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To: Rep. McKell, M.,
Subject: Freedom should ring loud
Date: 2014-02-21T04:52:27Z


     I am a very concerned person and a small town farmer, my main concern is with the jail houses already being way over crowded, why would you try to place more and more people in them. Next if the bill below passes who would you be willing to release to make room for these harden criminals (GAME FOWL FIGHTER) which is not a problem in our state anyway. Will it be the child molesters, rapists, drug dealers, or the people that have murdered Man-kind? Now you have already been told by countless law enforcement that this is not an issue in our state so why do you keep trying to attack these people if it is going on, in our state it is small and discreet. I, along with a lot of people, have been brought up with the saying DON’T KNOCK IT TELL YOU TRY IT, for example I don’t like liver and how do I know that I TRIED IT!!! I’m not saying you need to try Game fowl fighting, some people along with myself does not agree with it but we the people that have not tried something should not down it. With everything that has been going on I personally have dug into this SPORT ( it is over 6000 years old that’s 4000 years before Christ, 3000 years before roman times , there are gamefowl marking in the pyramids of Egypt they came to the new world on the mayflower, 75% of the people that signed our Declaration of Independence along with the 1st president and numerous other Presidents in American history have participated/enjoyed this century  long Sport) So with that said, we all, that don’t really understand our brothers way of life, shouldn’t put the title of felon on them at any point and time. Doing so would put that title on everyone going back to the U.S Declaration signing for our independence.

 I am very concerned that the Floor Amendments to SB 112 Game fowl Fighting Amendments, offered by Senator Davis on February 2, 2014, are completely out of line with the nature of the requests to amend this bill in line with states like Idaho and California. Although I strongly object to any law attaching felony status to cockfighting, even on subsequent offenses, I believe it is important to point out the vast differences between Idaho & California law and Senator Davis' amended proposal.


 Senator Davis' Amendment makes the first offense for game fowl fighting a class a misdemeanor and a 3rd degree felony on second and subsequent offenses. This sentencing structure is nowhere close to either Idaho or California statute.


 First, cockfighting is a class C misdemeanor on the first offense under Idaho statute. Moreover, nothing in Idaho law "prohibits any customary practice of breeding or rearing game fowl, regardless of the subsequent uses of said game fowl." Senator Davis' Amendment goes much farther than Idaho law. Certainly this sentencing structure is unnecessary for a problem that is law enforcement says is "negligible to nonexistent" in the state of Utah.


 Second, California law says, "any person who aids or abets the fighting or worrying of any cock is guilty of a misdemeanor" (CA PENAL § 597b) California law does not even consider a felony conviction for cockfighting until the second conviction, and even then a misdemeanor conviction is always an option. A felony conviction and sentence is not mandatory.


 I urge you to look deeper and reject any sentencing structure advancing a nonviolent crime like game fowl fighting to the status of felony.