Criminology and Economic Theory
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Suddenly, Pot Is Legal in (Part of) the United States

Suddenly, Pot Is Legal in (Part of) the United States | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
While you were watching to see whether Romney or Obama won Ohio, both Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use on Tuesday.
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Kiara's comment, November 12, 2012 6:28 PM
This didn't come as a huge shock to me. It's been a topic of discussion & debate for entirely too long, in my opinion. I don't have a straight forward opinion on whether I think its a good or a bad thing. I think that unintended consequences will result from the legalization of marijuana. I also know that it will greatly improve the economic issues, the major debt problem that the U.S. is dealing with. When I started reading this article, the first thing that came to mind was the fact that the Federal Government probably isn't on board with these states. This will likely cause a lot of issues because there are two different laws being implemented, one says yes & one says no. I foresee this being a huge issue among distributors of this substance. I just hope that people take this new "right" of theirs and deal with it responsibly where as not to affect people who don't want any part in it. I just hope that the government can come to an appropriate method of monitoring the growth, distribution and consumption of it. The end of the article stating that by the 22nd century, Americans will be buying a pack of joints makes me laugh. So far that they know it hasn't caused lung cancer...more power to them. Regardless of whether it's legal or not I won't personally run out to smoke a joint. Not for me! Good reading!!!
T Hall's comment, November 14, 2012 1:36 AM
I think the progression towards legalizing marijuana is a wise decision. If people want to smoke and put themselves at risk, they should be allowed to do so while others benefit from their choices. The high tax on marijuana would potentially give America the educational boost we so desperately need to give students a useful education. In addition, though there has been little research done on marijuana (I believe due to Federal regulations), marijuana is one of the “safer” drugs one may choose to use. If alcohol and tobacco, which are leading causes of deaths and may influence poor behavior, can be legal, what’s the problem with marijuana? From a utilitarian standpoint, legalizing this drug would bring about the greatest good for the greatest number in terms of revenue that could go towards education.
Mari Freitag's comment, November 19, 2012 12:19 AM
I'm pretty fascinated with the legal power struggle between the state and federal governments that this is creating. I expect that we'll see some monumental supreme court opinions come out of this in a few years, which will be very interesting to read. I think that the article does predict well that this movement is continuing to gain momentum. What worries me is that the federal government isn't going to give these states a "free pass" when it comes to the drug. I think that it would probably take a statement by President Obama on behalf of states' rights, but I doubt that's going to happen. This is going to create a huge industry in CO and WA, but also make interstate trafficking that much more of an issue. I suppose that this already happens with alcohol between wet, dry, and damp boroughs and counties. Overall, this will be an incredibly interesting legal battle to watch over the coming years.
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South Carolina community warned about reported group of scary clowns trying to lure children into woods

South Carolina community warned about reported group of scary clowns trying to lure children into woods | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Something sinister may be afoot in the woods of Greenville, S. C. -- and, if so, its shoes are comically oversized.
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WTH!?!
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I arrived at my friend's party. A few hours later she died, exactly as planned.

I arrived at my friend's party. A few hours later she died, exactly as planned. | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
California's assisted suicide law just went into effect. My friend decided to put it to use — and gather her friends around her as she did so.
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Rodney Ebersole's comment, Today, 12:56 AM
This was a heartbreaking and moving story about someone using the end of life option now available in California. This is such a tough subject as many people feel that our lives are not to be taken through suicide. And there is a higher calling for us all that we may be cutting short if we take our life. However reading this account of a woman with a debilitating disease and realizing that her life was important enough to end in a peaceful state instead of in agony really makes you consider if people against this have it wrong. This was not a coerced situation by a evil relative or even a person only thinking of others. This woman knew what she wanted and wanted to make the best of a crummy situation. I see nothing wrong in this choice as she made it with what seems like a level head and wanted to be the best situation she could make for her family and friends. Most off us wouldn't choose to go this way and that is what is important about these tough social issues. People shouldn't be looking at these issues lightly, but people should also be given the choice as the only life they are taking is their own and it is under doctors guidance and done with care.
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U.S. Traffic Fatalities Continued to Surge in First Half of 2016

