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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.

This week a moderator for a major darkweb child pornography internet repository was sentenced to 20 years in prison, as well as lifetime monitoring upon release, for his involvement with the site, which is nothing less than shocking. David L. Browning, the convicted moderator, was required to delete anything from the site, Playpen, that did not relate to child pornography, including images, videos, and even discussions.

Browning is not the first Playpen-related conviction. A site administrator, Michael Fluckiger, was sentenced to 20 years just a few weeks ago, and another administrator, Steven Chase, is currently awaiting sentencing. In addition to these 3, there were 48 other individuals prosecuted as a result of their involvement with Playpen.

When a person is caught by police doing illegal drugs, or in possession of illegal drugs, they may face charges for possession of drug paraphernalia in addition to drug charges. Drug paraphernalia, like illegal drugs, carry serious criminal penalties in many jurisdictions, simply for possession.

Drug paraphernalia includes such things as pipes, vaporizers, bongs, rolling papers, and other smoking implements meant to be used with illegal drugs. Additionally, syringes, spoons, measuring scales, razor blades, and other arguably common items can be considered paraphernalia as well, depending on the context. Basically, anything that is used to ingest illegal drugs can be considered paraphernalia.

Laser pointers are amazing, particularly for the easily amused. The limits to their uses are generally only limited by a person's imagination, and of course, state and federal law.

By now, most everyone knows that there are laws against shining laser pointers at planes, or shining them in peoples' eyes. However, most people don't realize how illegal it is to shine a laser pointer at an aircraft. It is very illegal (no, "very illegal" is not a technical term). Just last week, a 23-year-old Missouri man was sentenced in federal court to 3 years in prison for the federal crime of pointing his laser pointer at a police helicopter, which is a felony.

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.

The governor of Vermont, who signed the bill into law in the state to decriminalize marijuana possession, has just issued 192 pardons to individuals convicted of marijuana crimes. The pardons, which were all for misdemeanor possession of marijuana, also required that the offenses not be in relation to a DUI charge or violent crime. However, the pro-pot governor decided that issuing pardons for these pot convictions would be one of the last things he did before leaving office.

With the populace's shifting mentality towards marijuana legalization across the country, these pardons make sense. After all, the state law in Vermont provides for decriminalization, which means that possession of marijuana should not even be a criminal matter anymore than a traffic ticket is. Unfortunately, many people still have criminal records for offenses that, today, would not even lead to a criminal record.

After two botched executions in 2014 of an Arizona inmate, and an Oklahoma inmate, much public attention was brought to the issue of what drugs are administered to execute death row inmates. After the two-hour long execution, Arizona's attorney general temporarily halted all other executions in the state, and a court order keeps the temporary ban in place until the order is lifted. While the two-hour long execution was successful, the inmate struggled, grasped for air, and moaned in pain during the process, which evidenced that the anesthetic, midazolam, was not working properly.

A problem for many states, like Arizona, that seek to execute death row inmates is the availability of humane methods. Drug manufacturers, while usually more than willing to make a sale, generally do not want their product to be associated with the death penalty and have made their products difficult to obtain for death penalty states.

Despite the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and vaporizers, neither can be used on a plane. Recent regulations passed by the federal government went into effect this year officially prohibiting e-cigarette use or vaping. Additionally, because of the risk of fire posed by e-cigarette batteries, they are not allowed to be charged on planes.

Prior to the regulations, each individual airline had an independent policy prohibiting it, which was backed by a federal regulation allowing airlines to enact their own policies that don't conflict with the law. The penalties for violating federal aviation regulations can be extraordinarily severe.

FAQ for DUI Probation

Facing a conviction for drunk driving can be really scary. You may have felt compelled to take a plea bargain, especially if it meant you avoided all jail time. Depending on your situation, usually any deal that avoids time behind bars is preferable to facing the unknown of a criminal trial. However, even if you avoid jail, you are likely going to be on probation for some time.

When a person charged with a DUI is sentenced to probation, they usually have lots of questions about probation. Below, you'll find 5 of the most frequently asked questions about DUI probations.

One of the most frequently enforced criminal laws against minors is underage drinking. On college campuses across the country, police departments are ready to surprise party-goers under the legal drinking age with arrests for being underage and under the influence. While college students are usually all over 18 years old, the legal drinking age is still 21, and as such, anyone under 21 who is caught drinking or possessing alcohol can be arrested for a minor in possession (MIP).

What comes as a shock to most is that in nearly every state, a person under the age of 21 can be arrested merely for holding an alcoholic beverage in public. It doesn’t matter if the bottle of alcohol is sealed shut, or belongs to another person. In most states, law enforcement doesn’t even have to see alcohol to make an arrest. Merely being intoxicated or registering a BAC above 0 can lead to a minor’s arrest for MIP. While most states have strict laws prohibiting minors from possessing, buying, or drinking alcohol, punishments vary from state to state.