January 15, 2011 The FBI database that gun sellers use to run background checks on would-be buyers is only as good as the records that states put into it. Several studies and experts say those records are often incomplete or missing.
January 12, 2011 Under Arizona's progressive mental health laws, alleged Tucson gunman Jared Loughner could have been involuntarily evaluated once his behavior became erratic. But those who noticed his increasingly odd outbursts may not have known how to step in.
October 29, 2010 Members of a private alliance of corporations and lawmakers called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have helped write hundreds of new state laws, including Arizona's much-debated immigration measure.
January 22, 2010 The pretrial release program in Broward County, Fla., was working, but commissioners voted to gut the program nonetheless. Industry experts say powerful bail lobbying groups have begun using Broward as a road map of how to squash similar programs elsewhere.
January 22, 2010 Shadu Green was like hundreds of thousands of inmates nationwide who can't afford bail or a bondsman's fee. So Green, who insists he is not guilty of a series of misdemeanors after getting pulled over for speeding, had to decide whether to fight his case from jail or plead guilty and get out faster. Studies show that internal debate usually works in prosecutors' favor.
January 21, 2010 Two-thirds of the inmates in U.S. jails are petty, nonviolent offenders who are there for only one reason: They can't afford their bail. Sometimes, it's as little as $50. Some will wait behind bars for as long as a year before their cases make it to court. And it will cost taxpayers $9 billion this year to house them.
January 5, 2010 The annual Consumer Electronics Show opens in Las Vegas Thursday. It's the biggest stage for electronic products in the country, and more than 100,000 people are expected to attend. However, some of the biggest electronic news is expected to be revealed before and after the show.
January 4, 2010 Prosecutors sought the death penalty less often in 2009, while judges and juries handed down fewer death sentences, making it the year with the fewest people sent to death row since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Experts point to the high cost of capital cases and public awareness of exonerations.
October 13, 2009 When law enforcement officials realized officers from different agencies couldn't communicate with each other during emergencies because of different code systems, they pushed officers to use plain English when calling for backup or reporting a crime.
September 22, 2009 Three inmates dug a hole in their cells, crawled three stories to the roof, and escaped from the maximum security prison almost 50 years ago. The FBI says the men drowned. But given that they had a raft, life jackets, favorable winds and a big head start, did they survive? U.S. marshals are still chasing down leads.
September 21, 2009 U.S. Marshals never stop looking for fugitives, even after nearly half a century. The agency is still actively pursuing the three inmates who disappeared from Alcatraz Prison in a dramatic escape in 1962 — even though they've long been presumed dead. The intricate escape plan included the use of papier-mache heads to fool guards into thinking they were in their beds.
August 13, 2009 When Johnny Cash played for inmates in 1968, Folsom was a model prison and California's low recidivism rate was unmatched. Today, Folsom is emblematic of everything wrong with California's prisons - and critics say it starts with a too-powerful corrections officers union.