U.S. Traffic Fatalities Continued to Surge in First Half of 2016 | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Traffic fatalities rose 9% in the first six months of 2016, compared with a year earlier, as a stronger economy and falling gas prices encouraged Americans to spend more time behind the wheel, the National Safety Council said.
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California Crime Measure Triggers 52,000 Fewer Arrests

California Crime Measure Triggers 52,000 Fewer Arrests
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Rodney Ebersole's comment, Today, 1:15 AM
Law reform and the overcrowded jail situations in California and other states are definitely a prevalent issue that needs to be dealt with. Proposition 47 is trying to fix some of that problem by lowering many drug arrests from felony to misdemeanor charges. I agree wholeheartedly in this move as I feel drug arrests have been very non-proportionate to other crimes especially when it is just possession and not selling drugs. The war on drugs has made our prisons very full and many of those people are being incarcerated for ridiculous amounts on time compared to more serious crimes. It will be very interesting to watch how the statistics in CA continue to go with this new proposition. Hopefully people will continue to seek help through the drug programs and the jails will be less crowded and other communities will follow suit.
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USA TODAY Sports investigation raises questions about Rio cops, Lochte incident

USA TODAY Sports investigation raises questions about Rio cops, Lochte incident | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Lochte has admitted he exaggerated his initial description of how the four men were stopped in their taxi and robbed by men who flashed badges, as well as his sensational allegation of a gun being held to his forehead.

But a narrative of the night’s events – constructed by USA TODAY Sports from witness statements, official investigations, surveillance videos and media reports – supports Lochte’s later account in which he said he thought the swimmers were being robbed when they were approached at a gas station by armed men who flashed badges, pointed guns at them and demanded money.

A Brazilian judge says police might have been hasty in determining the security guards, by how they dealt with the swimmers, did not commit a robbery. A lawyer who has practiced in Brazil for 25 years says she does not think the actions of Lochte and teammate Jimmy Feigen constitute the filing of a false police report as defined under Brazilian law.
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Trial of brother of San Bernardino terrorist slated for November

Trial of brother of San Bernardino terrorist slated for November | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Dec. 2, San Bernardino became synonymous with many other cities facing terrorism around the world. That fateful day, terrorists Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, abandoned their infant daughter and made their way through the Inland Regional Center, firing numerous rounds from assault rifles.

When the gunfire subsided, 14 people were dead, 22 wounded and an entire community ripped apart in fear.

Later that day on a small stretch of one San Bernardino street, a gun battle ended with the terrorists’ deaths.
Rob Duke's insight:
My grandparents house was one block from the final shootout.
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Riverside County moves forward with steps to make criminal justice system more cost effective

Riverside County moves forward with steps to make criminal justice system more cost effective | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Board of Supervisors approved this week recommendations to improve public safety outcomes and cut costs with advice and analysis from CA Fwd.
Rob Duke's insight:
Riverside and San Bernardino are two of the largest counties of the 58 in California.  I worked in these two counties for the first 12 years of my career.
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French court suspends burkini ban

French court suspends burkini ban | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
French mayors do not have the right to ban burkinis, the French Council of State ruled Friday.
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Fairbanks attorney Susan Carney will join Alaska Supreme Court on Friday

Fairbanks attorney Susan Carney will  join Alaska Supreme Court on Friday | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Supreme Court will hold the installation of its latest member at the Rabinowitz Courthouse in Fairbanks on Friday.
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'They'll kill for it': Ramen is a new black-market currency in US prisons

