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Fine Points of the Law

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In May, a court in Montreal, Quebec, ordered the Cinemas Guzzo theater to pay a woman $10,000 (CDN) for violating her family's privacy during an inspection of her and her daughters' bags (searching for video equipment that could illegally record a movie). Employees found no equipment but did uncover the teenage daughter's birth control pills, which the mother and the daughter figured would have been better left unrevealed to each other.

Oops! Calvin Wells beat a certain, mandatory 10-year prison term for felony possession of cocaine because the verdict form signed by the jury contained a typographical error. Wells had 100 grams, but the verdict form certified "ten one hundred (100) grams," which an Ohio appeals court ruled in June could have meant "10/100th grams," which would be a misdemeanor whose maximum time Wells had already served.

Retired Florida judge Rogers Padgett said in March that he is trying to undo an error he made in sentencing Kenneth Young to life without chance of parole for a series of armed robberies committed at age 14. Padgett said he thought the Florida no-parole law for kids applied only to murder and sexual assaults and never meant for Young, now 23, to be forever ineligible.

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