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Before John Oliver skewered the practice of civil forfeiture last year, many people didn't know it existed. And many still may not. But for the first time, the dollar value of assets seized by law enforcement has surpassed the amount of property lost to burglaries.

So how does civil forfeiture work and how did it become more costly than home robbery? Here's some insight in to the police practice and the most recent numbers.

Estimates indicate over half a million people in the United States are homeless. And while that figure may be declining, states still struggle to find a solution to homelessness. While some states have extended hate crime protections to the homeless and created mobile "homeless courts" others have enacted anti-panhandling laws to criminalize begging.

So are anti-panhandling statutes legal? And if so, what exactly do they prohibit? Here's a roundup of various anti-panhandling laws:

Part of the reason we gravitate to shows like "Dexter" and "CSI" is the problem-solving element -- we want to figure out whodunnit, hopefully before the show does. We also love these shows because they show off all the fancy technology and science behind crime solving -- it's like Sherlock Holmes came alive in the 21st century.

But did Holmes ever get it wrong? We are often so wowed by the "CSI effect" we fail to question if the science behind the gotcha evidence is sound. And to be fair, we're not scientists, so what position are we in to second-guess the experts? But more and more questions are being raised about real-world forensic evidence and the crime labs that process and interpret that evidence. So just how reliable is forensic evidence, anyway?

Last year, Tennessee became the first state to explicitly criminalize drug use during a pregnancy. Since then, around 100 women in the state have been prosecuted under the new law, though most receive drug treatment rather than prison time.

While Tennessee's criminal statute may be unique, many states punish expecting mothers who do drugs while pregnant; and the penalties range from criminal conviction, to psychiatric commitment.

When Is Graffiti Considered Art and Not a Crime?

Art is a strange business if sometimes very lucrative. But how do you even know when a thing is art rather than graffiti or vandalism? This is a serious question, since vandalism can be a misdemeanor or a felony offense.

Some things start out as vandalism and somehow graduate from graffiti to the stuff of fine art auctions. This week, street artist Space Invader arrived in New York from Paris to put up his pixelated mosaics that now sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars and were once considered trash. Does this mean you should be making or preserving the neighborhood graffiti?

Louisiana Police Charged With Child Murder Caught on Body Cameras

Two Louisiana police officers were charged with second-degree murder for shooting and killing a child who was buckled into the front seat of a car they were chasing. The shooting was caught on film but the footage has not been released. Apparently when it is, we will not like what we see at all.

The footage was "extremely disturbing," Colonel Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police told reporters. According to The Atlantic, Edmonson said, "I'm not gonna talk about it, but I'm gonna tell you this. It is the most disturbing thing I've seen and I will leave it at that."

Curfew Laws for Adults

When you were a kid, curfew was when it got dark outside. As a teenager, it was before midnight. But now that you're an adult, can anyone tell you what time you have to be home?

As it turns out, there could be some curfew laws that apply to adults. State and local governments may institute emergency curfews, municipalities can have business curfew ordinances, and some apartment complexes have been trying to enforce curfews on tenants. Here's how curfew laws for adults work.

Police officers often face dangerous circumstances, not the least of which is when a suspect is fleeing in a car. A high-speed pursuit can endanger officers as well as the general public, so there is a safety interest in avoiding them or ending them as soon as possible.

Does this interest include being able to shoot at fleeing vehicles? It's a legally murky area, and may be more confusing after two seemingly conflicting decisions this week.

Family Challenges Police Officer Immunity for Son's Fatal Shooting

A family whose son was fatally shot by police after a high-speed chase in 2012 is asking an appellate court to let their civil rights suit go to trial. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California last week heard arguments from Abdul Arian's parents that a finding of immunity for the police officers who shot their son should be reversed, Courthouse News Service reported last week.

Los Angeles Police Department officers shot the 19-year-old man in 2012 after he ran several red lights and told a 911 dispatcher on the phone that he was armed and would use his weapon. The family claims that Arian was shot over 100 times when he exited the car holding a phone believed to be a weapon. Police say they fired closer to only 90 rounds.

As of 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on November 2, a total of 999 people have been killed by police in the year 2015. And even if that total reaches 1,000 before December 31st, it will still trail last year's number of 1,108.

Fatal police interactions have been hard to track until very recently, but and the Washington Post have started to compile databases of police killings and analyzing the data. And several high-profile homicides in the last two years have focused the media's attention on an overwhelming but previously under-reported policing issue.