'They'll kill for it': Ramen is a new black-market currency in US prisons | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Inmates often use instant ramen packs to barter for other food items, clothes, hygiene products and even services, survey shows.
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Rodney Ebersole's comment, Today, 1:26 AM
I couldn't help but chuckle at the thought of Top Ramen being a black market currency in prisons. However after reading the article I can see exactly why it is. Everybody gets a little crazy when they are hungry and if food supply is down these inmates need to find a fix to their hunger. It is shocking to think people would kill over noodles but eating food is one of the few things prisons can do with their boredom in prison and as many inmates likely workout frequently. Being hungry all the time would become a problem. If Ramen is such a cheap option to sell in prison, why isn't more prisons offering it as the food option? I don't think prisons are required to offer a nutritionally sound meal so I would assume they could offer these as a lunch replacement to help with budget issues. Interesting signs of the time with modern prisons and very odd issue that modern prisons deal with.
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Latin American Herald Tribune - British Police Intercept Drones Flying Drugs, Cell-Phones into London Prison

Latin American Herald Tribune - British Police Intercept Drones Flying Drugs, Cell-Phones into London Prison | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
British police have intercepted two drones carrying drugs and mobile phones into a prison in north London, a Metropolitan police statement said Monday.

Police said they were appealing for witnesses following the recovery of two drones carrying phones and assorted drugs in the vicinity of London’s Pentonville jail from Aug. 12-14.

“These recovered drones carried a substantial amount of Class B drugs, legal highs and a large quantity of mobile phones,” said police Chief Inspector Steve Heatley.

The police said one drone was recovered after it crashed while flying towards the jail laden with its clandestine cargo.

Later, police were alerted to another drone being flown towards the prison which an officer was able to intercept.

The statement said a package containing a large quantity of drugs and two mobile phones was retrieved from the drone.
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California becomes first state to officially legalize motorcycle lane splitting

California becomes first state to officially legalize motorcycle lane splitting | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Update on 'Essential Politics: Rep. Ami Bera's father sentenced to prison, Assembly votes to eliminate statute of limitations for rap
Rob Duke's insight:
A great case to illustrate how norms move more quickly than law.  People have been lane splitting my entire life in California and the law just caught up to practice.
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Feds expand hunt for laundered money to pricey Bay Area homes

Feds expand hunt for laundered money to pricey Bay Area homes | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The federal government is expanding to the Bay Area its hunt for people who hide cash by purchasing expensive homes through shell companies. Many rich and famous people purchase homes through shells, usually limited liability companies, for privacy and other legal reasons. In January, the government started requiring title insurance companies to identify the people behind shell companies that purchase high-priced homes in Manhattan and Miami-Dade County in all-cash deals. Starting Aug. 28, title insurance companies must identify the people behind shell companies that purchase homes worth $2 million or more without a mortgage in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Los Angeles and Orange counties. When most people buy homes, their names are listed on the deed filed with the county recorder, which is public information. Banks and other financial institutions are required to know their customers, including those behind shell companies, and report suspicious transactions to the network. Mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to provide suspicious activity reports to the network, said Steve Hudak, a spokesman for the crimes agency. The main targets of the new order are “tax evaders, foreign corrupt officials, drug dealers and arms traffickers,” said Sanford Millar, a Los Angeles tax lawyer. The program is designed mainly to help law enforcement “follow the money” of suspects, said Steve Gottheim, senior counsel for the American Land Title Association. The law that created geographic targeting orders does not allow the government to request wire transfer data, although “legislation is pending that could change that,” Hudak said. Buyers also could avoid the order by purchasing a home outside the target area or commercial real estate, said Steve Wilson, an attorney with Withers Bergman. The order could depress luxury home sales and prices in affected counties if a material number of cash buyers were trying to avoid detection.
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Mexico police chief fired over execution allegations

Mexico police chief fired over execution allegations | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto fired federal police chief Enrique Galindo on Monday over allegations police summarily executed at least 22 suspected members of a drugs cartel and killed eight others during a protest.

