Friday, February 23, 2007

Legal Ease

Strolling down Collins Ave. in Miami this week, I passed the Fontainebleau Hotel, part of which is under construction. As I strolled past a fenced-in area, I read a sign upon which was written this awkwardly phrased legal disclaimer (in accordance with the Florida State #810.09[2][d]):

“This property is a designated construction site and anyone trespassing on this property upon conviction shall be guilty of a felony."

I was tempted to trespass merely to test the language of the law. If arrested, my defense would be that I was not trespassing on the property upon conviction. I was, in fact, completely free of any and all convictions at the time.

On the other hand, I would have avoided the site had the sign read: "anyone trespassing on this property shall be guilty of a felony if they are convicted." But to my way of thinking, the sign is redundant and should simply say: "This is a construction site. Trespassing is a felony."

Even if you interpret the sign the correct way, it still begs the question: What about those people who aren't convicted?

It's their story that fascinates us. It's theirs that endures.

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