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Judge in Whitey Bulger case refuses to step aside

Judge in Whitey Bulger case refuses to step aside | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
BOSTON (AP) — The federal judge presiding over the trial of Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger has refused a defense lawyer's request to step down. U.S.
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Mari Freitag's comment, November 5, 2012 12:02 AM
These sorts of issues are so interesting to me, because this happens all the time, and it's so difficult to draw the line where a judge should step aside from a case. Also, nobody has control over what this judge does because he's a federal judge and has his job for life unless he's impeached. Some would probably argue that there's a conflict of interest as soon as the possibility arises, and others would wait for more definitive evidence that there's some sort of conflict. At the US supreme court level, Justice Kagan was faced with a decision leading up to the hearing of the Affordable Care Act. She had been involved with the DOJ as solicitor general during the preparation of the case, before she was appointed to the court. Even if she had no involvement in the preparation of the case (so she says), should she have recused herself from the case? This is just one more example, but it's interesting because it shows the amount of discretion that justices have with their jobs. What worries me is that federal judges can exercise this discretion, and are not necessarily held accountable by anyone at all. At least state judges generally have a form of citizen retention or election to keep them accountable to the law. Anyway, this could have also been just another lawyer trying to shake up the court room hoping for a better environment.

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Can Mr Obama really help?

Can Mr Obama really help? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
WHAT’S the easiest way to boost America's sluggish wage growth? President Barack Obama thinks that expanding overtime pay may be the answer. On June 30th details...
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The Supreme Court just upheld what one justice calls "the chemical equiva­lent of being burned at the stake"

The Supreme Court just upheld what one justice calls "the chemical equiva­lent of being burned at the stake" | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Here's the scathing dissent.
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Escaped killer's mom says he was bad from Day 1

Bad“He always got in trouble, and every time he did, I would grab him by the ear and take him to the police station,” she said.
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Pamela Sweat
Photo: CNN
The trouble started when Sweat was 9 and his dad bought him a broken fishing pole for his birthday, she recalled.
“He went to the bedroom and took his baseball and threw it through the window hoping it would hit his dad,” Pamela Sweat said. “He broke his new TV that I just got him for his birthday.”

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Bad from day 1...

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Change Doesn't Usually Come This Fast

Change Doesn't Usually Come This Fast | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
I was raised in East Lansing, Michigan. It was a great place to grow up: a college town with good public schools, a beautiful campus, a modicum of diversity, and an active, walkable downtown. But I...
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Brittney Menzel's comment, June 27, 7:24 PM
I don't get what the big deal is? I don't understand the act of being gay, but to each their own. We live in a 'free' country, let a person love whom they want to love.
Marei Benton's comment, June 28, 9:47 PM
This article has a valid point. This entire transition has happened at it seems lightening-speed... I think maybe because it involves something happy? I mean, who doesn't love to hear a good love story? And who doesn't love to look at wedding photos of happy couples?... That could explain why this movement zipped right along, as opposed to abortion or environmental change. Those topics are also very important, but don't provide quite as many photo ops. Also, I don't think anyone really can pat themselves on the back at the end of the day when it comes to those two, unlike the idea of finally "allowing" gays to marry.
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The Justice Department Compares the School-to-Prison Pipeline to Racial Segregation

The Justice Department Compares the School-to-Prison Pipeline to Racial Segregation | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Meridian, Mississippi, is the latest district to face consequences for disproportionately punishing black students.
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William Estrin's comment, June 28, 8:38 PM
This article certainly doesn’t surprise. I am currently living in Florida, but will be returning to Alaska in August and I hope I never have to return to the South for the rest of my life. It is honestly unlike I’ve ever seen here before. The racism that exists down here is unbelievable. I’m beginning to think that the blacks are not the problem, as much of the country likes the claim. It’s the extremely racist white rednecks (I apologize if that offends anyone) pre civil war attitudes towards blacks. So the fact that something like this is happening in the South does not surprise me at all. Blacks are unfairly victimized in my opinion and are more readily arrested for offenses that a person of another race might not be arrested for, thus over-representing them in the prison population. The attitudes and racism that exist down here are disgusting and I hope I never have to be around them again.
Marei Benton's comment, June 28, 9:40 PM
Not surprising at all... I've never lived in the south and there's a reason for it... I love the part that the students were being questioned by the police without a guardian present and were not being given their Miranda rights... Hey, if you're going to commit a civil rights violation, you may as well go big, or go home, right??
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Teen Shot and Killed After Using App To Track Smartphone, Police Say

