December 6, 2008

Criminal Code Duello

I was perusing the website that lists R.I. criminal offenses some time ago (who doesn't) and came across this anachronistic gem:

§ 11-12-2 Challenging or accepting challenge to duel. – Every person who shall challenge another to fight a duel with any dangerous weapon, to the hazard of life, and every person who shall accept a challenge to fight such duel, although no duel be fought, shall be imprisoned not exceeding seven (7) years nor less than one year.

Here is what I must know about this:
a) When was the last time someone was prosecuted under this law?
b) How hard would it be to get locked up for it? Not actually engaging in one, but simply invoking the challenge? If stood within earshot of a police officer and said to a friend, loudly and clearly and without laughing, "I hereby challenge you to a duel of honor! Pistols at dawn upon the Statehouse lawn, with hazard of life. I demand satisfaction!" and the friend said "I accept!"...would we be arrested?

(This is comprehensive and fascinating by the way: Wikipedia - List of Duels. Who doesn't love a good list?)