Thursday, June 10, 2004

A horse is a bird. A pony is a small bird. Bring on the exam.

United States v. Byrnes, 644 F.2d 107, 112 (U.S. App. , 1981

No birds have been indicted and there is no indication in the record that they were even aware of, much less participated in, the criminal activity unearthed by the grand jury.

From the same case:
For a liberal construction of the term "birds," by a Canadian court see Regina v. Ojibway, 8 Criminal Law Quarterly 137 (1965-66) (Op. Blue, J.), holding that an Indian who shot a pony which had broken a leg and was saddled with a downy pillow had violated the Small Birds Act which defined a "bird" as "a two legged animal covered with feathers." The court reasoned that the statutory definition

"does not imply that only two-legged animals qualify, for the legislative intent is to make two legs merely the minimum requirement... Counsel submits that having regard to the purpose of the statute only small animals "naturally covered' with feathers could have been contemplated. However, had this been the intention of the legislature, I am certain that the phrase "naturally covered' would have been expressly inserted just as "Long' was inserted in the Longshoreman's Act.

"Therefore, a horse with feathers on its back must be deemed for the purpose of this Act to be a bird, a fortiori, a pony with feathers on its back is a small bird." Id. at 139.
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