Teen Shot and Killed After Using App To Track Smartphone, Police Say | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Police say a Canadian teen was shot and killed after an attempt to retrieve his missing smartphone.
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Angela Perry's comment, June 22, 8:09 PM
This is truly a sad situation. No one person deserves to die over a misplaced phone. @Jay Fulk, I too agree that he should have got the police involved if he knew it were stolen. Well obviously he didn't think he was going to run into this situation. I feel that he was using the app like i have before to find where i last misplaced my phone. Thank God I have never ran into anything like this. I am wondering did the individuals do this for joy? Because it sure wasn't to keep the phone. Do they really think they are going to get away with the crime scot-free?
Brittney Menzel's comment, June 23, 4:56 PM
I don't think this kind of lesson should need to be learned. It is a horrible tragedy that a life was lost over a stupid electronic device. However, it does make a person wonder what is wrong with this world when a cell phone is worth shooting and killing another human being over. Geeze
William Estrin's comment, June 28, 8:28 PM
Wow, this article was not what I expected it to be. I expected to read about how the teen went to the location to retrieve his phone and someone mistook him to be an intruder and shot him in what they perceived to be self-defense. But that is obviously not what happened here. There was definitely criminal intent behind his killing. That is just really sad that a person like that who had his whole life ahead of him was shot dead for no good reason. The only thing I would say is that since he went to this address so early in the morning, perhaps he should have used more caution. Maybe he should have tried calling his phone and seeing if someone would answer or have his wits about him when visiting and unfamiliar address and to just turn back if he had a bad feeling. As nice as his smart phone probably was, it’s not worth it to risk your life. But that’s still a tragedy and I hope they find the people responsible and they are held fully accountable for their actions.
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Friends, then benefits

Friends, then benefits | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Just good friends BEAUTY opens many doors. Study after study has concluded that the comely earn more, are better liked, are treated more indulgently and are even...
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Christopher L. Baca's comment, June 22, 2:15 AM
I find that the correlation between the times you know a person before dating them versus that of not knowing them on a personal level before hand is pretty interesting. I mean, I myself happen to agree that an attractive person is more likely to have an attractive partner if neither new the other in a detailed sense before dating. Yet, beauty is only skin deep and the longer you know someone the more you begin to like them for who they are as a person rather than who they are walking or talking.

In a different aspect, I wonder if this could be related to some correlation in crimes committed. This being the person doing the crime versus that of the person affected by the crime.
Marei Benton's comment, June 28, 9:27 PM
Personally, I think it all has to do with self-confidence... I'm not the prettiest girl in the room, but I usually am the one that's the most interested in ALL of the people around me. (Come on, now! How could you not be? People are so fascinating and crazy!) I'll talk to anyone as long as they don't prove to be a total jerkface within the first 10 minutes of meeting them... As a result of this, lots of my friends are extremely good-looking (girls and guys, alike)... In an odd way, I feel like it's almost MORE difficult for conventionally good-looking people to make friends, as they never know what a new friends ulterior motives really are... As I generally never have ulterior motives, over the years I have turned into, yes, a magnet for gorgeous people it seems... On an unrelated note, the last question of this article is completely bogus. "If beauty is, in an evolutionary sense, tradable for good parenting skills, what does that have to say about the parenting skills of beautiful couples?"... Absolutely nothing. The questions aren't even related; the author is trying to be incendiary with that one.
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This Guy Explains How To Get Rid Of Police Radar !!! - Cars Attack

This Guy Explains How To Get Rid Of Police Radar !!! - Cars Attack | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Everyone of us would be interested how to do this because at some point each one of us had problems with this. If you are interested here we will give you the necessary info, according to this Russian guy. On the numbers of his registration plate he puts something like invisible color that is taped …
Rob Duke's insight:

Um? White Collar Crime?

