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Useless Law Facts

It is illegal to hunt camels in the state of Arizona.

American Indians do not have to pay tax on their land.

Connecticut and Rhode Island never ratified the 18th Amendment (Prohibition).

In seventeenth-century Japan, no citizen was allowed to leave the country on penalty of death. Anyone caught coming or going without permission was executed on the spot.

Prior to the adoption of the twelfth amendment in 1804, the candidate who ran second in a presidential race automatically became vice-president. Thomas Jefferson became John Adams' vice-president in this way.

In Turkey, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, anyone caught drinking coffee was put to death.

The United State Supreme Court once ruled Federal income tax unconstitutional. Income tax was first imposed during the Civil War as a temporary revenue-raising measure. In the late 1800's the government attempted to revive the levy again, but the Supreme Court ruled it in violation of the constitutional provision that direct taxes must be apportioned among the states according to their population. In 1913, however, Congress passed the Sixteenth Amendment, making a Federal impost legal once again.

New York was the first state to require the licensing of motor vehicles. The law was adopted in 1901.

Until 1893, lynching was legal in the United States. The first anti-lynching law was passed in Georgia, but it only made the violation punishable by four years in prison.

Cattle branding in the United States did not originate in the West. It began in Connecticut in the mid-nineteenth century, when farmers were required by law to mark all their pigs.

During the time of Peter the Great, any Russian man who wore a beard was required to pay a special tax.

Before 1941 fingerprints were not accepted as evidence in court. Up to that time it was not an established fact that no two fingerprints were alike. Today the only way in which fingerprints will not be allowed as evidence is if the defense can prove that there are in fact two sets of fingerprints somewhere in the world that match.