Criminology and Economic Theory
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Brothel owner who employs 80 prostitute wins election as county commissioner in Nevada... and he's a Republican

Brothel owner who employs 80 prostitute wins election as county commissioner in Nevada... and he's a Republican | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Lance Gilman, 68, is a married father of four with nine grandchildren. He also runs two brothels in Storey County, Nevada, including the infamous Mustang Ranch.
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Criminology and Economic Theory
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Violent gang MS-13 is believed linked to these 11 recent Long Island killings

Violent gang MS-13 is believed linked to these 11 recent Long Island killings | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A breakdown of the most recent Long Island killings that are believed to be linked to the MS-13 gang.
Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, Today, 6:07 AM

Lord God have mercy let not any of their souls be lost. Grab hold to them and deal with each and every gang member all across the world and don't let them go until they cry out what must they do to be saved Lord God have mercy and stay the hand of the demonic spirits of murder, mind control,seduction, manipulation, bitterness, witch craft, voo doo, hoo doo, roots,black magic, white magic, Egyptian vagabond spirits,Jezebel spirits, asteroth spirit, incubus, sucubus, bitter root, incantations, hexes, sorc sorcery, witches, warlocks, sorcerers, conjurers,each and every demonic an satanic spirit, curses of all kinds , death wish spirits/ curses, demonic mind seduction of thoughts, evil weight,order God destroy those spirits we know and those we don't know those seen and unseen and burn them up from the root send them to where Jesus sent them in Jesus name Lord God have mercy on them all as I ask you to answer this prayer in a way that it want do any of them any more or worse harm by removing  demonic spirit and it having space to not only return but bring 7 more demons stronger than the original one. Lord God help them submit to you so you will have their permission to enter in and help them Lord God you know their each and e very need for they to are your children sinners yet saved by grace. Lord God have mercy on all their souls and fill them with your love Thank you Jesus in Jesus name we decree and declare it is so Ame 

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Drugged driving eclipses drunken driving in tests of motorists killed in crashes

The data is part of a complicated portrait of drug use as an opioid epidemic persists and marijuana laws are relaxed.
Rob Duke's insight:
Drugged driving is emerging as a major problem....
Rachel Nichols's comment, April 28, 7:35 PM
I’m kind of surprised this wasn’t more of a problem before right now. This surprised me because of how prevalent drugs are, but then again alcohol is too so the fact that it is now becoming more of a common occurrence is sort of scary. The last thing this world needs is another big problem to have to worry about on the roads and something else that will endanger the lives of other (innocent) people.
Madi Janes's curator insight, April 28, 10:50 PM
Seems like it is time to bring awareness to the dangers of driving under the influence, and that it doesn't just mean alcohol. Awareness will help save lives. 
Jazmin Pauline's curator insight, April 28, 11:37 PM
"So crazy how this guy went undetected for so long to even get a double murder in there as well."

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Free speech: The muzzle grows tighter | The Economist

Free speech: The muzzle grows tighter | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

IN JULY 2012 a man calling himself Sam Bacile posted a short video on YouTube. It showed the Prophet Muhammad bedding various women, taking part in gory battles and declaring: “Every non-Muslim is an infidel. Their lands, their women, their children are our spoils.”

The film was, as Salman Rushdie, a British author, later put it, “crap”. “The Innocence of Muslims” could have remained forever obscure, had someone not dubbed it into Arabic and reposted it in September that year. An Egyptian chat-show host denounced it and before long, this short, crap film was sparking riots across the Muslim world—and beyond. A group linked to al-Qaeda murdered America’s ambassador in Libya. Protests erupted in Afghanistan, Australia, Britain, France and India. Pakistan’s railways minister offered a $100,000 bounty to whoever killed the film-maker—and was not sacked. By the end of the month at least 50 people had died.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton condemned both the video and the reaction to it. General Martin Dempsey, then chairman of America’s joint chiefs of staff, contacted Terry Jones, a pastor in Florida who had previously burned a Koran in public, and asked him not to promote the video.

“Consider for a moment: the most senior officer of the mightiest armed forces the world has ever seen feels it necessary to contact some backwoods Florida pastor to beg him not to promote a 13-minute D-movie YouTube upload. Such are the power asymmetries in this connected world,” writes Timothy Garton Ash in “Free Speech”, a fine new book on the subject. The story of “The Innocence of Muslims” illustrates several points about how freedom of speech has evolved in recent years.