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Jay Fulk's comment, June 20, 12:16 AM
Well, that's quite an interesting concept! I'm not sure that I would classify that as white collar crime, but it sure is unique. I wonder what the punishment would be for getting caught with this? I can only imagine that it wouldn't be pretty.
Angela Perry's comment, June 22, 8:13 PM
Well I must admit that I have done this to my motorcycle while living in LA. I would have to say no it's not a white collar crime it is us that do it out smarting the DOT and their tolls to ride in the HOV. We would use reflective tape so that when the camera took a picture the flash would light it would send nothing but a blurry motorcyclist back. I did it so that I didn't have to pay $5 just to ride the HOV lane on a bike when it cost a car load of people the same amount. I felt that I didn't have to pay that much or at all to use the HOV lanes.
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First of 'Fairbanks Four' leaves prison for halfway house

First of 'Fairbanks Four' leaves prison for halfway house | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Marvin Roberts, one of the so-called Fairbanks Four convicted of beating a 15-year-old to death in 1997, left prison Wednesday as questions about the men's guilt remain unresolved.
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Jeffrey Evan's curator insight, June 22, 11:00 PM

I do not know much about the Fairbanks Four but I do find that one of the four gets to leave prison for a half way house.  But I cannot tell even from my own opinion about who I even think is in the wrong here.  I suppose just because someone have confessed to the crime, does not exactly mean that it is to be true.  False confessions happen all the time on both opposing sides.

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Charleston church shooting suspect arrested in N.C. - CNN.com

Charleston church shooting suspect arrested in N.C. - CNN.com | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Shooting suspect Dylann Roof has been taken into custody, officials say. He's accused of opening fire in a Charleston church Wednesday, killing nine.
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A Former LAPD Detective Thinks He Knows Who Killed Tupac

A Former LAPD Detective Thinks He Knows Who Killed Tupac | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Whether or not you believe this to be true, it's easily a Top Five contender for most engrossing murder conspiracy ever—up there with the Magic Bullet that supposedly killed JFK and Cleopatra being taken out by poison (rather than committing suicide via the bite of an asp).
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'Unjust interpretation' of drug trafficking law increases deportations, activists say

'Unjust interpretation' of drug trafficking law increases deportations, activists say | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
U.S. immigration authorities were increasingly using laws meant to deal with drug offenders to deport migrants who in some cases were legal permanent residents, human rights activists reported Tuesday.
Rob Duke's insight:

Controversial or not?  What are your thoughts?

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max mckernan's comment, June 20, 5:12 AM
I take the view that if you are going to immigrate to another country you should obey the laws and customs set by that countries government. If you a normal citizen commits a crime the person has the chance of going to jail. I see no problem with deporting immigrants for committing crimes. The real issue is that the federal government has not approved the recreational use of drugs like marijuana so they are completely justified in prosecuting.
William Estrin's comment, June 20, 2:39 PM
I disagree with the stance on this article. I support extremely harsh sanctions against immigrants with even minor drug charges. As a republican, I fully support the War on Drugs. I agree that the way we’ve gone about it hasn’t necessarily been the most effective or cost-efficient, but I definitely support the overall concept. People immigrate to this country because we are “the land of opportunity.” Many people come here and want to legitimately work hard. However, others come to America for the purpose of importing drugs and making a living that way. It is vital that we send the message to potential immigrants that coming to America and selling drugs is not going to earn you a life of luxury. We need to deter these immigrants with the message that we are extremely serious about our position on illegal drugs, you will be caught if you try to import illegal drugs into our country, we have an absolute zero tolerance policy for any drug offenses, and you will receive extremely harsh consequences if you are caught. I suppose this goes along with the classic theory of criminology and deterrence which state that people will not commit crimes if the punishments outweigh the profits. But I do believe that sending that message to people will make them think twice about their actions. The message we need to send out to these illegal immigrants is “yeah I’m sorry life in your home country sucks, but don’t think you can come to the United States with drugs and live a life of riches and luxury.”
Christopher L. Baca's comment, June 22, 2:36 AM
In the same way that we discussed internal security and how to prevent actions by being proactive versus being reactive, I think that it would be a huge help if instead of pointing out the flaws and saying that our Criminal Justice system is messed up, I would rather our president state something along the lines of ‘that we as a nation are leaning towards proactive means of defense and security within our nation rather than continuing with the reactive means of dealing with crimes already committed.” That’s just me though.

