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Two tales of the Constitution, marijuana and guns - Constitution Daily (blog)

Two tales of the Constitution, marijuana and guns - Constitution Daily (blog) | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Constitution Daily (blog) Two tales of the Constitution, marijuana and guns Constitution Daily (blog) Article VI, Clause 2, states that in a conflict of state and federal laws, the federal law is the supreme law of the land: “This Constitution, and...
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Putting a stop to Human Trafficking

Putting a stop to Human Trafficking | Criminology and Economic Theory |
It's modern day slavery that is happening right here in the Central Valley. Details on the Fresno EOC's efforts to help the children and to bring awareness to this huge issue.
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Anchorage police: Car thief was listening to scanner when arrested

Anchorage police: Car thief was listening to scanner when arrested | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Joel Gould, 21, was pulled over and arrested for vehicle theft Tuesday morning -- just before the online police scanner he was listening to announced officers' plans to pull over and arrest him.
Rob Duke's insight:

Rational Choice Theory at work?

Linda Darnell's comment, Today, 12:21 AM
I wanted to add that in this instance, the scanner did not help him as he was still apprehended so my question would be to see if there is any data that could be available that shows how many criminals are actually apprehended that did in fact listen to the scanner and believed that their extra knowledge would keep them in the clear.
Thomas Antal's comment, Today, 3:05 PM
This guy defiantly put some rational thought into his actions. With that scanner the guy can basically avoid any units before and after he scopes out an area. But the scanner shows the criminal knew what he was doing wrong so it will be harder to claim that it was just a one time deal.
Boan White's comment, Today, 5:14 PM
I don't understand why the Anchorage police would allow the public free of charge access to there online scanner, the media I can understand, it just seems kinda silly, unnecessary, and contributing to the crime. I do like the idea of using a delay on the online scanner to prevent real time usage for criminals.
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Pussy Riot is back, and taking on corruption this time

Pussy Riot is back, and taking on corruption this time | Criminology and Economic Theory |
For those baffled by the lyrics, they stem from an investigation released in December by the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whom Ms Tolokonnikova calls “my political muse”. In a 45-minute film, Mr Navalny and his anti-corruption foundation implicated Mr Chaika and his sons in a vast web of graft that stretches from an Irkutsk shipyard to a luxury hotel in Greece. While Mr Navalny’s crusades against government officials are nothing new, the case against the Chaikas, if it claims are accurate, would be the most serious yet. Mr Navalny suggests that the prosecutor-general used his position not only to help his offspring build a vast business empire, but also to cover up their links to the Tsapok family, a criminal gang notorious for the mass murder of 12 people, including four children.

The film has penetrated beyond the crowd of supporters Mr Navalny’s investigations typically reach, racking up more than 4m views on YouTube. By late December, some 40% of Russians said they had seen or heard of it, a revealing figure given that the dominant state television networks paid the claims no heed. More revealing still was how little surprise the accusations generated amongst viewers. Nearly 80% found the accusations at least somewhat believable. As Ms Tolokonnikova sings, “I’m devoted to our old Russian business traditions: first the cops will pull you in for questioning, then it’ll look like an accident, you’ll be fed to the fish.”

The Kremlin, predictably, has dismissed Mr Navalny’s claims. Mr Putin’s chief of staff last week called the investigation an unsubstantiated “political statement”. Mr Chaika vehemently denied the charges, suggesting that Mr Navalny was carrying out orders for Bill Browder, an American financier who has become a fierce critic of Mr Putin since being driven out of Russia. Earlier this week, it was announced that Mr Chaika himself would oversee the inquiry into the accusations against him. (“I can’t say I’m surprised,” Mr Navalny responded.) At a meeting last week of Russia’s anti-corruption committee (on which Mr Chaika sits), Mr Putin acknowledged that uprooting graft would not happen “from one day to the next”. Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index did show some improvement for Russia: it rose 17 places to 119 out of 167, sandwiched between Guyana and Sierra Leone.

During Russia’s fat years, many citizens shrugged at officials who plundered the government kitty; there was plenty of money to go around. Now, as oil prices linger below $35 per barrel, Russia looks poised for a second year of recession, and state funds are becoming scarce. Officials are scrambling to close a looming budget gap, after the government’s call for 10% spending cuts. The government has also been eyeing privatisation as a potential source of income. Mr Putin recently summoned the heads of several state-owned companies to the Kremlin for talks. Potentially on the chopping block are Rosneft, Aeroflot, Russian Railways, the state bank VTB, Bashneft, the diamond miner Alrosa and the shipping firm Sovcomflot.

Yet any sales of state companies will be haunted by the memory of the shady deals of the 1990s. Worse, buyers know that it may only be a matter of time before the state asks for its assets back. That happened with Bashneft back in 2014, when the billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov was temporarily arrested and his shares in the company seized. The legal system offered little recourse. Perhaps he should have released a rap video.
Rob Duke's insight:

Some background on Pussy Riot's song....


