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Fans of Game of Thrones and other knightly epics will probably love learning this little-known fact: The United States technically allows trial by combat. For those not into medieval lore, such a trial involves two parties -- one who claims injury and one who allegedly caused it -- who meet on a field of battle with weapons and face off. In what was essentially a judicially-sanctioned duel, the winner was declared to be in the right.
Although trial by combat has never officially been abolished in the United States, it isn't used as a method to settle disputes. However, that's not to say that a few creative-thinking individuals haven't tried. According to criminal defense attorney Jason Swindle, a man in Kansas requested a trial by combat as recently as 2020. Writing in Georgia's Newnan Times-Herald, Swindle said he was mostly glad such trials no longer exist. "But, when I hear about all of the personal insults, extremely rude and arrogant behavior, and blistering attacks made by politicians (and other people) against one another and third parties, I wonder if some of these folks would sharpen their manners if they lived in the 1800s," he wrote.
It's the law...really:
- It's illegal to whisper in church in Rehoboth, Delaware, where doing so is considered a breach of peaceful worship.
- Chicken must be finger-licking good in Gainesville, Georgia, where it is illegal to eat it with a knife and fork.
- Anyone riding a horse under the influence of alcohol can be arrested in Colorado.