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Scales of Justice
Criminal justice is the system of practices, and organizations, used by national and local governments, directed at maintaining social control, deterring and controlling crime, and sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation. The primary agencies charged with these responsibilities are law enforcement (police and prosecutors), courts, defense attorneys and local jails and prisons which administer the procedures for arrest, charging, adjudication and punishment of those found guilty. When processing the accused through the criminal justice system, government must keep within the framework of laws that protect individual rights. The pursuit of criminal justice is, like all forms of "justice", "fairness" or "process", essentially the pursuit of an ideal. Throughout history, criminal justice has taken on many different forms which often reflect the cultural mores of society.
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Members of the Frontier Battalion, ca. 1885
The Texas Ranger Division is a law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction based in Austin, Texas, in the United States. Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption, kept the peace during riots, acted as detectives, protected the Texas governor, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a quasi-military force at the service of both the Republic (1836–45) and the state of Texas. The Texas Rangers were unofficially created by Stephen F. Austin in 1823 and formally constituted in 1835. Although the organization went through periods of inactivity during the 19th century, it was never officially dissolved. Since 1935, the organization has been a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, and currently fulfills the role of Texas's State Bureau of Investigation. As of 2005, there are 118 active Rangers.

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Alcatraz Island
Credit: David Corby

A stitched panorama of Alcatraz Island, in San Francisco Bay, California, as seen facing east. Alcatraz is most famous for its prison, which closed in 1963, but whose legacy lived on in films such as Escape from Alcatraz and The Rock. Today it is a National Recreation Area


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Mark Felt
W. Mark Felt is a former agent and top official of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. After 30 years of denials, Felt revealed himself in May 2005 to be the Watergate scandal informant called "Deep Throat." During the early investigation of the Watergate scandal (197274), Felt was the Bureau's Associate Director, the second-ranking post in the FBI. While Associate Director, Felt provided Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward with critical leads on the story that eventually saw the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974. In 1980, Felt was convicted of violating the civil rights of people thought to be associated with the Weather Underground by ordering FBI agents to break into their homes. On May 31, 2005, Felt was revealed to have been "Deep Throat". His identity as Woodward's informant was a secret for three decades and had been the source of much speculation in American political and popular culture. Felt resides in Santa Rosa, California and has completed an update of his 1979 autobiography which provides information on his past as "Deep Throat."

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Robert F. Kennedy




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Barry Goldwater
Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. ... Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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