Kill a rattlesnake, go to jail
May 3, 2003: When James Galloway spotted a hissing rattlesnake on the trail and grabbed a stick to pin it to the ground so it could not strike a 3-year-old girl and her parents walking down the path toward him, most people likely considered him a hero.
When he transported the snake to a nearby parking lot, intending to scoop it up with a shovel so he could release it into the woods, some might have considered him tender hearted. And when the ungrateful snake turned and came at him, resulting in Galloway striking it with the shovel, most would have said he was lucky.
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But the state of Michigan did not consider him a lucky, tender-hearted hero. It called him a criminal and convicted him for killing a protected species without a permit – an offense worth $500 and 90 days in jail.
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