Those are prosecutor uniforms, by the way....

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Introducing ArcGIS Earth | ArcGIS Blog

Introducing ArcGIS Earth | ArcGIS Blog | Criminology and Economic Theory |

Via Fernando Gil
Rob Duke's insight:

Interesting in Crime Analysis--Learn GIS.

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Watch the Premiere of Pussy Riot's New Video 'CHAIKA' | VICE | United States

The anti-Putin, feminist punk rock band has released a video calling out the Russian government for its rampant corruption.
Rob Duke's insight:

Just in time for our class Pussy Riot launches another art attack of the Russian oligarchy and Putin in particular.

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Most Dangerous States in the United States in 2015 according to the FBI

Most Dangerous States in the United States in 2015 according to the FBI | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Alaska has replaced Tennessee as the most dangerous state in the United States in 2015. Last year, Tennessee held the dubious title. Obviously, Alaska is one of the least densely populated places on the planet, let alone in the United States. Yet, according to the FBI statistics, it has a rate of 750 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Additionally, it is noted that all 50 states have been compared to make the list of the Most Dangerous States in the United States while not including the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Washington D.C. was not ranked because its population density and status as a district make it incomparable to the 50 states. It is reported that Washington D.C.’s violent crime rate would be significantly higher than all the states. Of the nation’s capital, it was noted in the report that Washington D.C.’s violent crime rate is not unusual for its size.

Somewhat disturbingly, there are some cities in some states that are not included in the data once again. Chicago, for example, has been excluded from the data as the FBI has determined that the city underreported its data. Therefore, it is not possible to rank Chicago to any other city. In the past, Chicago and other large cities have been excluded from reports due to the cities not turning in their report data in a timely fashion. Regarding Chicago, the FBI also determined that the city’s data collection methodology for the offense of rape (which is one of the violent crimes according to the FBI) does not comply with national Uniform Crime Report guidelines.
Chris Campbell's comment, February 4, 9:50 PM
Its interesting how Chicago was not included due to "improper reporting". This was not surprising to find that Alaska is the current top state being listed as most dangerous. The increasing crime trend in anchorage mixed with the police force being stretched thin is hard to keep crime down. Also with many village and island populations their crime is higher which makes statistics look the way they do. Other states might also be skewing their data and not reporting incidents along with altering the type of report to make crime appear to be falling.
Linda Darnell's comment, Today, 12:30 AM
Although I am not sure I completely buy in to Alaska being number one seeing as so many other errors are present in this report as mentioned before me however, I do think that the broken windows theory could apply in this instance. Downtown Fairbanks and Anchorage have areas where it seems as though nobody is looking and nobody cares. This theory leads us to believe that when an area projects an appearance of unkempt and uncared for, crime rises. Perhaps if work was done in Alaska to fix the "broken windows", our crime rate would decrease.
Ryan Conner's comment, Today, 5:16 AM
The fact they admit to not counting some of the major cities like Chicago or DC due to the inaccurate information provided and or that it doesn’t compare correctly, makes this list not 100% accurate to me. I don’t discount that places like Alaska have these high violent crime rates, but to leave out other major cities because it doesn’t compare correctly and or slow to provide information is misleading. I would find it more interesting to see what were the most dangerous cities within the US, mainly because I believe there aren’t the same amounts of cities per state to have an accurate representation of the State’s they represent.
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Deep in the woods

Deep in the woods | Criminology and Economic Theory |

IT WORRIES the volunteer patroller at one of the entrances to Aokigahara forest that the white car with the Osaka number plates has now been there, empty, for five days. This forest of moss-clad trees covers 30 square kilometres (12 square miles) of a lava plateau near the foot of Mount Fuji. As a place to commit suicide, it is said to be second in popularity only to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The car’s owner, the patroller says, is probably already dead somewhere deep inside the forest. His job is to try to spot and turn back those who may be contemplating suicide.

Folklore holds that the forest was once a site for ubasute, the (possibly apocryphal) practice of carrying the old or infirm to a remote place and leaving them to die, so that they would not be a burden to their families. A 1960 novel by Seicho Matsumoto popularised Aokigahara as a site for suicides, after the heroine took her own life there. When suicides in Japan rose steeply as the country’s financial bubble burst after 1989, several dozen people a year were killing themselves in Aokigahara, mainly by hanging. Signs stand next to the paths, telling passers-by that their lives are precious, a gift from their parents. The number of a suicide hotline is displayed below. Yet much internet chatter talks of the forest as a site for suicides, and its vastness is a lure to many contemplating death. Mobile-phone reception is poor. The volcanic deposits also wreak havoc with compasses; those with second thoughts might struggle to retrace their steps.

