampshire.
    This is what I was thinking also. Thanks for the clarity. Basically, they got a ticket...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyNameIsAugustWest View Post
    These dumbasses wouldn't respond to education. Climbing cliffs with no gear whatsoever? Part of me wishes they didn't have cell service but in the end, I'm glad they're alive. If you don't live here, you can't imagine how many hipsters from Boston lose their shit in the "high alpine". There's an entire book cataloging everybody who has died on Mount Washington. I just shook my head as I read it. Another one bit the dust this year.
    I mean, I definitely get it. Ticketing people who go off trail, into closed areas, etc, I understand. I don't like the part where they cited "inadequate footwear" and other gear-related things. Not necessarily in this instance, but I just see stuff like that getting abused to keep lower-income/minority people out of the outdoors if we are policing that stuff.

    I'm totally willing to say that this scenario is more extreme than that, and if they are only fined for other things, I think that's fair. I just don't want actual laws to be another barrier to people getting out there, ya know?

  12. #12
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    ^Typical prosecutor actions...they wouldn't try a case based on inadequate footwear but if they have something more solid, they pile on everything that is in the statute.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    Personally, sounds like they had a very winnable jury trial as the prosecutor would have to prove their conduct endangered others. They were rescued by experienced rock climbers via rappel from above. How is that endangering these rock climbers when they do this stuff for fun?
    Because most climbing accidents happen while rappelling.

  14. #14
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    ^ and they didn't get to choose when and where they were rappelling....

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