Criminology and Economic Theory
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Missing from NRA plan: Smart gun technology

Missing from NRA plan: Smart gun technology | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The NRA today responded to the school shootings in Newtown, Conn. by saying America should place armed guards at all schools. Missing from the group's strategy was any mention of smart gun technology.
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Criminology and Economic Theory
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Barclays charged with conspiracy to commit fraud over Qatar fundraising

Barclays charged with conspiracy to commit fraud over Qatar fundraising | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged Barclays and four former executives with conspiracy to commit fraud relating to the lender's dealings with Qatar during its £11.8bn fundraising in the financial crisis.
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Former Edwardsville cop going to prison for up to 40 years

Former Edwardsville cop going to prison for up to 40 years | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Cynthia Van Patten said her life changed forever two days before Christmas in 2014, when she looked at her phone and saw that her hidden camera had finally caught the burglar who had repeatedly stolen from her beauty salon.

Van Patten owned Reality Salon and Spa, and had suffered numerous burglaries in defiance of her alarm system. At one point she was advised that it must be an employee, because the burglar never set off the alarm — she actually accused a former employee at one point, she said.

But when she checked the image that December night, she saw then-Edwardsville Police Officer Brian Barker, armed and in uniform, cleaning out her cash register.
Rob Duke's insight:
Here's an example of a White Collar Crime (today's definition), but it's not that much different than any other crime.
Should it be defined differently?  Is it significant that he's a respected member of society with everything to lose and little to gain?  Sutherland thought so, at least for the mega-rich, but does it hold for a fairly blue collar worker...
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Pharma Executive to Be Sentenced Over 2012 Meningitis Deaths

Pharma Executive to Be Sentenced Over 2012 Meningitis Deaths | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A former New England pharma exec convicted over dozens of 2012 meningitis deaths will be sentenced today. Dozens died in the debacle.
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Can Bitcoin's First Felon Help Make Cryptocurrency a Trillion-Dollar Market?

After spending a year in prison, Bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem has a new job and a new mission: helping build the future of the Internet.
Rob Duke's insight:
Combine Bitcoin with TOR (the dark web) and we've seen a glimpse of how a "black market" can run in a fairly regular and (mostly) non-violent manner.
A person contracts anonymously for a delivery of something illegal, say Cuban cigars, for instance, and pays with Bitcoin.  The seller then delivers the product via one of the parcel carriers or messenger services.  This removes the need for cartels, which lowers costs and increases profits for the provider.
It lowers transaction costs for the buyer too, who no longer must travel to a "bad" neighborhood or deal with potentially untrustworthy dealers.
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Why Life for ‘Snitches’ Has Never Been More Dangerous

Why Life for ‘Snitches’ Has Never Been More Dangerous | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Deadly attacks on confidential informants are prompting the federal courts to consider injecting more secrecy into the court system, drawing the concern of defense lawyers about due-process rights.
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Yoga helping inmates transcend jail cells

Yoga helping inmates transcend jail cells | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
 An ancient spiritual practice is helping rehabilitate men and women at the Santa Barbara County Jail.
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LADWP employee gets 5 years in prison for embezzling $4.4 million

LADWP employee gets 5 years in prison for embezzling $4.4 million | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
LOS ANGELES — A former audio-visual technician for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was sentenced today to five years in state prison for embezzling more than $4 million in public funds.Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James
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Stanislaus jails pick on inmates of only one race, lawsuit says

Stanislaus jails pick on inmates of only one race, lawsuit says | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Latino inmates sue Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson and his Sheriff's Department, claiming racial bias, excessive force in jails.
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Inside look at Sac PD's real-time, high-tech crime center

Inside look at Sac PD's real-time, high-tech crime center | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
After launching in June, SPD shows off its $500K operation
Rob Duke's insight:
Dispatchers, crime analysts, criminologists, Community Service Officers, and non-sworn investigators....all kinds of new jobs that don't require carrying a gun...
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DA starts new 
justice program aimed at adults | Aspen Daily News Online

