This Week by the Numbers: Courtroom Shocks and Trash Bin Snatchers

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750 volts

In a case involving shocking cattle, a lawyer asked an expert witness to shock himself with a novelty pen in order to prove that electric currents from a 1.5 volt AAA battery could be felt by a person. The only problem was that the pen contained a transformer that could convert the 1.5 volts to as many as 750 volts — enough to kill someone with certain health issues. Luckily, the witness came away unharmed, but we bet it came as a shock to no one that the judge sanctioned the lawyer for the stunt.

45 minutes

The police are not allowed to wait for as long as 45 minutes outside a resident’s home for a response, the Court of Appeals of Indiana has ruled, citing a recent Fourth Amendment ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision comes following an incident in which several officers surrounded a man’s residence around one o’clock in the morning, knocked on the door for over 45 minutes, peered in the windows and yelled into the house demanding that he open the door. The court found that the officers’ conduct “went far beyond anything that would ordinarily be expected to occur on one’s doorstep,” and that such a situation would inspire the average homeowner to … call the police.

$580,000

The unprecedented amount of money a Canadian judge ruled that the government must pay criminal defense lawyers after he declared a mistrial over the prosecution’s failure to provide timely information to the defense. The delay caused the three defendants to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees that could have been avoided, the judge said. We guess the prosecution never learned the age old saying: Time is money.

20 pellets

The number of shotgun pellets an Indiana attorney was treated for after staging his own shooting. Peter Raventos called 911 and told officers he had been shot in the back by an unknown gunman in a state park. As the story began to unravel, it was discovered that Raventos had rigged the gun so it could shoot from a distance. The perpetrator/victim has provided no motive for the shooting, and has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court.

51 trash bins

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. At least, that’s what one Washington, D.C. artist and her friend thought, when they snatched trash bins with a yellow sticker that said “Take Me!” The stickers were distributed to D.C. residents as part of an effort to recycle the old bins. The artist jumped on the opportunity and had plans to turn the bins into flower planters, until she and her accomplice were arrested and charged with theft. Police say the two took 51 bins, although the number is disputed.

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