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.

Learn More / Page 8

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

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

Advertisement

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

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

Advertisement

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.

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

Advertisement

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

Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but thieves like them too. Find out how they orchestrate multimillion-dollar heists and how jewelers switch the real thing for fakes.

By Julia Layton & Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

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

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

Advertisement

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

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

Advertisement

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

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.

Advertisement

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