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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Drugs are serious business, especially in Mexico. In fact, Mexican cartels have gone to great lengths to protect their turf, building Mad Max-style armored vehicles. What's the deal with these so-called narco tanks?

By Lance Looper

The confusion and terror following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center left many searching for answers. Some conspiracy theorists point to conflicting reports and murky political agendas in their alternative versions of the event.

By Jane McGrath

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, left America and much of the world wondering who could have been responsible for the devastating attacks. Who exactly hijacked and flew the planes, and how did they get involved with the plot?

By Jane McGrath

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If Abraham Lincoln ended slavery in the United States, why is so much money still being made to sell others into bondage? Here, we'll examine how human trafficking works.

By Molly Edmonds

Police sketches may be a routine part of law enforcement investigations, but they've been key to solving some extraordinary cases. How do forensic artists create these renderings, and how reliable are they, really? Find out in How Police Sketches Work.

By Cristen Conger

Say you're a government agency or a company of some sort and you want to negotiate the terms of a working relationship with another group or agency. However, you're not too enthused by the idea of lawyers, contracts and legalese. That's where Memoranda of Understanding come in. What are these MOUs, exactly, and who uses them?

By Nathan Chandler

In the starkest terms, abuse and addiction cost money. It's expensive to treat and rehabilitate addicts, and it's costly to help the children affected. So, why have efforts to sterilize addicts come under fire?

By Josh Clark

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Eyewitness testimony can play a big part in a criminal trial. The problem is that eyewitness accounts aren't always accurate. What makes them so faulty?

By Charles W. Bryant

In murder-mystery TV shows, detectives look for clues to find the killer. Part of that involves getting into the murderer's mind-set. What factors make it easier for one person to take the life of another?

By Jonathan Strickland

The word "justice" appears in many of the United States' most important documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But for a word that's used so often, its precise definition is still a topic of debate.

By Molly Edmonds

Terrorists work very hard to remain undetected. After all, if we knew where they were, we could stop them from attacking. But they usually work in small groups, or even alone. How do law enforcement officials track them down?

By Jonathan Strickland

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The media saturates us with stories of violence, but most people leave them on the page or screen. So what made these copycat killers act out?

By Josh Clark & Laurie L. Dove

The bad, the worse and the worst. You name 'em, we've caught 'em. Check out some of the most notorious criminals in U.S. history, from gangsters to con men to bandits in love.

The fight against illegal drugs is a constant thorn in the side of just about every police department in the country. This gallery features pictures of some controlled substances.

If justice is blind, then why do some court decisions spark outrage and violence? Even with an impartial jury, court cases don't always go according to plan.

By Cristen Conger

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When an anthrax attack just after Sept. 11 killed five people and infected 18 more, U.S. residents were sent into a bioterrorism panic. Bioterrorism has actually been around for many centuries, but we keep finding new ways to combat it.

By Charles W. Bryant

In the United States, the Federal Rules of Evidence determine whether a piece of evidence can be considered at trial. There are three main criteria for entering a statement or object as evidence at trial: relevance, materiality, and competence.

By John Fuller

The police knock on your door, and a knot forms in your stomach when you're told the reason for the handcuffs: You're being arrested for a crime you haven't committed -- yet.

By Shanna Freeman

Does the mere mention of a criminal record invoke thoughts of something sinister to you? As it turns out, having a criminal record in the United States isn't as uncommon as it once was.

By Brette Sember

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What if your pen pal was a prison inmate? That's the idea behind a prison project designed to connect middle school students with prisoners. What influence did these pen pals have on kids?

By Jane McGrath

Prisons spy on inmates' telephone conversations to make sure the crooks aren't trafficking drugs or organizing gang riots from behind bars. But does this monitoring infringe on their rights?

By Jane McGrath

The most high-tech prison of its day, built on an island of rock and fortified by concrete and steel, Alcatraz was created to house the worst of the worst.

By Ed Grabianowski

The police department is one of the most important civil services in just about every community. This collection of pictures showcases some of the most important aspects of police departments.

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With modern security, how can thieves walk out of a museum with millions of dollars worth of art? It usually just takes force and a little bravado.

By Julia Layton

A diamond heist is no mere robbery. It's a feat of patience and engineering that yields enormous payouts. So what are the 10 largest heists?

By Julia Layton & Nathan Chandler