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

By Jeannine Bell

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

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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.

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.

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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Red flag laws allow police to seize the firearms of a person who is viewed as a potential threat to commit a violent act, without charging them with a crime. But how often do they prevent mass killings?

By Patrick J. Kiger

There's a huge police presence in the U.S. school systems today. But has that presence allowed educators to push off their management of school misconduct to the cops?

By John Donovan

As far as we know, it has never happened, but a murder in space would most definitely create numerous jurisdictional, legal and investigative complications.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Dillinger was named Public Enemy No. 1 by the FBI, but, in the end, it was a woman who set him up and brought him down.

By Oisin Curran

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The suicide rate in American jails is triple that of the general population. It comes down to something called "the shock of confinement." What is that and how can suicides be prevented in jails?

By Nathan Chandler

The National Neighborhood Watch Program was originally established in 1972 as a local response to neighborhood crime. How has the idea evolved over time?

By Tara Yarlagadda