The Boston Globe has an interesting article about outdated laws which still remain on the books in Massachusetts, some dating back to colonial times. Many antiquated laws seem harmlessly silly, but there are dangers:
There is nothing to prevent police from using such laws to make life difficult — and expensive — for people they consider to be disruptive, according to Harvey A. Silverglate, a civil rights lawyer who is a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.
“If a cop wants to get somebody, they can charge them for blasphemy, for instance, and it’ll be thrown out later, but to get to that point is very expensive," Silverglate said in an interview. "The statutes you see on the books are used more for abuse than use.”
“There are dangers to having old and moldy and sometimes laughable laws on the books," said Ann Lambert, an ACLU lawyer. “Those laws send messages that people can still be charged. It seems irresponsible not to do the housekeeping and have them repealed."
Read more here.
In 2008 Mel Gibson made a movie Edge of Darkness in which a scene was filmed at the old Northampton Court House. Most of the mainstream critics concluded the film sucked and therefore not that many people saw it. However, thanks to Northampton multi-media artist Dann Vazquez we now have this edited two minute version showing us the hometown scene. Note that even the Silent Cal statue makes a cameo appearance.