First, social media make it easy for anyone to publish anything to a potentially global audience. This is a huge boost for freedom of speech, and has led to a vast increase in the volume of material published. But when words and pictures move so rapidly across borders, conflict often results. Different nations have different notions of what may and may not be said. If the pseudonymous Mr Bacile had made his video in the early 1990s, Muslims far away would probably never have heard of it, and no one would have died.

Second, technology firms are having to grapple with horribly complex decisions about censorship. The big global ones such as Facebook and Twitter aspire to be politically neutral, but do not permit “hate speech” or obscenity on their platforms. In America the White House asked Google, which owns YouTube, to “review” whether “The Innocence of Muslims” violated YouTube’s guidelines against hate speech. The company decided that it did not, since it attacked a religion (ie, a set of ideas) rather than the people who held those beliefs. The White House did not force Google to censor the video; indeed, thanks to America’s constitutional guarantee of free speech, it had no legal power to do so.

In other countries, however, governments have far more power to silence speech. At least 21 asked Google to block or consider blocking the video. In countries where YouTube has a legal presence and a local version, such as India, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, it complied. In countries where it did not have a legal presence, it refused. Some governments, such as Pakistan’s and Bangladesh’s, responded by blocking YouTube completely.

Shut up or I’ll kill you

The third recent change is that, whereas the threats to free speech used to come almost entirely from governments, now non-state actors are nearly as intimidating. In the Mexican state of Veracruz, for example, at least 17 journalists have disappeared or been murdered since 2010, presumably by drug-traffickers. The gangs’ reach is long: one journalist fled to Mexico City, where he was tracked down and butchered. And their methods are brutal: in February the body of a reporter was found dumped by the roadside, handcuffed, half-naked and with a plastic bag over her head.

Globally, the willingness of some Muslims to murder people they think have insulted the Prophet has chilled discussion of one of the world’s great religions—even in places where Muslims are a minority, such as Europe. Radical Islamists are attempting to enforce a global speech code, in which frank discussion of their beliefs is punishable by death.

This began in 1989 with a threat from a state: Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s leader, issued a fatwa condemning Mr Rushdie to death for a novel that he thought insulted Islam. He invited devout Muslims everywhere to carry out the sentence. It was almost certainly one of them who murdered Mr Rushdie’s Japanese translator in 1991, though the killer was never caught.
Since then, the notion that individual Muslims have a duty to defend their faith by assassinating its critics has spread. Most Muslims are peaceful, but it takes only a few to enforce what Mr Garton Ash calls “the assassin’s veto”. The Islamist who murdered Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker, for making a film about the abuse of Muslim women, said he could not live “in any country where free speech is allowed”. In 2015 two gunmen stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French paper which had published cartoons of Muhammad, killing 12 people. Many speakers and writers across the world are terrified of offending Islamists. A satirical musical called “The Book of Mormon” is an international hit; no theatre would dare stage a similar treatment of the Koran.
Islamist intimidation is the most extreme example of a broader, and worrying, trend. From the mosques of Cairo to the classrooms at Yale, all sorts of people and groups are claiming a right not to be offended. This is quite different from believing that people should, in general, be polite. A right not to be offended implies a power to police other people’s speech. “Taking offence has never been easier, or indeed more popular,” observes Flemming Rose, a former editor at Jyllands-Posten, a Danish paper. He should know. After his paper published cartoons of Muhammad in 2005, at least 200 people died.
The zealots who hack atheists to death in Bangladesh (see article) are far more frightening than the American students who shout down speakers with whom they disagree (see article). But they are on the same spectrum: both use a subjective definition of “offensive” to suppress debate. They may do this by disrupting speeches they object to; Mr Garton Ash calls this “the heckler’s veto”. Or they may enlist the power of the state to silence speakers who offend them. Politicians have gleefully jumped on the bandwagon, and are increasingly using laws against “hate speech” to punish dissidents.
This article will argue that free speech is in retreat. Granted, technology has given millions a megaphone, and speaking out is easier than it was during the cold war, when most people lived under authoritarian states. But in the past few years restrictions on what people can say or write have grown more onerous.

