Why Breaking Out of Prison is Legal in Germany

This video was made possible by Curiosity
Stream. Watch over 2,000 documentaries for free for
30 days at CuriosityStream.com/HAI. Prison. Home of melancholic harmonica playing, stripy
suits, and nearly 1% of the US population. Oh whoops, that one wasn’t funny. Prisons have been around since basically the
beginning of recorded history, starting with the ancient Mesopotamians in 3,200 BC. But for most of history, prison wasn’t really
used as punishment—it was just a chill out zone where you would keep people while they
either waited for trial or waited to be punished in some other way, like execution, banishment,
or watching 13-minute videos about logistics. It wasn’t until 19th century England that
prison sentences were used as a standard form of punishment, and although punitive prisons
have become common across the world, every country still does things a little differently. For example, prisons in Brazil will let inmates
reduce their sentence by four days for every book they read and write a report on; in China,
rich people often hire body doubles to go to prison in their place; and what started
as a British prison now has the third-best kayaking team in the world. No matter where you go to prison, though,
the main idea is the same: you’re not supposed to leave. But, depending on where you are, the consequences
for leaving are vastly different. In the United States, if you escape from prison,
you could be facing as many as 10 additional years behind bars, depending on what jurisdiction
you’re in and your prior criminal record. But here, in Germany, escaping from prison
is totally, 100% legal. That’s right—no matter how many schnitzel
you’ve stolen or bratwursts you’ve burgled, you cannot be punished for breaking out of
a German jail. You see, all the way back to the 1880s, the
legislature of what was then the German Empire—the Reichstag—decreed that all people have the
right to seek self-liberation and therefore should not be punished for escaping prison. Today, over 130 years later, that law is still
in effect. And it’s not just Germany. Austria, Belgium, and Mexico all have laws
saying you can’t be punished for a prison break. The basic reasoning is that there’s a difference
between the right to have freedom, and the right to seek freedom. Kind of like how this video has the right
to try to be funny, but it doesn’t have the right to actually be funny. When you commit a crime, you forfeit your
right to have freedom, which is why the government can lock you up. But these countries believe that people always
have the right to seek freedom. As a Mexican Supreme Court judge put it, “The
basic desire for freedom is implicit inside every man, so trying to escape cannot be considered
a crime.” There are, however, a few caveats. If, after your escape, the police find you,
you can still be sent back to prison. Escaping doesn’t mean your sentence goes
away, it just means they can’t add on any extra time for the escape. Plus, even though escaping isn’t against
the law, it’s still against prison rules, so even though you can’t get extra jail
time, you’re less likely to get approved for parole. And if you commit any other crimes in the
process of escaping, you’re still on the hook for those. If you bribe a guard, that’s still bribery. If you have to steal a getaway car, that’s
still theft. If you break the bars of your cell, that’s
still destruction of property. And if you leave a mean YouTube comment under
a video that was made by a really nice guy who’s just trying his best, well, that’s
not illegal, but it still hurts my, I mean… that guy’s feelings. But despite how difficult it is, a legal prison
escape can be done. If you don’t believe me, just ask this man:
American businessman Joel Kaplan, who in 1971 escaped from a Mexican prison without breaking
a single law. Kaplan’s escape was carefully planned in
order to avoid committing any crimes. It was carried out while the guards were watching
a movie, so he didn’t have to bribe or assault anyone. The helicopter that picked him up had been
bought in full, instead of leased, so he couldn’t be accused of misusing rented property. Kaplan then boarded a private, single-engine
Cessna plane, again bought in full and complete with the required identifying numbers, on
which he flew to California, following a flight plan that had been submitted to and approved
by the FAA. After landing, Kaplan presented himself to
customs with his real name, avoiding charges of entering a country illegally, and was granted
entry as word had not yet reached anyone that he was missing. Kaplan laid low for a while, and neither the
FBI or Mexican government showed much interest in finding him, so he never returned to carry
out his sentence. While he was laying low, though, he probably
had a lot of free time—time he could have used on getting edumacated if it wasn’t
1971. Luckily you live in at least 2015 so you know
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About the author


  1. Step 1: Suggest a HAI video topic at http://www.HalfasInteresting.com/suggest and get a free t-shirt if we use it
    Step 2: Misuse meme formats
    Step 3: ????
    Step 4: Profit!!!

