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This week, the United States Supreme Court denied hearing the case of an Alabama death row inmate fighting to be executed by firing squad. Yes, you read that correctly, and no, this isn't about a case from 1868. An Alabama inmate actually wants to be executed via firing squad, and the government is saying no, and the courts have agreed.

While the cost of actually going through with executions generally costs more than housing an inmate for life, state courts are still sentencing people to death, despite the fiscal implications. Over the last few decades, the vast majority of executions have been done via lethal injection, but that method has come under increasing scrutiny due to failed executions that resembled torture. To avoid being subjected to the risks involved with the lethal injection, the Alabama death row inmate was seeking a quick and guaranteed death by firing squad.

Those side-view mirrors that protrude out on either side of a car get knocked, bumped, broken, and vandalized more often than most people expect. If you’re driving around with a broken side mirror, you might be wondering whether law enforcement can pull you over, or ticket you, if you don’t get it fixed right away.

Unfortunately, the answer depends on what state you are driving in, as not only do the traffic laws vary from state to state, but what is considered as required safety equipment also varies. While there are federal guidelines that set requirements that specifically mandate side mirrors and a rear-view mirror, the federal guidelines apply more for manufacturers. The state traffic laws about side-view and rear-view mirrors will apply to drivers and govern when a driver can be pulled over and ticketed.

We all know that marijuana is illegal under federal law. (Or at least most of us know that.) And even with all these states passing recreational use laws, the feds aren't interested in legalizing it. But there was some disagreement about CBD oil and other cannabis-based extracts that lack the THC to get users high and are used primarily in medical cases.

Well, that confusion was put to rest recently when the DEA added an additional code to the Federal Register, clarifying that any extract of the marijuana plant falls under the Schedule I classification, and thus remains illegal.

In a series of executive orders issued this morning by the White House, President Trump is targeting criminals both at home and internationally. Each of the three orders has a different focus. One executive order focuses on the safety of law enforcement officials across the country, one focuses on the public’s general safety from crime, and the last focuses on fighting transnational criminal organizations.

This last executive order of the three passed today simply instructs federal agencies to strengthen the enforcement of federal law. This seems counter to what Trump’s platform has been pushing for when it comes to the elimination of federal regulations that result in white collar business, compliance, and financial crimes. The stated purpose of this executive order, which basically is just directing federal agencies to do what they are already tasked with doing, is to “thwart transnational criminal organizations.” But that order also asks federal agencies to make transnational criminal organizations a high priority.

Everyone has their own idea of what makes a party good. For some, a party requires music and dancing, some people demand party games, or party hats, and just as many think alcohol is the magic ingredient. But, when minors are going to be present at the party, there may be some legal concerns if alcohol is served.

Generally, there is no law that forbids adults from drinking in front of minors at a party. However, nearly every state prohibits serving, selling, or providing access to alcohol to minors. This holds true at parties and in practically any setting (excepting in limited situations in some states, such as with parental consent). If an adult is at a party where minors are getting intoxicated, or a parent's children are hosting a party where other children are getting intoxicated, there could be legal consequences for the adult.

Jamming someone's communications sounds like something straight out of science fiction. But with advancements in cellular and Wi-Fi technology, it's quickly becoming science fact. Before you go out trying to shut down your neighbor's cell service, though, you should understand that, according to the Federal Communications Commission, jamming cell phones and GPS equipment is against the law.

So what are the legal restrictions and how are they enforced?

At the start of the year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have relaxed the knife laws in New York. The current laws, which are outdated, according to critics, unfairly targets trade workers. If you carry a pocket knife in New York, and in many other states and cities across the country, you may be breaking the law without even knowing it.

In addition to the federal ban on switchblades, certain types of knives, including switchblades, gravity knives, and large or exceptionally dangerous knives, are illegal in New York, and other states as well.

Short answer: it depends. Generally, secretly purchasing a gun on someone else's behalf from a gun dealer, called a straw purchase, is illegal. If the end recipient is not disclosed to the gun dealer/seller, they cannot run the background check for the actual purchaser/owner. However, it is possible to legally purchase a gun for someone, or give a gun as a gift, but there are hoops to jump through. After all, it's a gun, and guns are very dangerous.

In most states, when giving or selling a gun, there are laws regarding registering the transfer, and some states even require the transfer be done through a licensed gun dealer. Furthermore, if you are aware, or have reason to believe, that the person receiving the gun is not legally allowed to own a gun, then it is illegal to give that person a gun. If you are planning on buying a gun for someone else, either as a favor or for a gift, you may want to take a moment to look up the laws in your state.

The Supreme Court for the state of New Jersey, in an opinion released last week, just changed the way judges in the state will sentence most juvenile offenders. The opinion, which actually decided two criminal conviction sentencing appeals, centered on whether a juvenile should be sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide related crime.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that not only should juveniles not get life without parole, they ruled that sentences that are in essence, life without parole, (i.e. 75 year sentences) are functionally the same thing as a life sentence.

There are some who consider cannabis to be a gift from god. But when it comes to legalization, the devil is in the details. As laws on marijuana cultivation, possession, and sale continue to evolve, they may still differ from state-to-state and they remain in conflict with federal law. So trying to figure what is and what isn't allowed can be its own challenge.

Take, for example, California's new marijuana laws, which allow for recreational use for the first time. So who gets to grow all the green the Golden State's residents will be toking? And are there limits on how much cannabis you can cultivate?