Riley Landeis's comment, April 27, 9:19 PM
This sort of PC culture that has been created is such bullshit. The fact that free speech is threatened because this so called "religion of peace" is offended is absolutely ridiculous. We are seeing it happen more so in the US with the idea of gender and "black lives matter" movements where the minute you speak out against it you are labeled a homophobe or a racist.
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Traffic Engineers’ Epic Fail

Traffic Engineers’ Epic Fail | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The consequence for minor lapses in judgment shouldn’t be death.
Rob Duke's insight:
There's a question on the criminology final that talks about the things we can do in our development design to reduce crime.  We sometimes forget that traffic deaths/injuries are crimes (many times), so this is a great example of how the built space, and the design of it, contributes to crime.
In the face-to-face class, we talk about Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), but not so much for the online folks.
Jazmin Pauline's comment, April 28, 11:41 PM
"I was going to say we didn't talk about traffic engineers in this class."
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Hitting a Major League fastball should be physically impossible

Hitting a Major League fastball should be physically impossible | Criminology and Economic Theory |
VIDEO: Hitters need to gauge the pitch in less than the blink of an eye.
Rob Duke's insight:
Imagine these same physics, but now the guy has a gun that fires a bullet at 850 (.45) to 1300 feet per second (9mm)--how elite an athlete do you need to be to accurately respond. You don't get nearly as much practice as you need. And, it seems significant that major league players have no time to think, yet we continue to evaluate cops with a fantasy that somehow they had time to think before some of these incidents.
Rachel Nichols's comment, April 28, 7:19 PM
This is something I have always thought about. My husband is a very good baseball player and had offers to play minor league ball, but decided not to. I have asked him about this very thing many times because baseball, in my opinion, is the hardest sport out there. As slow as the game might seem, the things these athletes do is literally so fast. It is very interesting putting this into police terms because all major-league players do is practice these skills that are so fast and so challenging. Athletes know what to expect from their opponent, way better than cops do. Athletes are performing in a game and we demand police men to perform in real life situations where their lives are being threatened. I don’t think that’s fair.
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Partner of slain Paris police officer gives heartbreaking eulogy

Partner of slain Paris police officer gives heartbreaking eulogy | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Xavier Jugelé was still sleeping when his partner Etienne Cardiles left for work on Thursday morning.

It would be the last time Cardiles saw the man he loved alive. A police officer in Paris, Jugelé was shot and killed last Thursday in an isolated ISIS attack on the Champs-Élysées.

Etienne Cardiles, partner of Xavier Jugele, the policeman (portrait) killed by a jihadist in an attack on the Champs Elysees, gives a speech during a ceremony to pay tribute to him on April 25, 2017. Bertrand Guay / AFP - Getty Images
Cardiles delivered a eulogy on Tuesday at a national ceremony held in honor of the slain officer, attended by President François Hollande as well as current presidential candidates. As centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen looked on, Cardiles spoke about the life of his partner.

"When the first messages appeared that warned Parisians that a serious event was ongoing on the Champs Élysée and that a police officer had lost his life, a little voice told me it was you," said Cardiles, addressing his slain partner.

He spoke in a near-silent open courtyard at the center of Paris police headquarters, with hundreds of officers and top officials looking on. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and former president Nicolas Sarkozy were also present, the Associated Press reported.
Linda Darnell's comment, April 26, 7:32 PM
Considering this is linked to ISIS, this is an example of the extreme fundamentalist Islam and terrorism that has held the world's attention for over a decade now. It is sad to see another innocent person fall victim to this world-wide problem of hate.
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Boys involved in shocking pony attack in Bourton-on-the-Water to spend time working with animals as punishment

Boys involved in shocking pony attack in Bourton-on-the-Water to spend time working with animals as punishment | Criminology and Economic Theory |
TWO boys involved in a shocking attack on a pony at an equestrian centre in Bourton-on-the-Water will spend time working with animals at the site to apologise for their actions.

The Standard reported last week how a video showing a boy throwing a stone at a white pony at Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre had been shared thousands of times on social media, with people horrified by what they had seen, calling for a strong punishment.

Two boys were soon identified as those who had thrown the stone and filmed the incident.

Officers decided that restorative justice is the most appropriate course of action and the teenagers were taken to meet the pony, called Robin, and have offered to volunteer at the centre.

PC Nick Westmacott from Gloucestershire Police wildlife crime unit, said: “We completed a restorative justice resolution with the youth who threw the stone, and the one who filmed it.

“In line with the stable owner’s wishes, the youths have apologised for their actions and have met the horse involved and have offered to give up their free time and volunteer to help out at the stables, to better understand the welfare of horses and the upset this has caused the stable owner.”
Rob Duke's insight:
Would this work here?
Rachel Nichols's comment, April 28, 7:27 PM
Well this is the most awful thing ever. What the heck? I see where the push for this type of punishment is coming from, however what is stopping these kids from hurting the animals again? I feel this is sort of like having a kidnapper who gets caught spend time with the person they took as “punishment”. It’s not punishment for the kidnapper, it’s worse for the person. Not that this would ever even happen, and I get that I’m blowing this out of proportion, but I think it’s an interesting comparison. I feel there could be a better form of punishment that doesn’t involve the very thing these kids hurt.
Madi Janes's curator insight, April 28, 10:47 PM
Good to see they made them do community service that is directly linked to the deviance. Restorative justice is a good tool to use in this situation, hope the boys learned their lesson!
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Defining Moment: Will California End Its Money Bail System? – Capital & Main

