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What Is the Typical Punishment for Petty Theft?

Petty theft - don't let the name fool you.

Theft is a state crime, and therefore determining whether criminal theft is petty or grand differs by state. Generally, classification is determined by the dollar amount of the item stolen, with $500-$1,000 usually being the upper limit for petty theft. Though this is the general definition of petty theft, all generalities stop there. Punishment for petty theft runs the gamut, from probation to life in prison.

Last month, Pinellas County sheriffs declined to press charges after Michael Drejka gunned down Markeis McGlockton in a convenience store parking lot, claiming the shooting was "within the bookends of 'stand your ground' and within the bookends of force being justified." Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at the time, "I'm not saying I agree with it, but I don't make that call."

Pinellas County prosecutors, however, did make that call this week, charging Drejka with manslaughter. Why the change of course?

First, there were hangings and firing squads. Then, the electric chair and gas chamber. After that, lethal injection. At each step, executions were thought to be getting more humane, less cruel and unusual. And yet we come to find that certain combinations of drugs used for lethal injections are far from as painless as we thought they were. And after several recent botched executions, some states may even be returning to firing squads.

One reason is that drug makers have either been refusing to sell to corrections departments or suing to block executions using their drugs. One such lawsuit may halt Nebraska's first ever lethal injection, and first public execution since 1997.

You may have heard you get one free phone call when you're arrested. You may not have heard how much phone calls from prison can cost after that, or how much cities, counties, and telecommunications companies are making off those calls.

One fewer city, however, will be profiting from jail phone calls. New York City is making phone calls from its jails free. On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill into law eliminate the charges, and eliminating about $5 million per year in city revenue from such calls.

Syed Muzaffar plowed into three members of the Liu family on New Year's Eve in San Francisco in 2013. Sophia, age six at the time, was killed, and her mother and three-year-old brother were seriously injured as they crossed the street in the crosswalk. There was no passenger in Muzaffar's vehicle at the time, but he was logged into the app during the accident.

Sophia's family sued Uber, and settled that lawsuit for an undisclosed amount in 2015. Prosecutors also charged Muzaffar with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, and a jury this week found him guilty. He now faces up to a year in jail.

It can be seen as a sad state of affairs when the best critical commentary of our criminal justice system is coming from a late-night comedy show. But that's John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" for you. This week, the show tackled criminal prosecutors, the county, state, and federal attorney who decide which crimes, if any, a defendant should be charged with -- decisions that impact everything from plea bargaining to trials and sentencing.

As Oliver pointed out, prosecutors wield an incredible amount of power in the criminal justice system, often with little or no consequences for misconduct. So, what are the ethical obligations for criminal prosecutors, and what happens when they fail to meet them?

A few weeks ago, the Department of Defense settled its legal battle with the designer of 3D-printed firearms, allowing the company to re-release its CAD files to the public. That announcement sent state lawmakers scrambling in an effort to keep 3D-printed guns off the market. Eight states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the federal government (11 more states have since joined that lawsuit), and last week a federal judge blocked the publication of those blueprints.

According to Defense Distributed, the company who originally created a published the 3D plans, the blueprints had already been downloaded more than 400,000 times before they were removed for the first time in 2013, and while the company had re-uploaded the files to its site prior to the judge's ruling, it has since blocked access to comply with the court order.

So, what does all this mean for you, the person who wants to 3D print a gun?

Every day can be beer day if you believe in yourself. But International Beer Day this Friday can give casual beer consumers a chance to cheers with connoisseurs and cicerones over the latest and greatest in IPAs, sours, or standard lagers. It also opens the door for overconsumption.

Part of celebrating beer is not drinking too many beers -- after all, after a few too many you can't enjoy the subtle hop complexities in a well-executed pilsner. The other part is not getting behind the wheel after drinking. So before you raise a goblet, nonic, or pint tomorrow, spend a few minutes with our latest and greatest DUI posts:

Last month, we told you about Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano, who, along with two other officers, was charged with framing an innocent teenager in order to keep their clearance rate for burglaries at 100 percent. This month's story of Florida cop frame-ups involves an officer in the same department, allegedly acting at the direction of Atesiano.

Guillermo Ravelo pleaded guilty last week to charges that he falsely accused two black men of crimes: one with a pair of home break-ins in 2013, and the other with five vehicle burglaries in 2014. Atesiano had once boasted clearing 29 of 30 burglary cases during his tenure as chief. At least 11 of those were based on false arrest reports.

Is Domestic Violence a Misdemeanor or Felony?

Is domestic violence a misdemeanor or felony? The answer is, it depends on a lot of different factors.