From what I understand, destroying US currency is illegal with 0 exceptions. Legal Information Institute says: “Whoever mutilates... cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill... or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association... with intent to render such bank bill... or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”
This means that no US currency can be destroyed right? Except we did a chemistry lab on campus where we dissolved US pennies from around the 1960’s I believe. Since we “rendered it unfit to be reissued” then why wasn’t there any consequences? Did we do this illegally? They have been doing this for quite some time, how has there been no problems? My chemistry teacher actually tried to claim that people can burn US currency as long as you don’t go try to exchange it and use it as if it were legal tender. He said you can go exchange partially burned money at the bank, just don’t exchange it somewhere else like a store because “That’s were it becomes illegal”. This is in Minnesota, United States of America
Please make sense of this for me, or interpret the law in a different way if I’m wrong, thanks!
Link to law: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/333