Last year over 23,000 people ended their own lives in Japan. The good news is that the number has fallen for six years in a row—a trend elsewhere, too (see chart). Part of the reason for the decline of Japanese suicides is economic: with business and personal insolvencies at a relative low, fewer people are losing their jobs or going bankrupt—a common motivation for Japanese suicides, along with worries about health. But prevention has also improved. Nearly a decade ago the government adopted policies to stop suicides. They include classes at schools, extra municipal staff trained in suicide-prevention, and better training in mental health among medical staff. Those expressing suicidal urges are now more likely to receive attention—though mental illness still has a powerful stigma attached to it in Japan.

Most preventive measures are directed at middle-aged men, who are most at risk. Yet the rate at which younger adults kill themselves has not fallen by as much as for older folk—indeed, suicide is the leading cause of death for 15- to 40-year-olds. It is harder to deal with a pervading dejection about the future that prompts many young Japanese to kill themselves than with the practical issues—eg, financial straits—that can push middle-aged people over the edge, says Yasuyuki Shimizu of Life Link, an NGO.

Meanwhile, Aokigahara continues to swallow its victims. That takes a mental toll on locals too. Recently, the same patrolman wrestled a young man to the ground to stop him vanishing inside. Such incidents haunt him, and he wants talk about them. But the police have told him not to, for fear of bringing more people looking for a stillness deeper even than the silence of the forest.

Rob Duke's insight:

Comparative Criminology: See also the idea of ubasute: taking old people out to the wilds to die.

Rachael Toy's comment, February 3, 2:53 AM
This is kind of a creepy story. I have read about this forest before and was interested in how they described the vastness of it. It is only 12 square miles yet it sounds like it encompasses half the Earth with it’s depth. Though I did think it was odd that a forest would be a “hot spot” for suicide. Is it the despair feeling they get when they enter or is it the idea of going away in peace in a place of solitude? It is so sad that so many people in Japan have killed themselves; I can’t even fathom that 23,000 people took their lives. That is heart breaking. It was interesting to see that older people tend to look at suicide for reasons like job loss or finical trouble yet the younger generation is looking at suicide because of being a depressed or sad state about the future. Can Japan battle suicide when different generations are battle different reasons for committing suicide? It’s a big battle that every country today seems to be fighting.
Rob Duke's comment, February 3, 3:48 AM
It must be something tied in with the culture. Durkheim's classic study on suicides in Europe revealed that it was in upheaval periods of "normlessness" that suicide rates increased. That may be a causal factor here, also.
clarence kalistook's comment, February 3, 7:25 PM
This is a devastating topic for Alaska which has the highest rates of suicide in the United States, with Alaska Native males at the highest risk. This "ubasute" concept may have been used by Alaska Native tribes who were nomadic people. The very old just could not keep up and this natural consequence resulted. But today elders are respected for their knowledge of the past and survival methods. Today in remote rural villages, young males commit suicide at alarming rates and the events often cluster, resulting in 2-3 deaths at a time. I believe this complex problem is caused by the effects of historical trauma, alcohol abuse, poverty, a poor educational system, and the availability of firearms. Bringing the suicide rate down in times of State financial troubles means that these remote communities need to develop their own actions and solutions.
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Slain teen Nicole Lovell was stabbed, prosecutors say

Slain teen Nicole Lovell was stabbed, prosecutors say | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Blacksburg authorities have charged two Virginia Tech students in connection with Nicole Lovell’s death.
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More as info develops....

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How shadow banking works

How shadow banking works | Criminology and Economic Theory |
ON JANUARY 5th, in a campaign speech in New York, American senator Bernie Sanders pledged to break up banks that were deemed “too big to fail” and vowed to put a leash on their shadowy cousins. Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve’s chair, has admitted that shadow banks pose “a huge challenge” to the world economy. In an editorial for the New York Times in December, Hillary Clinton called for tough measures to contain the global bogeyman. Politicians and economists who often have little in common, unanimously agree that shadow banking, left to its own devices, has the potential to trigger another financial collapse. What are shadow banks and why is there such a fuss about them them?

The term “shadow bank” was coined in 2007 by Paul McCulley of PIMCO, a big bond fund to describe risky off-balance-sheet vehicles hatched by banks to sell loans repackaged as bonds. Today, the term is used more loosely to cover all financial intermediaries that perform bank-like activity but are not regulated as one. These include mobile payment systems, pawnshops, peer-to-peer lending websites, hedge funds and bond-trading platforms set up by technology firms. Among the biggest are asset management companies. In 2013 investment funds that make such loans raised a whopping $97 billion worldwide. Companies looking for cash also lean on bond markets that offer extraordinarily low interest rates. Globally, between 2007 and 2012, firms thus raised $1.7 trillion by issuing corporate bonds. Money-market funds that invest in short term securities like US treasury bills have taken off too. In China alone, they grew six times to 2.2 trillion yuan ($341 billion) between mid-2013 and December 2015. In December they hit a sweet spot when Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the first time in nearly ten years. The Financial Stability Board, an international watchdog estimates that globally, the informal lending sector serviced assets worth $80 trillion in 2014 up from $26 trillion more than a decade earlier.

