Remember that zany "daredevil" who tried to jump off the Empire State Building last April, after sneaking in a special outfit with camera under a fatsuit (which was chucked in the men's bathroom at the observation level)? Well, Jeb Corliss got lucky, as a judge dismissed the charges against him, noting that his act was not "depraved" enough!
Justice Michael Ambrect found that since Corliss, who has jumped from Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the Eiffel Tower, and Golden Gate Bridge, is an experienced, uh, daredevil and had considered things like wind patterns and was going to use a parachute, clearly Corliss didn't want to hurt anyone. Ambrecht wrote, "The circumstances surrounding this admittedly dangerous stunt suggest that rather than indifference to the risk of harm to others, [Corliss] took affirmative steps to ensure the safety of others." Hmm, we guess Ambrecht found Corliss's actions analogous to the judge who tried to commit suicide by gassing himself, even though the gassing caused an explosion in his whole building.
The police are upset, saying that others might try to jump off buildings with parachutes. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said, "Does the court really want the Empire State and other city landmarks to become magnets for BASE [Bridge, Antenna, Span, Earth] jumpers?" Even legal pundits are shocked. NYU law professor Stephen Gillers told the NY Times, "Well, as a New Yorker, I think I won't walk near the Empire State Building for a while." The Times also has an interesting debate about laws and jumping off buildings - Gillers takes Corliss's lawyer to task for saying that it's "shocking" there's no law to prohibit jumping off buildings.
The district attorney's office is considering an appeal or re-prosecution, saying, "We believe that jumping from the Empire State Building remains a reckless act." No word on whether Corliss will try to get his job hosting Discovery's Stunt Junkies back. And here's one of his jumps on iFilm.