Batman…The Caped Criminal?
You may have clicked this blog expecting deep insight into the legal ethics of Batman, a superhero who acts outside the law to bring justice to Gotham City, we are sorry to disappoint. Interestingly enough, if Gotham City were in Minnesota, Batman would be guilty of an unlikely and often overlooked crime, concealing identity. Minnesota Statute § 609.735 criminalizes the concealing of a person’s identity in a public place by means of robe, mask or disguise, with a few key exceptions. If you are concealing your identity based on religious beliefs, or incidental to amusement, entertainment, and protection from weather, or medical treatment, you have nothing to worry about. If the exceptions do not apply to you, and you conceal your identity while in a public place, you are guilty of a Misdemeanor in Minnesota. While we would likely have to defend Batman for numerous other criminals violations (too many to list here), Minnesota Statute § 609.735 criminalizes the core of Batman’s character, a man behind a mask.
To make things even more confusing for Batman, and the general public, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face coverings are currently mandated in all public indoor spaces in Minnesota. It appears as though, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a crime to not wear a face covering in public, while at the same time, under Minnesota Statute § 609.735, a crime to wear a face covering in public. Minnesota Statute § 609.735 appears to be somewhat juxtaposed with the current mask mandate. As Batman has often taught us, the lines between right and wrong are often blurred. Batman, if you ever visit Minnesota, wear a mask, it may not be the mask you know, but it is the one you need right now.