Contending it would be a valuable tool for the criminal justice system, District Attorney Jeff Cheney is implementing a restorative justice program that aims to help people accused of crimes avoid conviction while simultaneously providing victims a chance to confront offenders about the impact of their actions.
Rob Duke's insight:
This sounds similar to the one UAF Justice and our partners in the Psych, Social Work, Comm Departments have started with the District Attorney, Public Defender, Defense Bar, Corrections, Juvenile Justice & the Superior Courts have started in Fairbanks.
Working with the Fairbanks Community Restorative Justice Initiative (FCRJI) make a great internship and introduces you to so many possible post-graduation jobs.  See Prof. Daku if you're interested in earning 6 units and satisfying your capstone requirement (this requirement only applies to those who started in 2016-2017 and later--all years are still eligible for elective credit--we even supply stipends when funding allows).
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Anchorage marijuana sales tax revenue continues steady climb

Anchorage collected around $70,000 in marijuana sales taxes in April, according to a city official. Nine cannabis shops were open during the month.
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Two U.S. studies differ over effects of marijuana on drivers

Two U.S. studies differ over effects of marijuana on drivers | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Two U.S. studies on the effects of marijuana on drivers in states where it is allowed for recreational use came to different conclusions about whether it increases risks behind the wheel.
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30% of border children have gang ties

30% of border children have gang ties | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Nearly 30 percent of the illegal immigrant children the U.S. is currently holding in its secure dormitories have ties to criminal gangs, the government revealed Wednesday, suggesting the Obama-era surge of Central Americans has fed the country's growing problem with MS-13 and other gangs.
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Blood, fingernail found at home of Texas man link him to 1988 slayings of 2 teens, authorities say | Crime | Dallas News

Blood, fingernail found at home of Texas man link him to 1988 slayings of 2 teens, authorities say | Crime | Dallas News | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Shane Stewart gave his father a hug before heading out to watch Fourth of July fireworks with his girlfriend, Sally McNelly. His father told him to be home by 11 p.m.
The next day, Shane's copper-colored Camaro was found near a lake in San Angelo. Marshall Stewart paced the rugged terrain for months, looking for his 16-year-old son and his date. He knocked on doors, cried, prayed.
"No answers came," Stewart said in a YouTube video on the 25th anniversary of Shane and Sally's disappearance in 1988.

The answers he prayed for might be inside the home of a San Angelo man arrested this June during a traffic stop.
John Cyrus Gilbreath, 47, faces charges of possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of body armor by a felon. Authorities got a warrant to search his home for ledgers used in drug trafficking but said they discovered a grisly collection instead.

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Former Fairbanks inmate becomes drug counselor

Former Fairbanks inmate becomes drug counselor | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS — When Kelvin Lee tells Fairbanks Correctional Center inmates that “you can’t undo your history, you can only use it,” he speaks from experience.
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Ex-library employee in Fairbanks accused of stealing $10K from foundation

Ex-library employee in Fairbanks accused of stealing $10K from foundation | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS — A former Noel Wien Library employee allegedly stole more than $10,000 in donations intended for the Fairbanks Library Foundation.
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The LAPD Has Partnered in a Very Successful Youth Diversion Program, But Will LA Find a Way to Fund It? |

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How does Vagos Motorcycle Club operate?

How does Vagos Motorcycle Club operate? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
It was founded in San Bernardino in the 1960s, but the Vagos Motorcycle Club has since grown into an international enterprise with at least 87 chapters in seven countries and an estimated 900-plus members, according to a federal grand jury indictment
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California considers reducing traffic fines for low-income drivers

California considers reducing traffic fines for low-income drivers | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Penalties add up fast if you can't pay your ticket.
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Mexican governor denounces 'beasts' and 'cowards' who killed state commander of federal police

Mexican governor denounces 'beasts' and 'cowards' who killed state commander of federal police | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Gunmen burst into a restaurant and killed a state commander for federal police and two other officers on another bloody day in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
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Prohibition kept Boise law enforcement officers busy

Prohibition kept Boise law enforcement officers busy | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Prohibition had no sooner gone into effect in Idaho in 1916, and in the rest of the country in 1920, than a significant part of the population began to look for ways to get around it. The demand for liquor was so great that tens of thousands of Americans who had never before broken any law now figured that making and selling illegal liquor was worth the risk. The Idaho Statesman reported regularly on those who got arrested for trying.

