Legal System

The Legal System Channel features information related to how society deals with crime, criminals and law enforcement. Learn more about how governments operate their legal systems.

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Cities like Chicago are spending millions for high-tech systems that can identify and pinpoint the exact location of a gunshot. But are these systems worth the price tag?

By John Donovan

On most U.S. shorelines, the public has had a time-honored right to "lateral" access to beaches. That sandy space, however, is being hotly contested.

By Thomas Ankersen

Pop princess Britney Spears has been locked in a conservatorship since 2008. Hers isn't a typical conservatorship for many reasons. We'll explain.

By Sarah Gleim

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Ed Gein was known as the "The Butcher of Plainfield" for killing two women in the late 1950s. But he was also the inspiration for iconic horror movie characters, including Psycho's Norman Bates and Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface.

By John Donovan

The Netflix documentary "This Is a Robbery" attempts to solve the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist. Today, the 13 stolen pieces of artwork are worth around $500 million. Have you seen any of them?

By John Donovan

The legal difference between murder and manslaughter is unmistakable, even if the final result of both of those crimes is the same. So what sets these charges apart in a court of law?

By John Donovan

The narrow legal definition makes it hard to charge and even harder to convict.

By Jeannine Bell

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Despite how hard investigators work, some crimes just baffle even the most gifted detectives. They go cold. That's where these nine cases stand. Will they ever be solved?

By John Donovan

One day they were here and the next they simply disappeared. What happened to these 14 people? Will we ever know what happened to them or will their fates be unsolved forever?

By John Donovan

What's the difference between defamation, libel and slander? And what legal standards must be met to prove one in a court of law?

By John Donovan

It takes a lot of legal maneuvering to free an innocent person from prison. And that takes a lot of money. That's why the Innocence Project is so critical to help free the wrongly convicted.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

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Racketeering didn't exist as a crime before 1970. So what is it and why was the Mafia instrumental in its creation?

By Dave Roos

You've probably seen at least one video of someone berating a store employee about why they don't have to wear a mask. So how much can retail stores do to police the mask mandates?

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

When Barbra Streisand sued a photographer who took a photo of her house, the ensuing publicity called far more attention to the picture than it would have gotten otherwise. And that's not the only time attempted censorship has backfired.

By Dave Roos

Amid the furor over George Floyd's death while in custody, there have been increasing calls to cities to divert funding away from police departments to other means of solving social problem. But how does that work?

By Patrick J. Kiger

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The gangster most known for facilitating the creation of the modern American Mafia was the head of organized crime in New York City in the 1930s. But the U.S. government asked for his help during World War II.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

The U.S. has declared martial law in the past, but only sparingly and in dire situations. So, what would it take for the president to use it now?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Recording a video that could potentially become evidence in a criminal case can make your life very complicated. So what do you need to consider before you pull out your phone?

By Patrick J. Kiger

On the advice or orders of your elected leaders, you've been 'sheltering in place' and limiting outside activities. It's starting to feel like you're on house arrest, just without the ankle bracelet. But how similar is it really?

By Dave Roos

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Intersectionality was originally a legal way to recognize that people who were members of more than one identity group deserved equal treatment. But critics have charged that intersectionality has fostered a sort of 'oppression Olympics.'

By Dave Roos

Some Supreme Court cases are so well known they're often referred to by their case names (ever heard of Roe v. Wade?) But what were the cases really about and what did they decide?

By Dave Roos

The brutal Colombian drug lord was a millionaire in his 20s but died in a hail of gunfire the day after his 44th birthday.

By John Donovan

During the holiday season, chances are you'll get several packages mailed to your house. Are you worried about package theft? We've got some tips to derail porch pirates.

By Dave Roos

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A new documentary by director Sam Bathrick follows rapper Todd "Speech" Thomas of Arrested Development as he works with inmates in a Virginia jail to create music and change lives.

By Stell Simonton

They may have been hard-bitten crooks, but when John Dillinger, Arthur Barker and "Pretty Boy" Floyd were at large, ordinary citizens loved to follow their exploits. Find out what you know about these and other gangsters with our quiz.

By Mark Mancini