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This week, Senator Charles Schumer proposed making trespassing on "critical infrastructure" -- bridges, buildings, and the like -- a federal offense, punishable by up to five years in prison.
He pointed to the pair of German artists who this summer allegedly scaled the Brooklyn Bridge and replaced its American flags with white flags; a Russian tourist who climbed a bridge to take a selfie; and a teen who somehow made it to the top of 1 World Trade Center.
"We cannot allow New York City infrastructure to be turned into playgrounds -- or worse," Schumer said.
Absolutely not! When you let the city become a wholesome nexus of childhood fun, the terrorists win!
It was a move Kumar Rao, an attorney with legal-services nonprofit Bronx Defenders, called excessive. "If the purpose is to deter pranksters and protesters that have made a splash recently, then the law is clearly unduly harsh for the behavior at issue, and absolutely triggers First Amendment concerns," he writes in an email. "Five years(!) for hanging a banner or flag on a bridge puts it on par with many violent felonies."
Just how violent are we talking? Take a look at some heinous crimes that have taken place around the country that have netted the perpetrators five years in prison:More »