“Pullman-Auto Booze Seizure” read a headline on the morning of April 4, 1917. “Orric Cole, proprietor of the Cole auto livery, Ray Ramsey, one of his chauffeurs, and S.H. Paterson, a Pullman porter, were arrested Monday morning at the Oregon Short Line yards at about 8:30 o’clock, just as they were about to drive off in one of Cole’s autos with 44 pints of Cedar Run whiskey and two quarts of Sunnybrook that the sheriff said arrived Monday morning from Ogden in lower berth No.1.” Three suitcases were later found to contain an additional 59 pints of whiskey.

“Bootleggers Are Arrested” reported the Statesman on Aug. 18, 1917. “Two Caught as They Cross Nevada Line; One Tries to Escape.” Some 36 cases of liquor and a four-and-a-half gallon keg of whiskey, all worth about $2,500, were seized. The men were armed with a six-shooter and a shotgun but wisely decided not to try to use them against C. A. Haskell, deputy collector for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service; Sheriff Emmett Pfost; and his deputy, Oscar Somerville. A man who tried to escape by jumping out of a moving car and running into the brush was quickly recaptured. The liquor was turned over to U.S. officials.
Rob Duke's insight:
The late Univ. of Chicago professor, Gary Becker, won a Nobel Prize in economics, in part, by explaining this behavior.  It seems that economic incentives in a Black or Gray market is too powerful and thwarts our best attempts at deterrence.  As our efforts to stop the flow of the illegal substance ramp up, so do the incentives (profit), thus no matter how serious we take the problem and enforcement, there are always people willing to take the risks.  As risk goes up, so does reward.  

The only way to win in this game is to decriminalize and regulate the products.  When legitimate businesses must manage regulations, they naturally maximize profit, thus we make it so it's easy to observe whether regulations are followed [must sell in established places like a bar/restaurant for public consumption, or at a specialized liquor (or cannabis) store for private use].  When it's easy to monitor, legitimate businesses will act in their own best interests and help us enforce regulations.  Licenses are expensive and can be taken away for bad behavior, thus the business values the license and endures the regulations in order to make the profit associated with the business.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Resources:
Becker, Gary, et. al., The Economic Theory of Illegal Goods: The case of drugs. (2004).
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Sacramento police add more surveillance cameras at intersections

Sacramento police add more surveillance cameras at intersections | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
10 new cameras were added near the Golden 1 Center
Rob Duke's insight:
These should solve some crimes.  Imagine a drive by shooting where officers are able to scan the last 30 minutes of recordings and find the suspect vehicle.
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California governor stops parole for Charles Manson follower

California governor stops parole for Charles Manson follower | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday night blocked parole for Charles Manson follower and convicted killer Bruce Davis.

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Oklahoma attorney general charges doctor with 5 counts of murder

Oklahoma attorney general charges doctor with 5 counts of murder | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The Oklahoma attorney general has charged a 67-year-old doctor with five counts of second-degree murder, accusing her of prescribing excessive amounts of "dangerous" medications to patients "without legitimate medical need" and causing the deaths of at least five patients.

The charges were filed in the District Court of Oklahoma County against Regan Nichols, an osteopathic physician in Midwest City, Oklahoma, on Friday morning. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has accused Nichols of being involved in five deaths, all of which occurred between 2010 and 2013, according to the probable cause affidavit. The patients who died ranged in age from 21 to 55.
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Judges affirm 'Making a Murderer' confession was coerced

Judges affirm 'Making a Murderer' confession was coerced | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A three-judge federal appeals panel has affirmed that a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" was coerced into confessing and should be released from prison. Brendan Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in photographer Teresa Halbach's death two years earlier. Dassey told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach in the Avery family's Manitowoc County salvage yard
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