Defining Moment: Will California End Its Money Bail System? – Capital & Main | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A nationwide movement that began 53 years ago to reform the pretrial incarceration and money bail process has finally reached the legislative committees and political bargaining tables in Washington and Sacramento. Reform advocates – including legislators, prosecutors, attorneys, judges and grassroots organizations – contend that the use of a money bail system for pretrial release is unfair to the poor and unsafe for the public.
In 1964, then-U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy told the Senate: “Every year in this country, thousands of persons are kept in jail for weeks and even months following arrest. They are not yet proven guilty. They may be no more likely to flee than you or I. But nonetheless, most of them must stay in jail because to be blunt, they cannot afford to pay for their freedom.”
Kennedy’s efforts helped pass the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 and the Bail Reform Act of 1966, which created a presumption of release before trial for most federal defendants, and mostly did away with the money bail system in federal proceedings. But not for local and state jurisdictions, which account for most of the country’s jail population and in which the money-bail system still controls the release of defendants, dangerous or not. Only two countries, the U.S. and the Philippines, currently use the money bail system, according to California legislators.
DS's comment, April 25, 12:44 AM
An unbiased and impartial judiciary is viable to supporting the values and ideals the U.S. Constitution stands for. Pre-trial detainment that is fixed on a dollar amount violates the rights of the poor. Bail bondsmen are discriminating against the economically disadvantaged. The poor should be able to defend themselves in court, or be afforded an opportunity to confer with public advocacy. Proponents of Civil liberties understand that discriminatory practices are unconstitutional. The California no money bail reform act and others like it seek to even the playing field for persons of limited financial means. "The current cash bail system is the equivalent of a modern debtors prison, it criminalizes poverty, pure and simple." Extensive pre-trail detention of the poor represent's a gross Mischaracterization of Justice. This was an excellent article and well-written. I'm glad I took the time to read it.
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How MS-13, One of America’s Most Dangerous Gangs, is Funded

How MS-13, One of America’s Most Dangerous Gangs, is Funded | Criminology and Economic Theory |
President Donald Trump is ready to crack down on the infamous, money-making MS-13 gang, after a violent quadruple homicide in Long Island, N.Y. last week left four teenagers dead and badly beaten. Trump is promising to remove the gang from U.S. streets “fast.”
Linda Darnell's comment, April 26, 7:34 PM
Though gangs and drugs go hand in hand, the legal consequences for drug behavior and this violent behavior is seriously imbalanced. The "war on drugs" should really be a "war on violence" then maybe we could actually get somewhere...
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Arkansas execution flurry marks early test for new Justice Gorsuch

Arkansas execution flurry marks early test for new Justice Gorsuch | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Newly appointed conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch helped clear the way for Arkansas to hold its first execution in 12 years, a sign of the challenges facing other inmates seeking to block their executions next week.
DS's comment, April 25, 1:15 AM
The Supreme Court nomination and subsequent appointment of Neil Gorsuch is wonderfull news for all Conservative Republican Americans, alike. Is he a replacement for Antonin Scalia? I don't know. This article concerns the application of the Death Penalty in the U.S. After reviewing the deterrence effect it has on crime, or the lack thereof I cannot say there is a rational basis for it. Regardless, the punishment is rarely used Nationally, and is reserved for serious offenders who are deserving of harsh punishment. Conservative figures like these show we are headed in the right direction. I am Happy to have Men like these leading our Country. business and financial news, is Great I like this website.
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Did California prison reform lead to an increase in crime?

Did California prison reform lead to an increase in crime? | Criminology and Economic Theory |
More than a dozen states are considering prison reform measures to drastically reduce their inmate populations to save money. But law enforcement in California are blaming their reforms for a recent uptick in crime.
Rob Duke's insight:
Based upon what I've seen in California, there's two problems with opening the prison gates:
1. California had an underground economy that was run by organized gangs (often with violent competitor gangs);
2. There was no way to deal with the organized criminals, as opposed to those who were first/second time offenders--everyone got lumped into the same basket.
Linda Darnell's comment, April 26, 7:35 PM
Although a nice concept, there has to be a process that determines who qualifies for early release and who does not. Focusing on the money saving aspect is bound to lead to disaster and failed results.
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Nabbing imaginary terrorists: A new bill reveals the Japanese government’s authoritarian streak | The Economist

Nabbing imaginary terrorists: A new bill reveals the Japanese government’s authoritarian streak | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

FOR several weeks Japan’s Diet has been debating a law that would punish people who plan to commit crimes. The government says the conspiracy bill will protect the nation from terrorism. In a country where crime has fallen to a record low (a single fatal shooting was recorded for the whole of 2015) and where the last big terrorist attack was more than 20 years ago, that justification sounds feeble to many.