"In light of the recent events and on instructions of the president, Police Commissioner Enrique Galindo has been removed from his position," Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said in a statement.
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Synthetic Marijuana Creating ‘Public Health Crisis’ in Skid Row: LAFD Medical Director

Synthetic Marijuana Creating ‘Public Health Crisis’ in Skid Row: LAFD Medical Director | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The use of synthetic marijuana known as "spice" has created a public health crisis among the homeless population in downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row area, the city Fire Department's medical director said after a multipatient emergency response Monday morning.
Rob Duke's insight:
Synthetic MJ is a misnomer.  These are chemical concoctions just like meth, or lsd or pcp....
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Contra Costa County jail inmates file class action suit over 'excessive' phone fees

Contra Costa County jail inmates file class action suit over 'excessive' phone fees | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A Southern California law firm has filed a suit against Contra Costa and several other Bay Area counties, alleging the jails are gouging inmates' families by jacking up the costs of inmate phone calls.
Rob Duke's insight:
In the name of security, these contracts cost inmates 100's of dollars for what you and I would pay pennies to make the same calls...
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'Bomb explodes' outside Brussels police building - reports

'Bomb explodes' outside Brussels police building - reports | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A bomb exploded at the Brussels Institute of Criminology in the north of the Belgian capital on Monday but the building was empty and no one was wounded, broadcaster RTL said.
Rob Duke's insight:
Europe still has big problems.....
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One Man’s Quest To Document The Highways That Tore His City Apart

One Man’s Quest To Document The Highways That Tore His City Apart | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Highways changed America forever, but they left a trail of flattened homes and fractured neighborhoods.
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The perils of not saving

The perils of not saving | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Chile is already moving in this direction. A tax-funded scheme introduced in 2008 for Chileans with relatively low incomes, 60% of the population, will pay out more than half the country’s pension bill by 2030, says David Bravo, who led a government commission on pensions last year. On August 9th Ms Bachelet proposed further reforms, including a 5% contribution to be levied on employers, which will go toward topping up the lowest pensions. A new state-owned AFP will provide more competition to private ones. Hidden charges will be eliminated. Rather than bury Pinochet’s pension scheme, Ms Bachelet may give it a second lease of life.
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Growing up poor is so stressful, it can affect brain development

Growing up poor is so stressful, it can affect brain development | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
New research reveals the connection between stress, poverty and brain development in children.
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The Truth Comes Out – Rio Police Show Their Corruption, Media SILENT in Lochte Drama

The Truth Comes Out – Rio Police Show Their Corruption, Media SILENT in Lochte Drama | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
One of the hottest stories to come out of the 2016 Olympics -- and one that has gained even more steam over the weekend since the US mainstream media was loving it -- and feeding it to us constantly is this:
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Here's another version of this story...
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Chicago's detective force dwindles as murder rate soars

Chicago's detective force dwindles as murder rate soars | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Every two weeks, Cynthia Lewis contacts the detectives investigating the homicide of her brother on Chicago's south side almost a year ago.
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Data crunchers bring precision to police work

Data crunchers bring precision to police work | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Data crunchers bring precision to police work
Phaedra Trethan, @CP_Phaedra 5:34 p.m. EDT August 22, 2016

CAMDEN - She’s the Billy Beane of the Camden County Police Department.

Kerry Hayes, like the Oakland A’s general manager depicted in the 2003 book and 2011 film “Moneyball,” works with a small staff using data to help ensure the best outcome for her team. Only for her, that best outcome isn’t winning baseball games; it’s staying one step ahead of crime in a city where public safety is more than an abstraction — it’s sometimes a matter of life and death.

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Kerry Hayes heads the Strategic Analysis Unit at the Camden County Police Department. (Photo: Jose F. Moreno/Staff Photographer)
Hayes heads up the CCPD’s Strategic Analysis Unit, providing stats and finding patterns, analyzing trends and tracking criminals’ movements. The information she and her team provide helps the department’s leadership deploy its officers in the most effective way. It helps detectives narrow their search for suspects. And it’s an essential tool for preventing crime before it happens, says Capt. Gregory Carlin.