Shadow banks have flourished in part because the traditional ones, battered by losses incurred during the financial slump, are under pressure. Tighter capital requirements and fear of heavy penalties have kept them grounded. In China, where banks are discouraged from lending to certain industries and are mandated to offer frustratingly low interest rates on deposits, non-banks fill the gap. About two-thirds of all lending in the country by shadow banks are in fact “bank loans in disguise”, reckons the Brookings institution, a think tank. Critics worry that unlike banks, which lend against deposits from customers, non-banks loan money using investor’s cash and rotating lines of credit. This is especially risky when skittish investors who bet on short term gains withdraw their money at once. But non-bank financing need not always be a bad thing. It offers an additional source of credit to individuals and businesses in countries where formal banking is either expensive or absent. It also takes some burden off banks which have big “maturity mismatches” (the difference between the amount of time a depositor's money is parked in the bank minus the time that it is loaned out).

And belatedly, regulators, too, are waking up to the new financial order. Banks must now declare structured investment vehicles on their balance sheets. Authorities have considered imposing leverage limits on various forms of shadow banks in America and Europe. In January last year, America’s Federal Housing Finance Agency proposed new rules that would require all non-banks to have a minimum net worth of $2.5m plus a quarter percentage point of the outstanding loan stock that they service. Only then would they be able to sell their loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy American mortgages from banks, bundle them into securities and resell them to investors with a guarantee. The move aims to protect the two government-backed housing giants against under-capitalised lenders. It is a small start to rein in an industry that accounts for a quarter of the global financial system.
Rob Duke's insight:

We'll touch on this topic again when we get to white collar crime....

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Kris Jenner on How She Felt About Ex-Husband Defending O.J. Simpson

Kris Jenner is revealing how "hard" it was to have ex-husband Robert Kardashian on the defense team for the O.J. Simpson trial.

Simpson was charged with the murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson in 1994 and was acquitted of criminal charges.

Jenner, who was close friends with Brown Simpson, revealed that she was present at the trial as often as she could be, and explained to People magazine why watching her ex-husband defend Simpson was difficult.

"They were trying to save O.J. from going to jail. It was very hard," Jenner said.

Jenner, 60, also discussed the most "stressful" parts about the trial, noting that she "just wanted it to be over so that we could all try to pick up the pieces."

"It was excruciating to see how painful it was for the families to hear them go over and over all the details of what had happened," Jenner said. "It went on for so long. It was very stressful."
Rob Duke's insight:

How pop culture and justice in America are inter-related...

Christa Lynch's comment, February 4, 4:55 PM
This article was ridiculous. It almost seems that she is making it about herself, i know they are asking how it impacted her but it gave me the creeps. It seems like she was backing OJ then memorializing Nicole Brown and their friendship. Also remaining neutral and acknowledging her X husbands role. Weird.
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Man Accused of 'Looking to Kill a Cop' Charged With Murder

Man Accused of 'Looking to Kill a Cop' Charged With Murder | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A man whose ex-girlfriend told police he left her house "looking to kill a cop" was charged Monday in the January death of an Ohio officer who was shot in the head, and the suspect could face the death penalty if convicted.

A Knox County grand jury indicted Herschel Ray Jones III on 10 counts, half of them linked to the slaying of 34-year-old Officer Thomas Cottrell in Danville. His body was found behind the village's municipal building late Jan. 17, shortly after Jones' ex-girlfriend warned police that he was armed and might be targeting an officer.

Prosecutor Chip McConville said Jones apparently will be represented by a public defender, who didn't immediately return a message seeking comment. McConville said he anticipates the defense will request that Jones undergo a mental competency evaluation.