Japan’s federation of bar associations questions whether the police need more powers. It says they can use existing laws to pursue criminal conspiracies. Critics of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) suspect ulterior motives. “The need for a new law is very small but the dangers of having the law are enormous,” says Takeshi Shina of the Democratic Party, the main opposition. Passage of the bill, he argues, will lead to an erosion of personal liberty: “The government is far more passionate about the freedom of the state to act than about protecting the constitutional rights of the individual.”

To be fair, the LDP, which has dominated Japanese politics for 60 years, has never hidden its authoritarian streak. It wants to do away with the liberal constitution imposed by Japan’s American occupiers in 1947. It dislikes the way the document renounces war, diminishes the status of the emperor and makes ringing declarations about the inviolability of fundamental human rights.

A draft of an alternative constitution endorsed by the LDP tosses out these ideas and replaces them with duties to the state. The national anthem and flag must be respected. Rights come with “responsibilities and obligations” and citizens “must comply with the public interest and public order”. Freedom of speech can be restricted if it impedes that. Most alarmingly, says Lawrence Repeta of Meiji University, the prime minister would be empowered to declare a national emergency under “an extremely broad and undefined range of potential circumstances”. Mr Repeta considers the document a blueprint for the abolition of Japan’s liberal democracy.

Privately, some LDP politicians accept that the draft, written by hardliners while the party was briefly in the political wilderness, goes too far. “Nobody takes it seriously,” says Tsuneo Watanabe of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, a think-tank. If the party really intended to sell the draft to voters, he says, it would have produced a more appealing document. The LDP’s tilt rightwards since returning to power in 2012, however, suggests that the draft increasingly influences public policy.

Last year a UN special rapporteur criticised the government of Shinzo Abe for trying to intimidate the media by making a pointed reference to its power to shut down “biased” television channels under the law that regulates broadcasting. In 2013 the LDP pushed through a law that allows the government to declare all kinds of information state secrets, in spite of strong public opposition and noisy protests by journalists, lawyers and scholars. In theory, the law will help deepen co-operation on security between Japan and America, which had complained about a series of leaks of sensitive information. In practice, it has raised fears that seeking or revealing data about perfectly legitimate subjects, such as the extent of contamination from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, could be construed as criminal activity.

Few in the LDP want to return to the past, insists Yoshimasa Hayashi, an LDP MP, although he does concede that some want to tug it “too far right.” Still, he supports the conspiracy law, which he says will help keep the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 safe. The LDP’s dominance of both chambers of the Diet means the law will probably pass without trouble. It is the lack of a strong opposition that should most worry ordinary Japanese, says Mr Shina. The LDP may not be too worried about constraints on the power of the state, but in a healthy democracy, someone should be.

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The Golden State Killer

The Golden State Killer | Criminology and Economic Theory |
True-crime writer Michelle McNamara was obsessed with finding the man who terrorized California for a decade – until her own death last year; husband Patton Oswalt reveals the driving force behind her mission to unmask a killer
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Supreme Court Rules Invalidated Conviction Means Automatic Refund of Court Fees |

Supreme Court Rules Invalidated Conviction Means Automatic Refund of Court Fees | | Criminology and Economic Theory |
In Nelson v. Colorado the Supreme Court struck down a Colorado law requiring defendants whose criminal convictions have been invalidated to prove their innocence by clear and convincing evidence in order to receive a refund of fees, court costs, and restitution. According to the Court in a 7-1 opinion, this scheme violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of due process.
Cities and counties recently have had their own dues process problems with fines. While not raising the same legal issue, following the Department of Justice report investigating the 2014 police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, numerous local governments have been sued for allegedly operating “debtor’s prisons” where defendants receive jail time if they can’t pay a fine.  
The Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that before courts convert unpaid criminal fines into jail time they must make a reasonable inquiry into the defendant’s ability to pay. Defendants must make “all reasonable efforts to pay”—including seeking work and borrowing money. If they still can’t pay they may not be automatically imprisoned without considering alternative means of punishing them.  
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Law Enforcement Staffing in California (PPIC Publication)

