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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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

The TV show "Prison Break" is the story of a structural engineer named Michael Scofield who gets himself locked up so that he can help his brother escape death row. Learn about some amazing real-life escapes.

By Caroline Wilbert

Aye, matey! Hold on to your peg leg as we look at how pirates work, whether they're robbing and plundering in the 17th century or the 21st. We'll look at past and present definitions of piracy and the laws that deal with modern pirates.

By Tracy V. Wilson

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Getting someone to confess to a crime is not a simple task. Find out how skilled interrogators can get even the most hardened criminal to 'fess up.

By Julia Layton

Police chases may seem glamorous on TV, but in real-life they are actually highly regulated by law enforcement codes of conduct. Find out how officers decide whether to commit to a chase, who is liable if a bystander is injured and what else they do.

By Ed Grabianowski

A hostage situation places innocent civilians directly in harm's way, and armed intervention places the hostages at even greater risk. Learn how a skilled negotiator uses psychology, instinct and deception to achieve a peaceful end.

By Ed Grabianowski

The Federal Witness Security Program protects crucial witnesses. How do you erase one identity and create a whole new one? Find out how the Witness Security Program "relocates" witnesses and their families.

By Kevin Bonsor

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Bounty hunting is a legitimate business and an integral part of the American justice system. Find out how bounty hunting works and follow bounty hunter Bob Burton on the search for a fugitive.

By Stephanie Watson

The Mafia has controlled everything from the street-corner drug trade to labor-union leadership to high-level politicians. How did it start and what's its status now?

By Ed Grabianowski & John Donovan

The best form of riot control is prevention: Often, a passive but strong police presence can keep a "gathering" from turning into a "riot." But sometimes, a spark ignites a flame. Learn how police and military forces handle a riot.

By Ed Grabianowski

K-9 cops can sniff out drugs, bombs and suspects that would leave human cops ransacking entire cities. Plus, a good teeth-baring snarl can stop a suspect in his tracks. Learn all about the K-9 police force.

By Ed Grabianowski

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With each new crime that pops up, another method of detection is developed; and with each new crime that pops up, another means of protecting yourself comes to light. Learn about various crimes and the available means of detection, protection, and punishment.

You probably hear about lawsuits a lot -- neighbors suing neighbors over an overgrown tree, customers suing grocery stores over spilt milk, employees suing employers over unlawful termination. What�s involved in taking someone to court? Find out all about lawsuits and see how a civil case unfolds.

By Lee Ann Obringer

Long before Sept. 11, governments, guerrillas, freedom fighters and insurgents were hijacking planes, plotting to blow up the British parliament and generally sowing fear to achieve an objective. So why is defining terrorism so hard?

By Robert Lamb

Think you're a good liar? A polygraph might disagree. By monitoring a few physiological signs, these machines know if you're being deceptive, even if you don't have a "tell."

By Kevin Bonsor

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Since 1982, more than 1,000 U.S. prisoners have been executed by lethal injection, according to Amnesty International. What happens during those last hours?

By Kevin Bonsor

In our legal system, a person can be found not guilty if they are declared legally insane. How does this system work? Learn about the insanity plea in this article.