McConville declined to discuss what communication investigators have had with Jones or a possible motive for the shooting.
Boyd Thomas Branch's comment, February 3, 1:04 AM
Sad story to read about and it is becoming a headline far too often lately. I wonder if or when states and the federal government will step up and make killing a law enforcement like this a hate crime.
Rachael Toy's comment, February 3, 3:15 AM
I just don’t understand people. Not only did he feel the need to murder but it had to specifically be a cop. I see that as defiantly being a premeditated. Like the comment before me, this should be looked at as a hate crime; targeting a specific person like that. I understand that cops are not perfect and many do bad things but for the most part they are just doing their jobs. Why do they need to be targeted to make a statement? I feel so bad for this man’s family, to loss him in such a degraded and sad way. This guy is going to use the insane plea till he is blue in the face but I just can’t see that holding up. He has such a long criminal history and they have a witness to his premeditated nature. Yet again if he is deemed insane I hope he gets the help he so badly needs.
Christa Lynch's comment, February 4, 5:03 PM
This is clearly someone who is suffering from some kind of mental breakdown. A hate crime? I would have to disagree. You could pretty much classify any crime against somebody a hate cry by definition. The penalty for killing an officer is severe. I think if you could intentionally prove that a person, such as in this case, is actively seeking to kill an officer, then that should be classified as hate crime. To single out and search for a specific group, race, gender and so on is based on hate. But every officer killing is not a hate crime and shouldn't be viewed as that.
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Recovered Madoff Money Now Over $11 Billion; More Hidden Away?

Recovered Madoff Money Now Over $11 Billion; More Hidden Away?
Rob Duke's insight:

This is a long developing story.  It's difficult to argue deterrence when Madoff's been chilling in jail and these funds have been out there waiting for him to get out.

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Myanmar parliament enters democratic era after 54 years of military rule

Myanmar parliament enters democratic era after 54 years of military rule | Criminology and Economic Theory |
There is a long road ahead before full democracy comes to Myanmar.
Rob Duke's insight:

Comparative Folks: this is an interesting development in Burmese culture.

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What It’s Like Being Blackmailed Over a Webcam Sex Video | VICE | United States

Did you ever report it to the police?
No, because I just knew that if they're out of the country, there's nothing they can do about it. When I read your previous article about it, I thought it was good that other people were reporting it. I was glad when I found out I wasn't the only person it happened to because it felt pretty silly. I couldn't imagine if it happened to guys who were married or had kids—that's when they probably pay.
Austyn Hewitt's comment, Today, 4:50 PM
I have two opinions on this article. First, this guy is so not smart for getting naked in front of a stranger on Skype. Why would you get naked on the Internet for someone whom you met on the internet? I do not get it. Personally, I think if you act like that you deserve for a little backlash. I know that's a strong opinion but I believe that it is 100% preventable. Second, he should have filed a report with the police. They might have not been able to help that much but they could have looked into he females account. I think stuff like this happens all the time and no one reports it because they are embarrassed. I hope the guy learned his lesson to not Skype naked again.
Rob Duke's comment, Today, 5:02 PM
This is also that kind of "don't throw me in the Briar Patch" behavior we see from offenders as they plead how they don't have the capacity to pay fines, etc.
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10 Most Corrupt Police Forces in The World

10 Most Corrupt Police Forces in The World | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Here are the 10 most corrupt police forces in the world. All around the world, police forces have been plagued by deep-rooted corruption & criminal activity
Thomas Antal's comment, Today, 3:09 PM
I can’t say I’m surprised that many of these corrupt police forces are in third world countries. These nations are in desperate need for basic infrastructure both economically and politically. But with a broken system there isn’t anyone going around and checking their practices. Many of these officers can be easily swayed by the dollar because their families need to be taken care of. Financially they don’t make much so turning to corruption brings in the extra cast to ensure their families are taken care of.
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Who killed the death penalty?

Who killed the death penalty? | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The proof is overwhelming: capital punishment is dying. Statistically and politically, it is already mortally wounded, even as it staggers through an indeterminate—but probably brief—swansong. Fairly soon, someone will be the last person to be executed in America. The reasons for this decline themselves form a suspenseful tale of locked-room intrigue, unexpected twists and unusual suspects. So, whodunnit? Who killed the death penalty?

Twelve less angry men
Where politicians follow, voters often lead. Capital punishment is no longer a litmus test of political machismo because public enthusiasm for it is waning. Most Americans still favour retaining it, but that majority is narrowing. And one critical constituency—the mystery’s first prime suspect—is especially sceptical: juries.
Nichole Bathe's comment, February 4, 4:17 PM
The death penalty has been on the outs for years and I think its a good thing really. The more research done about it shows just how ineffective it actually is in detering crime and the chances that you kill and innocent person are slowly started to resonate with people. Like the jury point this article and Ashley made, do jury's really want to be responsible for essentially killing someone? I think in the next few years the death penalty will no longer be an option in the U.S and that not a bad thing. Especially when we have life without parole, which is cheaper and maybe even worse because they have to live with what they did for the rest of their lives.
Chris Campbell's comment, February 4, 9:28 PM
Giving out the death penalty to any individual can be a hard decision and extremely costly. The way the death penalty is written and carried out now should be changed to suit cases that are for extreme criminals and that are won on fact and evidence. If you have a murder case and you can prove that the convicted individual is guilty with both facts and evidence, and that beyond a reasonable doubt this is the culprit then the death sentenced should be issued. Once issued it should be carried out within a week. The death penalty should not have a 16 year waiting period and cost the state a million dollars.
Linda Darnell's comment, Today, 12:26 AM
I am sure that in some instances, the death penalty may seem like a just and fair way to initiate punishment for the wrongdoing. My issue with this is that there is such a large error associated with whether or not someone is wrongfully convicted and because of this the time between the act and the punishment can take a decade. After ten years, the association of the punishment to the crime is seemingly lost therefore rendering this method of punishment useless. Rational Choice Theory suggests that we should deter from crime based on the severity of the punishment given and with the death penalty it does not seem that this theory holds water.
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Chinese company Ezubao accused of being $7.6 billion Ponzi scheme

