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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Free speech is one of America's most fiercely guarded freedoms, but that doesn't mean that citizens can say whatever they like with no threat of punishment. In several cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of limitations.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

From 2011 to 2013, California released 33,000 prisoners early. One study measures the impact non-violent prisoner "realignment" has had on crimes rates in the state.

By Chris Opfer

We explore the economics and ethics of prison-made goods.

By Dave Roos

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Americans have a macabre fascination with serial killers. And it's particularly engrossing to speculate about the ones still at large. Here are the stories behind 10 serial killers who got away.

By Suzie Dundas & Nick Steinberg

After you get a speeding ticket, you've probably mumbled (after the police officer left, of course) something about being stopped to satisfy a quota. Well, you're probably right. Lots of police departments have speeding ticket quotas.

By Cherise Threewitt

After you get a speeding ticket, you've probably mumbled (after the police officer left, of course) something about all this being some kind of racket. Well, you're probably right. Many police departments depend on traffic ticket revenue.

By Cherise Threewitt

This tragic cold case occurred during the Eisenhower administration, but was not solved until the Obama administration. Why did it take 55 years, and what finally cracked it?

By Alia Hoyt

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Johnny Law has some new flying toys that could come in handy in the fight against crime.

By Chris Opfer

The next time you interact with a police officer, you might be staring at the eye of a video camera. About a third of U.S. police departments (and more internationally) have issued body cameras to their patrol officers. Here's what you need to know.

By Julia Layton

Ever wonder why you've been called for jury duty four times while your friend has never got a summons? Are you on some secret list of the "ready and available"? We'll give you the scoop.

By Dave Roos

Few incidents shaped the U.S. civil rights movement more than the brutal death of Emmett Till. What other murders have sent shock waves through the public psyche?

By Gallagher Flinn

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When most people think of the words "wine" and "toilet," they're probably not thinking about a fermentation strategy. But as countless prisoners over the years have discovered, when it comes to alcohol, if there's a will, there's a way.

By Laurie L. Dove

It could happen: As you're rushing to get to the airport, you absentmindedly throw a gassed-up chain saw into your suitcase. Or a bag of live eels. Yes, TSA officials really spotted these items at U.S. airports. And stranger things, too.

By Dave Roos

There are people willing to sneak grimy, dirty classified files and documents from under lock and key and into the disinfecting power of sunlight. Here are 10 people who went public with stories of hidden corruption.

By Nathan Chandler

In the U.S., can you truly say anything you want, or are there limits? Who decides them? And might this change in the age of the globally connected village?

By Julia Layton

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In the park. On the bus. At the mall. At your job. Is there any place you can go and not be watched? After reading this article, you may agree the answer is "no."

By Laurie L. Dove

Masked crime fighters aren't just the stuff of Marvel and DC comics and films. These characters may not have superpowers, but they feel the call to keep citizens safe and serve their communities.

By Maria Trimarchi

If you need an analogy for PRISM, one apt comparison would be to HBO's show "The Wire." Just swap "U.S. government" for Baltimore police, "Internet data" for phone wiretaps, and name the target as "really anyone" instead of drug traffickers. Got it?

By Kate Kershner

There's no doubt the Boston bombings rattled the U.S. Should the country's policy makers be equally rattled by daily gun violence?

By John Perritano

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The U.S. was quick to denounce 9/11 as an act of terrorism. Drawing the line between mass murder and terrorism isn't always that straightforward though.

By Kate Kershner

Baseball, taxes and unconscionable acts of mass violence. That's what April has been all about in recent decades. Are there really more acts of terrorism in April and if so, why?

By Chris Opfer

The hunt for the brothers Tsarnaev may have been the most intense one that Boston has seen in a long time, but law enforcement agencies have been practicing the art of getting their man (or woman) for centuries.

By Kate Kershner

Sometimes the search for a fugitive can occupy a city. Other times, the hunt is fierce enough to dominate a nation, or even several countries. Which criminals can claim they spurred some of the craziest manhunts ever?

By Laurie L. Dove

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Any viewer of a TV cop show has heard of the Miranda rights. They include the rights to remain silent, to have an attorney and so on. Why are they called the Miranda rights, and why must U.S. police recite them to arrestees?

By Julia Layton & Melanie Radzicki McManus

The Brady bill of 1993 established mandatory background checks for firearms purchases. But that only applies to Federal Firearms Licensees, not to private sellers. What's involved in a background check – and would expanding them lessen gun crime?

By Julia Layton