Law Enforcement Staffing in California (PPIC Publication) | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Research shows that increased police staffing is a cost-effective way to prevent crime.
The most recent credible research finds that an additional police officer reduces crime by 1.3 violent crimes and 4.2 property crimes per year. Other recent evidence estimates that the crime-reducing benefits of hiring an additional police officer exceed $300,000 per year, much more than the annual cost of an additional officer. With California’s incarceration rates declining since the implementation of public safety realignment and Proposition 47, adding law enforcement staff is one cost-effective strategy to look at.
Rob Duke's insight:
Some evidence that deterrence works....also see this RAND Corp. study:

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Brazilian indigenous groups shoot arrows at police during clashes

Brazilian indigenous groups shoot arrows at police during clashes | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Brazilian indigenous groups in Brasilia protested and briefly clashed with police in opposition to a proposal they say would deteriorate their land rights.
Rob Duke's insight:
Well, that's a new one....
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Man who died in shootout with Anchorage officers last year was a serial killer, police say

James Dale Ritchie possessed the gun linked to five Anchorage killings in 2016, police said, and he acted alone.
Madi Janes's curator insight, April 28, 10:43 PM
Good to see that those families can finally have some closure. One less killer in anchorage now. 
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Charlemagne: How Martin Luther has shaped Germany for half a millennium | The Economist

Charlemagne: How Martin Luther has shaped Germany for half a millennium | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

Jan 7th 2017
SET foot in Germany this year and you are likely to encounter the jowly, dour portrait of Martin Luther. With more than 1,000 events in 100 locations, the whole nation is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the monk issuing his 95 theses and (perhaps apocryphally) pinning them to the church door at Wittenberg. He set in motion a split in Christianity that would forever change not just Germany, but the world.

At home, Luther’s significance is no longer primarily theological. After generations of secularisation, not to mention decades of official atheism in the formerly communist east (which includes Wittenberg), Germans are not particularly religious. But the Reformation was not just about God. It shaped the German language, mentality and way of life. For centuries the country was riven by bloody confessional strife; today Protestants and Catholics are each about 30% of the population. But after German unification in the 19th century, Lutheranism won the culture wars. “Much of what used to be typically Protestant we today perceive as typically German,” says Christine Eichel, author of “Deutschland, Lutherland”, a book about Luther’s influence.

Start with aesthetics. For Luther this was, like everything else, a serious matter. He believed that Christians were guaranteed salvation through Jesus but had a duty to live in such a way as to deserve it. Ostentation was thus a disgraceful distraction from the asceticism required to examine one’s own conscience. The traces of this severity live on in Germany’s early 20th-century Bauhaus architecture, and even in the furniture styles at IKEA (from Lutheran Sweden). They can be seen in the modest dress, office decor and eating habits of Angela Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, and of Joachim Gauck, Germany’s president and a former pastor himself. Both may partake of the glitz of the French presidency while visiting Paris, but it would never pass in Berlin.

Luther shared his distaste for visual ornament with other Protestant reformers. But he differed in the role he saw for music. The Swiss Protestants John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli viewed music as sensual temptation and frowned on it. But to Luther music was a divinely inspired weapon against the devil. He wanted believers to sing together—in German, in church and at home, and with instruments accompanying them. Today Germany has 130 publicly financed orchestras, more than any other country. And concerts are still attended like sermons, sombrely and seriously.

Luther’s inheritance can also be seen in the fact that Germany, the world’s 17th-most populous country, has the second-largest book market after America’s. After he translated the Bible into German, Luther wanted everyone, male or female, rich or poor, to read it. At first Protestants became more literate than Catholics; ultimately all Germans became bookish.

Finally, a familiar thesis links Luther to German attitudes towards money. In this view Catholics, used to confessing and being absolved after each round of sins, tend to run up debts (Schulden, from the same root as Schuld, or “guilt”), whereas Protestants see saving as a moral imperative. This argument, valid or not, has a familiar ring in southern Europe’s mainly Catholic and Orthodox countries, which have spent the euro crisis enduring lectures on austerity from Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s devoutly Lutheran finance minister.
Yet on money, too, Luther differed from other reformers. When Max Weber wrote of the Protestant work ethic in 1904, he had in mind Calvinism and its relatives, such as American Puritanism. Calvin viewed an individual’s ability to get rich as a sign that God had predestined him to be saved. To Luther, Christians were already saved, so wealth was suspect. Instead of amassing it, Christians should work for their community, not themselves. Work (Beruf) thus became a calling (Berufung). Not profit but redistribution was the goal. According to Gerhard Wegner, a professor of theology, this “Lutheran socialism” finds secular expression in the welfare states of Scandinavia and Germany.
Luther’s “subcutaneous” legacy keeps popping up in surprising places, says Mrs Eichel. Germans, and especially Lutherans, buy more life insurance but fewer shares than others (Luther didn’t believe in making money without working for it). And everywhere they insist on conscientious observance of principle and order. They religiously separate their rubbish by the colour of glass and are world champions at recycling (65% of all waste), easily beating the second-place South Koreans.