  2. This video is really stupid and badly written, unsubbing forever. The animations/editing are decent though

  3. I think HAI have to revise their statement about Mexico as the most famous escapist El Chapo have been aprehended several times after he escaped prison.

  4. Interesting how America, the so-called "land of the free" has, for one thing, the largest prison population in the world and, for another thing, they have a completely different view on escaping prison. I say this as an American who's calling out the hypocrisy of his own country.

    Before you post a reply telling me to leave the US if I don't like it, go fuck yourself the tell your mom to suck my dick🙄😏😂

  5. I love all the little jokes in your videos they make your videos a lot better even though there still good with out them

  6. A lawmaker just can add a sentence that "avoidance of punishment is illegal" and since escaping from prison causes an escapee to avoid the punishment…

  7. Please good sir read this: You are trying too hard to be funny and it ruins each video….. I cringe at the bad jokes more than I can appreciate the content. You actually structured a lot of this video on your comment section and haters rather than the relative content. Best of luck….

  8. This video is really stupid and badly written, unsubbing forever. The animations/editing are decent though

  9. Escaping german prisons is pretty easy too. Many prisoners can leave prison without problem. But there is no reason for them to escape.

  10. Step 1: Suggest a HAI video topic at http://www.HalfasInteresting.com/suggest and get a free t-shirt if we use it

    Step 2: Misuse meme formats

    Step 3: ????

    Step 4: Profit!!!

  11. "Ah! You broke out of the jail, Ja? Zat means you got und great muscles, Ja! We value zat in Germany, Ja!"

  12. You're saying that I can watch curiosity stream on my Amazon Kindle? A fucking e-book reader? You high?

  13. Wait, in china you can pay someone to go to prison for ypu? oh wow, then they wont learn anything out of their mistakes…

  14. a.k.a. if someone says hey wanna get outta here the door's open then they're not going to blame you for taking your chance

  15. Omg I can be in the 1% !!!!
    So than what is a person called if they where the rich 1% and in prison than are you in 2% or 0%, maybe it’s the -1%

  16. 2:49, lol, 20 views but 1228 comments (and showing only one), 2 likes and 343K dislikes. Totaly inacurate

  17. There is no "recorded history." There is history, the recorded past; and pre-history, the non-recorded past.

  18. Bullshit. If you escape prison in Germany and been caught again, you loose a ton of benefits. Also, usually you get released when your time in prison is 2/3 over. Forget that after an escape. You will most likely serve the full sentence. Also, the law you were talking about simply does not exist.

  19. I refuse to believe you got TWO likes on that shite video.
    I can imagine ONE, because the world is full of morons, but anything more than that makes me weep for the future of humanity.

  20. This video is really stupid and badly written,unsubing forever.The animations/editing are decent thought(This coment was not sponsored by RealLifeLore)

  21. 1945 germany: fucking shoots the hell out of the prisoners for not staying still

    2019 germany: lets the prisoners leave a maximum security prison with no charges

  22. Question just for clarification,

    Say you escape prison with 1 year left on your sentence, and your caught a year later. Since you committed no crime in escaping prison, are you now allowed to go free? – does the prison time keep ticking whilst you have escaped?

  23. Your content is great but i've noticed that you're very eurocentric. and that makes you less smart than you show yourself as.

  24. The guy in the example of the completely legal prison escape, did the sentience pause so if he was caught would he (if he had 6 months left) have to serve the rest of the 6 months, or does it run in the background so if he was out for 4 months would he only have two months left? And I full expect it to be different between Germany, Belgium, Austria, and Mexico, so what is it for each?

  25. Bin ich der einzige der nach Kommentaren sucht, in dem Leute versuchen auf deutsch zu schreiben, aber es nicht hinbekommen? xD

  26. Yeah we are like: u smart enough to beat our system and get outta prison you deserve it go ahead. But be aware we will look for you😂

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