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Police can force suspects to unlock their smartphones with a fingerprint, which is different than a passcode, according to a Virginia judge's recent ruling.

While the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that police officers may not search inside an arrestee's cell phone without a warrant, a Virginia state judge believes officers might be able to unlock it with a fingerprint. Judge Steven C. Frucci ruled that while a suspect may not be compelled to give up his or her secret code, a fingerprint is a completely different story.

Does this ruling spell ruin for fingerprint technology protecting cell phone privacy?

Ohio OVI suspects got a win from the state's Supreme Court this week when justices affirmed that alcohol breath-test evidence could be thrown out if the state doesn't give the defendant certain data about the breath-testing device itself.

On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a court could exclude breath-test evidence from a drunken driving case (which Ohio calls "operating a vehicle under the influence," or OVI) if prosecutors failed to provide the defendant with data on the functionality and reliability of the device used in the case. In the case at hand, the device was called the Intoxilyzer 8000, and the Court agreed that defendant had the right to know if the particular device was reliable.

What can future OVI suspects learn from this case?

A federal district judge has ruled that California's death penalty system is unconstitutional, ironically because Death Row takes too long.

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney determined in Jones v. Chappell that the massive delays in the Golden State's administration of the death penalty violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Reuters reports that since 1978, only 13 convicts have been executed in California, while more than 900 were sentenced to death.

Is waiting too long for the death penalty in California really unconstitutional?

Michigan's convicts serving life sentences for crimes committed as juveniles won't be getting resentenced or a chance for parole after a Michigan Supreme Court ruling on Monday.

The state's highest court determined in a 4-3 decision that more than 350 juvenile "lifers" who are serving sentences related to killings committed at age 17 and younger should not be retroactively resentenced, reports This case was in response to a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held it was unconstitutional to generally punish teens to life without the possibility of parole.

Why were these juvenile lifers denied a chance at parole?

The U.S. Supreme Court released two impactful opinions on Wednesday, potentially changing how the nation treats streaming broadcast TV and warrantless cell-phone searches by police.

In American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, the High Court determined that an online streaming service which allowed users to watch over-the-air broadcast TV on their computers and mobile devices violated copyright law. Meantime, mobile users have been given a bit more protection under Riley v. California, holding that police may not generally search a cell phone after arrest without a warrant.

Let's break down both Supreme Court cases.

Los Angeles' ban on living in vehicles was struck down by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, removing a tool used by the city to regulate homeless persons.

The federal appellate court determined that the vague city ordinance was unconstitutional, calling it both "broad and cryptic," reports the Los Angeles Times. This will be the second major victory for homeless persons in the 9th Circuit, following a 2012 case which struck down yet another anti-homeless practice in Los Angeles.

So what was the problem with L.A.'s ban on living in cars?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors can't use a chemical weapons treaty to convict a Pennsylvania woman who attacked her husband's mistress.

Carol Anne Bond was convicted under a federal law which enforces an international treaty prohibiting chemical weapons -- for a crime that the Supreme Court grouped among "the simplest of assaults." Bond had attempted to spread chemicals on her husband's lover's car, door knob, and mailbox in a mostly unsuccessful ploy to give the woman a rash.

So why did the Supreme Court feel Bond couldn't be prosecuted under the chemical weapons statutes?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Florida law which allowed executions for those with IQ above 70 was unconstitutional.

Freddie Lee Hall, 68, was set to be executed in Florida, despite having a 71 IQ. The High Court determined in a 5-4 decision that Florida's law held too fast to 70 IQ as a cutoff and must consider the imprecision of the test, reports USA Today.

How did the Court come to this split IQ decision?

The Montana Supreme Court has reversed a 30-day sentence for a convicted rapist teacher, sending the case back for sentencing with a new judge.

Ex-teacher Stacey Dean Rambold had been previously sentenced to only a month in jail for the rape of one of his former freshman students who later committed suicide. State attorneys argued that Rambold should have served the mandatory minimum of four years in prison, reports the Billings Gazette.

Why did Montana's highest court strike down Rambold's 30-day rape sentence?

The U.S. Supreme Court has knocked down a multimillion-dollar restitution award to a child pornography victim, stating there needs to be more of a connection between the dollar amount and responsibility for the damage.

Paroline v. U.S. is one of many involving "Amy," a woman who was photographed as a child being raped by her uncle and whose images are commonly found on the computers of child porn offenders, reports The Associated Press. "Amy" had received $3.4 million in restitution from Doyle Randall Paroline, a man whose computer contained two images of her, but the High Court disagreed with the calculation in a 5-4 ruling.

How much restitution do these "Amy" cases warrant?