Chinese company Ezubao accused of being $7.6 billion Ponzi scheme | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Chinese police arrested 21 employees at China's largest online finance business on suspicion of fleecing 900,000 investors for $7.6 billion, in what could be the biggest financial fraud in Chinese history.

Via SustainOurEarth
Nichole Bathe's comment, February 4, 4:21 PM
This is very interesting, China as a government is very interesting to start with. So I'm very interested to follow this story and see if these people are punished and if so what type of punishment they receive. We have been talking about how different countries deal with crime and how they punish crime, so I think this could be a good tell of how China's government deals with big companies ponzi schemes and comparing it to how the U.S would deal with it.
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Bill Cosby Could Dodge Sexual Assault Charges on a Weird Technicality | VICE | United States

Former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. told a judge Tuesday that he effectively gave Cosby immunity from criminal charges back then in order to compel him to testify in a civil suit instead.

"I decided that we would not prosecute Mr. Cosby and that would set a chain of events that would get some justice for Andrea Constand," the former district attorney said, suggesting that getting her money was "the best he could do." The civil suit was settled in 2006.
Rob Duke's insight:

All systems of justice produce the mitigated truth.  Would an Inquisitorial system have produced better justice in this case?

Austyn Hewitt's comment, Today, 5:03 PM
I do not know if there could be better Justice with using the inquisitorial system, maybe. I feel that the Bill Cosby case is very confusing and I do not know how it will end. This article discusses one women's experience but I know from other information outside of this article that countless other women have said so also. Knowing that information makes me question the whole case. Without using the outside information this case seems very unbalanced and that a lot of information or evidence is missing. I guess it will al be figured out on Wednesday.
Rob Duke's comment, Today, 5:07 PM
In the F2F class, we watch the movie Polisse. It's a documentary style movie that shows life in a Paris Police vice unit. In it, there's one vignette of a child molester who has molested his daughter, but due to his political connections, it's unclear if he will be held accountable.
Rob Duke's comment, Today, 5:13 PM
I highly recommend watching this moving: it's available on Netflix and on Amazon Prime. I recommend watching it to better understand the French system, but be aware that it's built along the same tragic lines as a Steinbeck novel--there are no happy endings. I also recommend viewing "A Separation"--about the Iranian civil and criminal law system. (available on Amazon Prime). Both are dramas and subtitled.
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National briefs: Slain girl said she would sneak to see "boyfriend," neighbor says

National briefs: Slain girl said she would sneak to see "boyfriend," neighbor says | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The 13-year-old girl who allegedly was stabbed to death by a Virginia Tech student told friends she would sneak out to meet her “boyfriend” David, an 18-year-old she met online, a neighbor said.

Seventh-grader Nicole Madison Lovell was killed Wednesday, the same day she vanished from her bedroom, by David Eisenhauer, a freshman at Virginia Tech now jailed on charges of kidnapping and murder, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt said Tuesday.

The neighbor said that before she vanished, Nicole showed her daughters Mr. Eisenhauer’s picture along with a thread of texts they had shared, and said she would be sneaking out that night to meet him.
Barbara Michael's comment, February 4, 1:21 PM
My best friend's son was just victimized by a child predator that used Kik, Google Hangouts, Snapchat and Instagram to get ahold of her son. Texting is so yesterday and these other applications are difficult for parents to keep on and to follow since there is virtually no trail. This is frightening as a parent to say the least. And the company's say that they have security in place, but that didn't keep my friend's son from brutal sexual assault that lasted over a period of seven months. Something must change with online access to our children.
Stephani Fallis's comment, February 4, 8:08 PM
…I have three daughters, and if any of them pulled this crap the crazy boy they met on the internet would be the least of their worries.
Austyn Hewitt's comment, Today, 5:08 PM
This article makes me so nervous because I have a young daughter. Young kids have no idea the danger of meeting people on the Internet. I know there can be investigations after the incident happens but I think it would be more beneficial for kids to know what happens before bad things like this happens. It is so sad and 100% preventable.
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Ravens Can Imagine Being Watched : DNews

Ravens Can Imagine Being Watched : DNews | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Ravens can imagine being spied upon by a hidden competitor, showing a capacity for abstraction once thought to be exclusively human, according to a study released Tuesday.