Holier than thou

Luther also shares blame for some negative qualities ascribed to Germans. He was deeply anti-Semitic, a prejudice his countrymen have shed at great cost (he blamed evil stares from Jews for the illness that eventually killed him). Germans’ legendary obedience to authority is attributed to Luther’s insistence on separating spiritual and worldly authorities (which princes in his day found useful in suppressing a peasants’ revolt). And although personally fond of boisterous jokes, he was among the founding figures of Germany’s rather humourless and preachy tradition of public discourse. Germans today are the first to bemoan their national habit of delivering finger-wagging lectures.

Such rigid moralism can make Germans hard to deal with, especially in Brussels, where the EU’s problems demand a willingness to let misdemeanours slide. But there are worse traits than excessive morality. Besides, 500 years on, Lutheran Germany is being transformed by globalisation. Germany today has not only devout ascetics but everything from consumerist hipsters to Om-chanting yogis. A growing Muslim population is pushing the country towards a new kind of religious pluralism. Mrs Eichel herself finds German churches “too serious”; she attends one headed by an African-American gospel preacher. If the downside of Germans’ Lutheran heritage is a difficulty in lightening up or accepting alternative lifestyles, they seem to be getting over it.

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Former corrections officer sentenced for smuggling drugs into local corrections facility

Former corrections officer sentenced for smuggling drugs into local corrections facility | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Adam Spindler, formerly with the Dept. of Corrections, was sentenced Tuesday for his role in smuggling drugs into Goose Creek Correctional Center.
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More for White Collar Crime...but is it?

Sutherland thought it was only those criminals who were elites and not those who were just committing crimes on the job.
Riley Landeis's comment, April 27, 9:23 PM
I feel like this is more or less commonplace in many correctional facilities given the qualifications needed to become a CO. I have read a lot online and seen on shows that often times the COs are the bigger criminals than the inmates that are supposed to be watching over. Now obviously there are plenty of good officers, but there are some that manage to get inside and supply these inmates with whatever contraband they are getting, or at least turn the other way when it is coming in.
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Force putting 'more police on streets' to tackle town's knife crime

Force putting 'more police on streets' to tackle town's knife crime | Criminology and Economic Theory |
POLICE have vowed to crack down on knife crime after a series of incidents in St Helens.
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Drinking While Jurying

Drinking While Jurying | Criminology and Economic Theory |
What happens when juries decide to tie one on.
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LOL: they'd drink in France....
Riley Landeis's comment, April 27, 9:31 PM
This is both comical and interesting, I'm not sure where I stand on the issue, but I understand where after long hours of deliberating it might be a needed thing. I can understand how controversial it is due to the affects alcohol has on your brain and decision making, especially when these decisions are deciding the fate of an individual.
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Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka and Other LASD Officials Allegedly Wrongly-Convicted

Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka and Other LASD Officials Allegedly Wrongly-Convicted | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Baca became aware of the cell phone, not from the FBI, but through a random search of the property of inmate Brown. Baca, who had a lawful obligation and responsibility for the safety of his officers, directly ordered Captain Carey and Lt. Leavins to investigate how Brown obtained the cell phone and who smuggled it into the jail. It was determined through the LASD investigation that the cell phone was linked to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. The FBI contacted Baca and confirmed that the phone was FBI property and asked for its return but refused to provide any details about how Brown could have gotten the phone. With no answers to his questions, Baca told the FBI he would keep the phone until LASD investigators determined how Brown acquired it. Baca's investigators interrogated Brown and found that the cell phone was smuggled into the jail after Brown, who was working with the FBI to gather pictures of alleged beatings and induce/entrap deputies into smuggling contraband, bribed Deputy Gilbert Michel to get the phone from an FBI agent who was posing as his friend. LASD sergeants Long and Craig ultimately went to the home of the FBI agent who orchestrated smuggling the phone into the jail and told her they were seeking a warrant for her arrest. Shortly after Baca's public criticism and threat to arrest an FBI agent, the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney's Office filed conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges against Baca and all LASD subordinates who followed Baca's orders to conduct a legitimate and lawful internal investigation, including Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who, according to Baca, was not involved in the internal investigation.
Rob Duke's insight:
Which side committed White Collar Crime?

