Across the country, police use civil asset forfeiture as a tool in the War on Drugs. When the police deem property or money to be associated with a drug crime, they can seize it. Then, the owner has to prove that the assets were not connected with a crime. If they can't, they lose the assets forever -- even if they are not convicted of any crime. The police agency that seized the assets gets to keep them.
Traditionally, the insanity defense has been available in two situations:
If you are pulled over for OWI, stay awake. You lose some of the constitution's protection if you pass out, according to a new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. If you remain awake, law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant before drawing your blood for a chemical test. If you're unconscious, however, they can draw your blood without bothering to get a warrant.
"With limited exceptions not relevant here, even profanity is protected speech," explained a judge for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. "Criticism of law enforcement officers, even with profanity, is protected speech."
For the purposes of the federal Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), burglary is considered a violent felony. When someone has two or more violent felony convictions, whether state or federal crimes, they may encounter the ACCA if they are then convicted federally of unlawful firearms possession. Such a conviction carries a mandatory 15-year prison sentence.
When prosecutors and defense attorneys choose jurors from a pool, they are allowed to reject some jurors, either for good cause or in what is called a "preemptory challenge." Jurors can be removed for cause, for example, when they are unqualified to serve, have a conflict of interest, or admit that they cannot put aside their biases. Each side gets a limited number of preemptory challenges that can be used to strike jurors without a specific cause.