In a clever set of experiments, scientists showed that the famously intelligent birds take extra care to hide food if they suspect their movements are being monitored by another raven, even when the second bird is not really there.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggest that ravens — without recourse to direct observation — are able to understand what might be going on in the mind of another individual.
Rob Duke's insight:

This is interesting because it gives us some insight about what might be genetically influenced (naturally occurring behavior) and what might be socially learned in humans.

Mary Dombroski's comment, February 4, 12:37 AM
Definitely an interesting article and makes you wonder what other animals may be able to recognize they are being watched. The study itself is very interesting. I wonder what prompted them to chose the raven in the first place.
Ryan Conner's comment, Today, 5:16 AM
This is amazing, however when I thinking about it, you can see this kind of stuff happing with other animals. I have noticed this happing with dogs on occasion, maybe not to the extent the ravens displayed, but I have see a dog hold onto a treat or toy just to keep it away from another dog if they are showing interest in it. Or it could be a learned trait from being around humans for such a long time that they pick up the habits and techniques as a result of their environment. I can remember watching Shark Week and the same species of shark would hunt differently because of their environment. This can be the same for humans as well they adapt to their surroundings based on their environment.
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Woodinville may end police surveillance camera program

Woodinville may end police surveillance camera program | Criminology and Economic Theory |
According to a city report written by Woodinville Police Chief Katie Larson, the cameras were designed to "deter, prevent or reduce crime."  But three public records requests filed after the installation raised concerns about the technology's usefulness.

"The cameras have site line limitations," Chief Larson wrote. "We are unable to discern much from the video."

Notably, license plate numbers cannot be read in daylight or darkness.  Furthermore, the chief indicates, the department "does not have the resources to dedicate to maintain the system."

Fixing the cameras could cost up to $400,000.
Rob Duke's insight:

For rural departments, USDA funds were available for these systems.  My guess is that this was a lowest bidder problem, or an ownership problem (truly embracing the program at its home agency), because other cities are having good success with optics.


Imagine if you can cover all the travel routes, how much would that reduce crime?

Boyd Thomas Branch's comment, February 3, 12:58 AM
Interesting way to try help maintain control of people. If these cameras worked it could really help in the deterrence theory because many crimes would be caught on tape which would up the certainty of being caught.
Boan White's comment, Today, 5:19 PM
It depends of whether Federal signal kept quit about problem because it was a design flaw or simple a glitch in the batch of cameras that Woodinville, Illinois received. If it was simple malfunction in that batch of cameras then it was just bad luck on the part of Woodinville. If it was a design flaw then the chief financial officer of the Illinois-based Federal Signal, Brian Cooper, should have known about the The cameras site line limitations before having them installed much less claim that the surveillance camera would be really effective, work very well, have high resolution. After all Federal Signal should have done numerous test and simulations and therefore seen the design flaw and fixed them. Another question is how Federal Signal could claim that they have herd nothing but satisfaction from the product works and the customer when the law enforcement agency and the mayor are clearly not satisfied. Though I have to say that the I like the idea of using surveillance cameras to catch the culprit committing the crime and deter crime.
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Virginia Tech Students Get Lawyers As Police Probe Teen's Death

Virginia Tech Students Get Lawyers As Police Probe Teen's Death | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Those who know two former Howard County students charged in connection with the murder of a middle schooler are breaking their silence. There’s new information as both appear in court. Two promising Virginia Tech stduents from Howard County face a judge after being accused in the killing of a 13-year-old girl in Virginia. The multi-state murder investigation is growing with new questions about the motive.
Miranda Kay Grieser's comment, February 2, 2:26 AM
I think it is crazy that the people we least expect to do something like this are usually the ones to do it. I was disappointed reading this article though because I was hoping to find the motive behind this guy killing the 13-year old girl. They do say in the article that he claimed “the truth will set him free”. But what does that even mean? They also said that the girl wasn’t killed with a gun, so how was she killed? There are a lot of holes in the story, and leaves me wanting to learn more about what happened.
Rob Duke's comment, February 2, 2:30 AM
We may not find out much until trial since they've opted to have attorneys very early. This is quite a contrast with the French system, continental civil law, hybrid systems (Japan), and sacred law, and socialist systems where defense attorneys have a limited role in defending the accused.
Christa Lynch's comment, February 4, 3:54 PM
I found his original statement "the truth shall set me free" a little bizarre. There is obviously some major issues in this case that haven't been revealed. So because this was a multi-state murder, does that mean they could be tried in both states. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts because if one states fumbles the other could pick up the case under the Dual Sovereignty Doctrine. It seems that they are making it clear there is multiple states that have a vested interest in this case.
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4 Ex-Blackwater Contractors Appeal Convictions in Shootings

4 Ex-Blackwater Contractors Appeal Convictions in Shootings | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Four former Blackwater security contractors found guilty in a deadly Baghdad shooting appealed their convictions on Monday, saying a key witness against them had changed his testimony after the trial and that prosecutors lacked jurisdiction to even bring the case.