“Before she was here, we had uniformed police doing this kind of analysis — police who weren’t specifically trained to do it,” Carlin said. “We didn’t realize just what it was we were lacking.”

MORE POLICE NEWS: Oaklyn adds a thin blue line

Hayes came to the department after its formation in 2013. The previous year had seen mass layoffs and the eventual dissolution of the city-run department, and a subsequent spike in crime, particularly homicides. The unit, county officials said, is unique in South Jersey.

A graduate of St. Joseph’s University, Hayes worked at two of the nation’s busiest police departments before coming to South Jersey, with stints in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. She laughs when Carlin points out she originally came from a village: the village of Fredonia, near Lake Erie in New York.

Walking in as a numbers-crunching civilian to a department that was launching as a mix of new recruits and experienced veterans of the old city force, Hayes encountered a bit of good-natured resistance, Carlin admitted.

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The Camden County Police's Tactical Operations Center offers real-time information to commanders and officers on the street. (Photo: Jose F. Moreno/Staff Photographer)
“There was culture we had to change,” he said. “It wasn’t easy at first to get some of our really seasoned detectives to work with civilians.

MORE FROM CAMDEN: Forum addresses criminal justice reform

“Kerry has added to our institutional knowledge and what her team does makes us better prepared to make intelligent decisions. We still do the traditional police work — knocking on doors, working leads, talking to people — but now we’re more prepared.”

“It’s a lot of trying to connect the dots,” Hayes explained. “We’ll look at the data, compare it with different individuals the officers might come into contact with, or check it against those who’ve been involved in homicides or shootings, look at clusters of activity or different hotspots.”

Hayes and her staff are civilians who do work that once kept a uniformed officer off the streets. They work closely with the Tactical Operation Information Center, where real-time information is relayed via the city’s Eye in the Sky cameras, its ShotSpotter sensors (which detect gunfire) and officers out on patrol.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Camden Police in the 1930s and '40s

“We have a finite amount of resources,” Carlin said. “We need to be able to use our people to our best advantage.” All the technology is a “force multiplier,” not only enabling officers to cover a wider area, but also helping to pinpoint where they’re needed, through GPS tracking of gunshots, surveillance of high-traffic areas and more.

“It gets more guns and badges on the streets.”

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Woman charged with strangling stepdaughter to death

Woman charged with strangling stepdaughter to death | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The Queens woman who was arrested for murdering her 9-year-old stepdaughter allegedly strangled the girl with her bare hands, it was revealed Sunday.

Shamdai Arjun, 55, was charged with murder at Queens Criminal Court for the death of Ashdeep Kaur, whose bruised and lifeless body was found lying in an empty bathtub Friday.

“This defendant repeatedly and on numerous occasions threatened to kill the victim,” Assistant District Attorney Michael Curtis said.

“On Friday she made good on that threat.”

Arjun allegedly killed her stepdaughter by “manual strangulation” on Friday, then calmly left their apartment for a doctor’s appointment.

She eventually fled to her ex-husband’s home. The girl’s body was discovered several hours later.

The stepmom was held without bail and will return to court in September. She faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Meanwhile, the woman’s ex-husband, 65-year-old Raymond Narayan, was also arrested for refusing to allow police into his home to arrest the stepmom.

The Queens District Attorney’s Office said Sunday that Narayan was charged with obstructing governmental administration.
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Final Defendant in RICO Indictment Targeting East Coast Crips Street Gang Pleads Guilty to Federal RICO and Narcotics Offenses

Final Defendant in RICO Indictment Targeting East Coast Crips Street Gang Pleads Guilty to Federal RICO and Narcotics Offenses | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
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