Did Sheriff Baca have a right to investigate a crime committed in his jail--even though it was the FBI that perpetrated the crime?  Apparently not.
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Religious Tobacco Protection in Prisons Uncertain

Religious Tobacco Protection in Prisons Uncertain | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A California appeals court dealt a blow Thursday to a Native American prison inmate who petitioned for the right to use pure tobacco during religious ceremonies.
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Crooked Vegas GI Doc Dies in Prison: Should We Care?

Crooked Vegas GI Doc Dies in Prison: Should We Care? | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Dr. Dipak Desai infected dozens with hepatitis C causing 2 deaths. How could this have happened and where were his staff? Incident report LIVE with ZDoggMD.
Rob Duke's insight:
Interesting White Collar Crime example.  Doctors make mistakes.  It happens, but what do we do when doctors are negligent?  How about unnecessary surgeries?

See this vid on a particular doc in Vegas who fits this first example.  Keep in mind, docs and pharmacists admit (through their medical associations) that they kill over 100,000 people a year (120k just for docs; another 90k for pharmacists; and maybe as high as 210k per year combined, see citation):

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The rise of intolerance: Indonesia has been mercifully resistant to extremism—until now | The Economist

The rise of intolerance: Indonesia has been mercifully resistant to extremism—until now | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

FIRST came the fake news: a doctored video, making it look as if the governor of Jakarta, an ethnic-Chinese Christian, was disparaging the Koran. Next, mass protests flooding the city centre with outraged Muslims. Then came blasphemy charges that the police, under public pressure, eventually lodged against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, usually known as Ahok. Before long a seemingly pedestrian election became a referendum on the role of Islam in Indonesian politics. Was it permissible for a Christian to hold the second-most prominent elected office in an overwhelmingly Muslim country?

It is easy to forget, but Indonesia, not Egypt or Iran, much less Saudi Arabia, is the world’s most populous Muslim country. There are far more Muslims in South and South-East Asia than there are in the Middle East. And Muslims in Asia are traditionally much less doctrinaire than Middle Easterners.

Indonesia is a case in point: many local Muslims follow practices that would cause riots in Arabia, making offerings to saints and spirits, say, or worshipping at shrines shared with Hindus and Buddhists. Indonesia’s biggest Islamic organisation is Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), which embraces folksy forms of Islam and explicitly campaigns against extremism. Its wisecracking former leader, Abdurrahman Wahid, was the first president to be elected—albeit by parliament, not by popular vote—after the overthrow of Suharto, Indonesia’s dictator of 32 years. The next president was Megawati Sukarnoputri, a woman. No avowedly religious party has ever received more than 8% of the vote in parliamentary elections.

The call from Arabia

And yet for decades less tolerant forms of Islam have been seeping into the country. In fact, NU was founded in 1926 to resist the growing influence of puritanical Arabian preachers. To this day Gulf Arabs fund lots of mosques. Rabble-rousers are able to turn out big crowds to protest against perceived insults to Islam. The agitators portray traditional Indonesian Islam as rural and backward, implying that educated city-dwellers should follow a purer form of the religion. Politicians, even otherwise reasonable ones like Mr Baswedan, seldom resist the urge to cloak themselves in piety.

Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s president and Ahok’s predecessor as Jakarta’s governor, supported his embattled protégé in the election. But he was careful to be respectful of the protesters, meeting their leaders and offering only veiled criticism of their conduct. Local mores, it is often said, demand such reticence. But the other side felt no such obligation, brandishing signs with slogans like “Burn Christians, Jail Ahok”.

The governor’s race has given unscrupulous politicians a simple blueprint for winning office: stir up religious fervour by decrying real or invented insults to Islam. The opposition is likely to resort to such tactics in the next presidential election, due in 2019. If Mr Joko wants to keep his job, and preserve Indonesia’s plural society, he needs to speak out forcefully against zealotry, not treat it with kid gloves.

malek's comment, April 23, 10:10 AM
"Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive." Buckley
john's comment, April 23, 11:06 PM
This is some heavy competition! The governor of Jakarta seems to be against the media and his rivalry for the next 2019 election. The media portrayed him to be disrespecting the Quran in a populated muslim country. This would count as a hudud crime (crime against god and can be punished by death in Saudi Arabia).The Quran holds religious versus that is a way of life for many muslim people. The article went on that the rivalry candidate is muslim himself and is operating his campaign on behalf of muslim beleivers in order to gain momentum. When you look at other religions in Jakarta and Indonesia they are the minority in this case. I am interested if the current governor can hold his position for reelection.
malek's comment, April 24, 1:26 PM
let's see what will be the outcome of this election