I’d like to state as well that though we as a country are leaning towards reform, as the article states, their needs to be some form of punitive charges on the higher ups who are in control of our justice system, particularly in how fast the reforms and affective they are.

William, from what I’ve read about your piece, I have to agree with the premise of that we need to be tough on any sort of crime. To make the punishment outweigh the potential gain, but yet if we do that we are almost enticing these people to take the risk to do these crimes since the payout would end up increasing as fewer and fewer suppliers and dealers are around.

Now, it could be sheer lack of understanding on my part, but I think it’s purely circumstantial and that many of the incidents should focus on the severity of the drug, amount and the actions of the individual during their arrest/previous behaviors from this drug. I don’t know how many of these cases are handled, but I would like to learn and gain that information.
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A territory divided

A territory divided | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
NEARLY a quarter of a century ago, China published a mini-constitution by which Hong Kong would be ruled after the British withdrawal in 1997. The document, known as...
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ACLU: Why we can no longer support the federal ‘religious freedom’ law

ACLU: Why we can no longer support the federal ‘religious freedom’ law | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The law is often used to discriminate against women, gay and transgender people, and others.
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Obama to Expand Overtime Pay to Nearly 5 Million Workers

Obama to Expand Overtime Pay to Nearly 5 Million Workers | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The rule change would raise the threshold for people who earn overtime pay from $23,660 to $50,440 by 2016.
Rob Duke's insight:

Giving a person a managerial title was a key way companies kept pay low.  Entry-level workers get less than 30 hours, so they don't qualify for benefits and salary employees get benefits, but very low pay (long hours).  This could be a significant game changer for those who make low wages.

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The last question

The last question | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Audio and Video content on Economist.com requires a browser that can handle iFrames. Read "Final certainty", our briefing on doctor-assisted dying here, and see the...
Rob Duke's insight:

A crime or a final mercy?

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Marei Benton's comment, June 28, 9:13 PM
As a nurse, I would definitely vote this as all being a final mercy. Having dealt with a few dying patients in my time (albeit, not a lot comparatively-speaking to, oh, say a hospice nurse), it seems to me that an individual's death can be quite beautiful. It can also however be quite draining on the person, and, let's admit it, damn depressing for everyone involved (the patient, the patient's family, etc.)... I took the survey and was rather surprised at how liberal France rated on almost every single question. I never think of France as being a bastion of liberal ideas, as I think most people associate Scandinavian countries in that role. I was pretty surprised to see that France even "beat" Sweden in quite a few of the questions.
max mckernan's comment, June 29, 4:43 AM
I think that this should untimely be up to the person and the doctor. if the person and the doctor are willing to or even just the person the they should be aloud to. i mean it makes sense that a person should be able to make decisions about when and how they are going to die. i know i would want that choice.
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One of the New York prison escapees, Richard Matt, is fatally shot

One of the New York prison escapees, Richard Matt, is fatally shot | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Richard W. Matt
Rob Duke's insight:

The one on the right...

