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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Inside the CIA's Treasure Trove of bin Laden Files

From public letters to anime porn, the 470,000 public files offer a window into the last years of al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden.

How Attorney-Client Privilege Works

In the United States, attorney-client privilege works to keep communications between an attorney and his or her client secret. But there are always exceptions to the rule.

Murder Memorabilia: Killers' Items You Can Own

Where do we draw the line between interesting and appalling?

How the Second Amendment Works

For the first 100 years, this amendment got little attention. But since the 20th century, Americans have been vigorously debating what exactly the "right to bear arms" means.

Three Serial Killers of Gay Men Still on the Loose

Gay men have been the target of many serial killers. The cases often go unsolved because men fear they'll be outed as gay if they talk. Do you hold the lead to solve one of these crimes?

Are Elderly Criminals Punished Differently Than Younger Offenders?

The conviction of 80-year-old Bill Cosby on aggravated indecent assault charges raises the question of how sentencing works in the case of an elderly defendant.

The Twisted Tale of a Racist Law Still on the Books

The Mann Act was passed in 1910 and even though it's been used legitimately, it's also been abused to nab men of color like Jack Johnson and Chuck Berry.

Defining 'Suspicious Behavior' Without Bias Is Harder Than You Think

High-profile cases over the past few years have shown the benefits — and pitfalls — of asking the public to report any suspicious activities they notice to the police. When does that tip over into racial or ethnic bias?

The Backstory on Backpage.com, the Adult Classifieds Site That Got Shut Down

Does this mean that a website actually is responsible for the content created by that site's users?

How Drug Courts Work

Drug courts have changed the lives of the thousands of people who've "graduated" through the program. But how exactly do the judges, rehab facilities and counselors facilitate these courts, and do they deter repeat offenders?

Friends Don’t Let (Online-Ordained) Friends Officiate at Their Weddings

Online ordination may be quick and easy and presiding at a friend's wedding may be fun and meaningful. But these marriages haven't always held up in court.

Slavery is Alive and Booming Worldwide

If you thought slavery ended with the ratification of the 13th amendment, think again. Slavery is flourishing across the globe.

How Well Has Strict Gun Control Worked in Australia?

Australia hasn't had a mass shooting in 22 years; the U.S. has had dozens during that same time.

Why Do Mass Shootings Keep Happening in U.S. Schools?

Is there something about American suburban high school culture that makes it fertile ground for school shootings? One researcher says 'yes.'

Does the U.S. Require Citizens to Carry ID?

The United States doesn't have a national ID, but it's slowly moving toward one with the REAL ID law. But what happens if a citizen doesn't have identification?

Was the Wrong Person Convicted in the Atlanta Child Murders?

Wayne Williams is serving a life sentence for killing dozens of black kids in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981. But some say he didn't do it and evidence of his innocence was covered up.

Does Checking In Mean You Check Your Privacy at the Door?

Hotels/motels must balance guests' privacy with the safety of other guests and employees.

5 Unexpected Ways to Lose Your Driver's License

Drowning in debt? Your driving privileges could disappear.

Beyond Arsenic: 6 Weird Poisons Used Throughout History

Arsenic? Been there, done that! These six other poisons should delight you murder nerds and obscurists out there.

How the Logan Act Does and Doesn't Work

The Logan Act prohibits American citizens from going behind the back of the U.S. government to deal with foreign powers. So why hasn't anybody ever been convicted?

Review Websites Like TripAdvisor Are Under Fire. Is That Warranted?

TripAdvisor deleted — and later reinstated — a hotel review where a visitor alleged she had been raped. How can review websites legally balance their duty to warn users as well as to beware of false, defamatory content?

When Private Investigators Go Rogue

Private investigative firms like Black Cube, hired by Harvey Weinstein, use borderline illegal tactics to try to silence accusers.

This Is How Sexual Harassment Is Legally Defined in the U.S.

Reports of famous people being accused of sexually harassment have been all over news sites and social media. What does U.S. law actually say sexual harassment is?

How the Manson Family Murders Worked

Charles Manson and his family have captivated the world since their murderous spree in the late '60s. What is it about this cult leader that made him so mesmerizing?

When Is — and Isn't — Crime Considered Terrorism?

The struggle to define which crimes are considered terrorism — and which are not — isn't easy.


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