The appeals, long expected, represent the latest legal volley in a criminal case that's spanned years in Washington's federal court and that concluded with guilty verdicts following a monthslong trial in 2014.

Nicholas Slatten is serving a life sentence on a charge of first-degree murder. Three other former guards — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were found guilty of manslaughter and firearms charges carrying mandatory minimum 30-year sentences.

The case arose from a September 2007 shooting in Nisoor Square, with prosecutors accusing the guards in the deaths of 14 Iraqi civilians. The mass killings at the crowded traffic circle in downtown Baghdad strained international relations and drew immediate public scrutiny to the role of American contractors in war-torn Iraq.

At trial, the two sides presented the jury with radically different accounts of what happened: Prosecutors described the killings as a one-sided ambush of unarmed civilians, while defense lawyers said the guards opened fire only after a white Kia sedan seen as a potential car bomb threat began moving quickly toward their convoy.

Central to the appeal is a witness who defense lawyers say changed his account of what happened in a way that undermines the government's narrative.

The witness, an Iraqi traffic officer, told jurors that the driver of the Kia was killed by the first shots that were fired in an unprovoked burst of violence that set off the rest of the rampage. He testified that after seeing the mortally wounded driver, he ran in front of the convoy with his hands up and told the guards to stop shooting.

But right before the sentencing hearing last April, the same witness submitted a victim impact statement saying that the driver was still alive when the shooting started and that, instead of standing before the convoy as he had earlier maintained, he actually remained in his traffic kiosk out of fear.
Ryan Conner's comment, Today, 5:15 AM
From the little information given, it sounds like this would be very hard case to have to work on from both standpoints. Given the little information, I can’t see how there can’t be a successful appeal, just based on the new information and the changing of the story by the guard. I would hope they were acting within their rights but who knows without being there and not have a witness that for the most part changed their entire story.
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Teacher Not Charged in California Prison Escape

The 44-year-old jail teacher arrested in connection with the escape of three maximum-security inmates at a California lockup will be released today, Orange County Prosecutor Tony Rackauckas said in a news conference.

“At this time, there is insufficient evidence to charge her with any crime," Rackauckas said of Nooshafarin Ravaghi.

She's being released on her own recognizance, although required to turn in her passport until the investigation is complete, officials said.
Rachael Toy's comment, February 3, 3:02 AM
Unfortunately the story is very vague on her part of the escape. As they gather more information I hope it becomes clearer on what she did and how involved she was in their escape. I think that this is huge deal. The idea that people can escape from jail is scary. Though we all know it is possible, it doesn’t happen much so I would believe that we don’t worry or even think about it much. Yet, when it does happen it always seems so easily done. If she really was involved in their escape I hope that some sort of punishment will come her way. People shouldn’t get away with helping anyone in jail or prison escape. I can appreciate the fact that they were apprehended and no longer at large. It is always good to see the “good guys” win. At least we can have faith that our police forces are doing their very best.
Jazmin Pauline's comment, February 3, 3:29 AM
I feel that there was more to it than what is told her because to escape the way that they did , there had to be others involved in the escape.
Rob Duke's comment, February 3, 1:01 PM
I suspect that this is more of the "we can't call people 'suspects', so we invent 'person of interest' as a new term." They may still plan on filing charges at some point, but protect themselves from defamation claims early on....
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Farm Kid Writes Home After Joining The Marines. This Is Priceless.

Farm Kid Writes Home After Joining The Marines. This Is Priceless. | Criminology and Economic Theory |

iLove this.

Rob Duke's insight:

It's not criminology related per se, but it's funny to me.  Hope you like it.

Miranda Kay Grieser's comment, February 2, 2:27 AM
I am absolutely mind-blown that it was a girl that wrote this letter!!! I was not expecting it to say “Love your daughter” at the end of the letter. My mouth actually dropped in shock when I read that last line. This girl means business so I am glad she is part of the Marines, looks like she’s fitting right in and crushing the competition in the process. It is crazy to think that people that live on the farm go through so much more than military does. Because she is right, they have to get up way earlier than 6am to do all the chores on the farm.
Christa Lynch's comment, February 4, 4:03 PM
Ha! I thought it was just comparing the Corps to farm life. Making fun of how easy it is and what real "hard work" consists of. I don't want to spoil the joke so i'll just say it was funny.
Thomas Antal's comment, Today, 3:16 PM
This letter is absolutely hilarious. But I would assume someone who lives the hard farm life wouldn’t be shy from most of basic training.