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Brittney Menzel's comment, June 27, 7:26 PM
Hallelujah! I am a strong believer in the death penalty for heinous offenses. He got his serving.
William Estrin's comment, June 28, 8:16 PM
I have been following this story very closely since it broke. I saw on CNN when they announced the capture of Mr. Sweat today. I know he was shot and his condition remains unknown. I am eager to see his fate, medical and otherwise. As far as Richard Matt, I read up a little more on him and was interested in learning about his extensive history of prison escapes and his time in Mexico. However, this escape was definitely the most elaborate. Sources are comparing it to the escape masterminded in The Shawshank Redemption. What was the most disturbing was the corrupted prison officials who aided this escape: both the woman who thought she was in love with them and the man that gave Matt supplies in exchange for his paintings. I’ve read about how prison guards will take bribes from the inmates and can be major suppliers of illegal drugs and other illegal items for inmates. I wasn’t sure how true that was, but reading this story gave me a clear picture. And these are just the ones that got caught. I’m sure there are countless other prison guards across the country doing similar things who just haven’t been caught. But reading this story just further affirms in my mind that prison is a place I never want to be! I have one question about this story. Matt was shot when he ignored commands to drop his firearm. What I want to know is how a prison escapee managed to get a firearm. My guess is he probably broke into someone’s residence and stole it.
Marei Benton's comment, June 28, 9:15 PM
It was reported today that he was shot three times in the head. Uhhhhhhhhhh, that seems a wee bit like overkill to me.
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Toddlers Carrying Out Restorative Justice

Toddlers Carrying Out Restorative Justice | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
New research shows that children as young as three may dole out punishments to ease harm to victims.
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Brittney Menzel's comment, June 27, 7:30 PM
Very interesting! I always was awed by how smart young children were. Now that I have my own little boy I am constantly amazed at what he is able to comprehend. I think that young children have an advantage over us more lived persons. They are seeing the world through innocent, pure eyes. They haven't been messed up by the systems of the world yet.
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Officials announce health fraud crackdown in Alaska

Officials announce health fraud crackdown in Alaska | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
 Federal and state officials on Thursday announced that more than 3 dozen people in Alaska have been charged with fraud in a crackdown on health care and social services.
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max mckernan's comment, June 20, 2:58 AM
this actually makes sense due to the state of Alaska having such a small population it is much easier to hunt down frauds and people who are committing white collar crime. this is also a natural step to take when the state is moving into debt. the real question should be why has it taken so long for this to be enacted.
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All the Drug Dealers You'll Meet in Your 20s | VICE | United States

They won't remember you but you'll remember them for the rest of your life.
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Brittney Menzel's comment, June 23, 5:01 PM
Hahahahaha. I know a few of these people. The descriptions are so accurate it is as if they knew the people that I knew by name. Thankfully I don't have much longer in my 20's huh? ;)
Marei Benton's comment, June 28, 9:34 PM
Oh, good god... In college in my early 20s, my female roommates actually made and sold fake IDs. They also dabbled in occasional dealing. It was not a pleasant living situation for me, as there were always random dudes parked on our couch, high as hell on whatever, but my school didn't allow freshman to choose their roommates in the dormitories... I sucked it up and made it through that year and as soon as we were officially sophomores, we all put in requests to room with people who were more our types in life... Thank you, universe, that those days are now over!! I found this article interesting, however, because it didn't include anything about female dealers.
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The lawyer who handled Dylann Roof's drug case says he seemed like "just a normal kid."

