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    Hard Time for Chalk Crime

    It may or may not be true that, as some seem to believe, not a single cop in the history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has been criminally “charged after shooting someone, even if that person was unarmed and/or innocent.” What is true, is that making this … More

    Is a Gun Loaded If the Bullets Are Beside It?

    For proof that prosecutors will apply laws in ways that are at odds with societal expectations, look no further than the case of Oriol Dor. Dor came within an interlocutory appeal of being convicted of “knowingly carrying a loaded pistol” even though his gun had no bullets or magazine inside … More

    Zero Dark Giggles: Baby Deer Gets the SWAT Team Treatment

    An otherwise quiet day in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was interrupted by the shrill sound of police sirens. Thirteen armed law enforcement personnel surrounded a barn on the outskirts of town, prepared to confront a wanted fugitive. Equipped with aerial recon photos, armed agents entered the premises, found their target, and hauled … More

    Missed Paying One Ticket? Go Directly to Jail

    She was handcuffed and hauled to the police station. She was fingerprinted and photographed. She was interrogated. She was strip-searched, given a jumpsuit, and locked into an overcrowded jail with several other women for eight hours. That’s what happens when you get arrested. And that’s what happened to Crissy Brown … More

    Flashing Headlights as a Felony: Why Helping Reduce Crime Shouldn’t Be Criminal

    Most people have probably done it. Some, if pressed, might concede that it isn’t the right thing to do. But most people probably wouldn’t think it was a felony, and would be aghast at the idea. And that’s the problem. Missouri resident Michael Elli wanted to let fellow motorists know … More

    Why Florida Police Shouldn’t Have Arrested a Gator for Barking at a Dog

    Most people would agree that deliberately interfering with ongoing police investigations should be illegal. In that light, the news that University of Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison was arrested for allegedly interfering with Officer Bear’s performance of his duties would not be surprising. What might be surprising is that Officer Bear … More

    Arrested for a Life Vest: When Good Intentions Make Bad Law

    Erika Doring has devoted her life and career to children. She was a counselor with child protective services for 10 years and now owns Cutie Pie Consignment, a consignment store in Hood River, Oregon, that sells children’s goods. She has a daughter of her own named Elaina, whom she dotes … More

    Writing with Sidewalk Chalk Can Earn You Hard Time?

    Jeff Olson has no criminal record, has hurt no one, and has done no significant damage to anyone’s property. And he nearly ended up in prison. His crime? Writing on the sidewalk—with washable chalk. Olson wrote a series of protest slogans between February and August 2012 on public sidewalks in … More

    Diverted from the Straight and Narrow Path for Diverting Sewage

    After decades of striving to obey the law and teaching his children to do the same, Lawrence Lewis turned to crime. His offense? Diverting sewage into a storm drain that, unbeknownst to Lewis, eventually fed in to the Potomac River. Lewis was born and raised in the brutal projects of … More

    D.C. Police to Scalpers: One Strike and You’re Jailed

    Ordering the police to arrest every lawbreaker, no matter how trivial the offense or harmless the offender, appeals to legislators who want to appear “tough on crime.” But is that a reasonable policy when the crime is reselling baseball tickets at less than face value? As one unlucky tourist told … More