Get Out of Jail Free card

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A Get Out of Jail Free card is an element of the board game Monopoly which has become a popular metaphor for something that will get one out of an undesired situation.[1]

Use in the game[edit]

The U.S. version of the board game Monopoly has two Get Out of Jail Free cards, with distinctive artwork. One depicts a winged version of the game's mascot Mr. Monopoly in his tuxedo as he flies out of an open birdcage. The other shows him booted out of a prison cell in a striped convict uniform. Using one of these cards is one of the ways a player can get out of jail; the card reads:

THIS CARD MAY BE KEPT
UNTIL NEEDED OR SOLD

GET OUT OF JAIL

FREE

Players move around the Monopoly board according to dice throws. Most of the tiles players land on are properties that can be bought. There is also a tile, the jail, that can hold players and cause them to lose their turn until certain conditions are met. The get out of jail card frees the player from jail to continue playing and progress around the board without paying a fee. As the card's text says, it can also be sold by the possessing player to another player for a price that is "agreeable by both". Since players would ordinarily pay $50 to leave jail, the card is rarely sold for more than that.[2]

In law[edit]

  • In 1567, the prize in Britain's first lottery, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Frances Drake to raise funds for England's navy, included a kind of "get out of jail free card" which the winner could use to excuse any but the most serious crimes.[3]
  • In 1967, James Robert Ringrose, one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, presented a Get Out of Jail Free card to FBI agents after he was arrested.[4]
  • In the U.S. Supreme Court case Hudson v. Michigan (2006), the Court ruled that use of evidence against a defendant obtained through search warrants in instances that the police failed to knock-and-announce does not violate the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The majority opinion by Justice Scalia notes that suppressing evidence in such instances would amount "in many cases to a get-out-of-jail-free card."[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ritchie, L. David (2013). Metaphor. Cambridge University Press. p. 174. ISBN 9781107022546. 
  2. ^ http://www.hasbro.com/common/instruct/00009.pdf
  3. ^ "The First National Lottery". British Library. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Dary Matera, FBI's Ten Most Wanted (NY, Harper Torch, 2003) page 43.
  5. ^ Hudson v. Michigan (2006) 546 U.S. 586 at 595, 126 S.Ct. 2159 at 2166, 165 L.Ed.2d 56 at 67 |url=http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/04-1360.ZO.html |