The lawyer who handled Dylann Roof's drug case says he seemed like "just a normal kid." | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Roof was previously arrested in March. Here's what else we know.
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William Estrin's comment, June 20, 2:11 PM
I have been following this case very closely because it shocked me and I'm struggling to comprehend why a seemingly harmless kid would commit such a hateful act in a place people come to worship and find peace. I mean there are millions of people in this country who are antisocial, loners, and have some mental issues going on and they are absolutely harmless and never cause any problems to society. But then there a minute few such as this guy, the Colorado theater shooter, and the Boston Marathon bomber who go on to commit unspeakable acts of hate and violence. What I want to know is if there are ways we can detect these select few loners that are potentially dangerous versus the vast majority that are harmless. Is there some sort of psychological abnormality all these people possess that can be detected by a trained professional? Perhaps when Roof had been previously arrested, he should have had a psychological evaluation to determine if he was possibly dangerous. People like this give all loners a bad name. I mean I'm not necessarily the most social person in the world, I've had my struggles, and I like to be alone, but I would never in a million years harm a fly. My sympathy goes out to the community of Charleston and the family of the victims of this senseless tragedy. The governor of South Carolina announced that she will urge prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Roof and I fully support that. It was premeditated, he knew exactly what he was doing, he waited patiently until he felt the time was right, and he was completely unprovoked and murdered nine innocent people who had done nothing wrong against him. If this isn't deserving of the death penalty, then I don't know what is.
Jeffrey Evan's curator insight, June 22, 10:43 PM

I'm wondering if he suffered from opiate abuse because he was carrying some on him while he was arrested the first time for drug possession.  His shooting is being called a hate crime, sounds like he has some other things going on in his head that needs to be evaluated because this is pretty horrible stuff.  

Bethany McNutt's comment, June 23, 1:07 PM
I picked this article because of the headline, he seemed like “just a normal kid.” This caught my attention because it makes you truly wonder what causes people who seem to be “normal” commit such heinous and horrific crimes. How could someone who seems completely normal go into a church and shoot almost a dozen people? Is it nature VS nurture? Is he mentally ill? Does he live in a less fortunate home and are his acts a desperate cry for help? Since he seems like “just a normal kid” I believe his actions and motivations are much deeper than what we see on the surface. However, since I don’t know much about who he is as a person or his upbringing, it’s very hard to determine which factors contributed to him committing such an awful hate crime. It’s strange to me how someone who looks completely normal can tell their roommate things such as how he wanted to start a civil war, was in favor of segregation, and would kill himself. I’m curious to see how the court proceedings go with this case.
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Nonprofit to help review Alaska's criminal justice system, propose reforms

Nonprofit to help review Alaska's criminal justice system, propose reforms | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Comprehensive crime bills were passed during the two previous legislative sessions to tackle the looming, costly threat. Now, the Pew Charitable Trusts, a global research and public policy nonprofit group, has agreed to provide free technical assistance to analyze what’s driving the prison population boom.

Gov. Bill Walker said Wednesday he wanted to participate in the project because it is geared toward reducing recidivism, an issue critical to his administration.

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max mckernan's comment, June 20, 6:33 AM
this will be a potentially useful study however the issue that is going to come up is that there are not enough programs with in prisons that allow the prisoners to to have a lower recidivism rate. the solution would be to increase funding for the justice system and possibly increase electronic monitoring but they wont be able to do it because there is no money for it.
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The latest American mass killing

The latest American mass killing | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
WE DO not yet know why a gunman entered a church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday and killed nine people at a prayer meeting, but in a sense it does not...
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D.C. drug dealers go underground, prompt police to consolidate units

D.C. drug dealers go underground, prompt police to consolidate units | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
D.C. drug dealers have largely abandoned open-air drug markets for the security of online sales and working in local nightlife hot spots, forcing police to adopt a new strategy.
Rob Duke's insight:

More transparency means less violence.  As drug crimes moved from street corners to Craigslist, related violent crime plummeted--why?

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Wanted: South Africa, Bashir and the ICC

Wanted: South Africa, Bashir and the ICC | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The battered credibility of the International Criminal Court was dented further yesterday when Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president—indicted in 2009 for crimes against humanity—flew out of South Africa before he could be arrested, as he should have been under the court’s statute (to which South Africa is a signatory). It was close. Hearing that Mr Bashir was likely to attend a summit of the African Union in Johannesburg, South African human-rights activists asked a high court to issue an arrest war
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Christopher L. Baca's comment, June 22, 2:18 AM
I really appreciate the court acting in a good manner. Be it though that they were too late in apprehending him, the fact that the court organized and acted in the benefit of the people and for the law speaks promise of a fair and reasonable court system.