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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There's a growing band of lawbreakers in town tarnishing recycling's squeaky green reputation. Who are these criminals, and why are they desperate for copper?

By Jennifer Horton

Diamond thieves can be clever criminals who orchestrate multimillion-dollar heists or small-time jewelers who switch the real thing for fakes. What makes stealing a diamond so attractive?

By Julia Layton

Follow the trail of your prized Swiss Army knife as it leaves your pockets at airport security and goes on to achieve eBay glory.

By Jennifer Horton

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Maybe you're an escaped criminal or an undercover spy. You're someone who needs to stay under the radar. What you need is a safe house.

By John Fuller

Because of the murkiness of maritime law, it's hard to pursue crimes committed on cruise ships. What makes it so easy to get away with a crime on the high seas?

By Julia Layton

State troopers are associated with highway patrol, but their duties extend past the asphalt. They are involved in everything from highway enforcement to criminal investigations. What else are state troopers involved in?

By Cristen Conger

Even if you've heard the term, you may not know how important habeas corpus is to the U.S. Constitution. How can an ancient Latin phrase for "you have the body" be so relevant today?

By Josh Clark

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Standard training at your neighborhood police academy: Spritz each recruit in the face with pepper spray. Think you can take it? Maybe you're cut out for the force.

By Cristen Conger

Every once in a while, we read about an amazing heist that required skill, cunning and thought. But for every one of those, there are those that fail horribly.

By Josh Clark

It's possible that an MRI lie detector could detect truthfulness more accurately than a polygraph machine. How would it work?

By Josh Clark

What makes a person not only murder, but murder multiple people over days, weeks and even years? There's a special name for these types of murderers: serial killers.

By Shanna Freeman

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Sometimes a strange law gets on the record books and just never gets taken off. Learn about 20 silly and unusual U.S. laws that haven't gone away.

Such famous artworks as 'Mona Lisa' and 'The Scream' have been stolen and returned; some have never been found. Art burglars either keep the artwork for themselves, or try to ransom it back to the original owner. Learn about 7 notorious art thefts.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Eggs may contain eggs. Pepper spray may cause eye irritation. Toy broomsticks cannot really fly. OK, we made that one up -- or did we? Join us in bafflement as you make your way through these 11 absurd warnings.

By Jessika Toothman

It seems impossible to lose something so valuable, but it has been done -- more than once. See our list of the world's greatest missing treasures, including The Amber Room and Pharaohs' Missing Treasure.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

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Today, some police forces are using virtual reality technology to capture and recreate crime scenes digitally. They've discovered that, if used properly, virtual environments help the investigation process from its earliest stages all the way to a verdict.

By Jonathan Strickland

In their own vision of themselves, Yakuza descend from Robin-Hood-like characters who defended villages from bandits. Today, they operate as a collection of criminal gangs.

By Ed Grabianowski

Interpol is an international police agency that tracks criminals across national borders. Lean about Interpol and find out how Interpol is organized.

By Ed Grabianowski

A SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team is an elite unit within a police force, used for exceptional situations that require increased firepower or specialized tactics. Find out how SWAT team members train, what gear they use and how they conduct raids.

By Ed Grabianowski

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The United States is renowned for having one of the most sophisticated judicial systems in the world. Every day thousands of people take part in this system, hoping to settle disputes and work for justice. Learn how the U.S. judicial system works.

By Jacob Silverman

As an abstract term, prison is quite simple, but for anyone who has ever done time, it's incredibly complex. Learn what life is like inside prisons in the United States.

By Ed Grabianowski

Police fired 50 shots at three apparently unarmed men in a car leaving a bachelor party in New York this weekend, and investigators still aren't sure why.

By Julia Layton

According to a 2005 report by the Department of Justice, there are at least 21,500 gangs and more than 731,000 active gang members in the United States. Learn how and why street gangs form.

By Ed Grabianowski

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Profiling can be an effective method that is used to capture criminals at large. Learn about the different types of profiling, see how police officers and criminal investigators create and use profiles and explore the controversy surrounding the practice.

By Ed Grabianowski

In August 2006, John Mark Karr confessed to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. But some wondered whether the confession was accurate. Learn why people might confess to a crime that they didn't do.

By Tracy V. Wilson