Criminology and Economic Theory
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Judge finds two Ohio teens delinquent in rape of girl

Judge finds two Ohio teens delinquent in rape of girl | Criminology and Economic Theory |
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (Reuters) - Two high school football players from Ohio were found guilty on Sunday of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party last summer while she was in a drunken stupor in a case that...
Amber Thompson's comment, March 19, 2013 11:47 PM
Although this girl did not have memory of what happened it does not mean that it is any less serious than if she did remember. There are so many incidents just like this that occur on campuses, school parties, and in bars. For this area to set the standard for this behavior to be unacceptable is just a small step in the right direction. I think youth do not have the brain development to always make the best choice in the moment and often times there is a small consequence. For there to be an example of the real consequence should guild other youth to make the same choice. This is an example of crime deterrence at it best.
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Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds | Criminology and Economic Theory |
“Once formed,” the researchers observed dryly, “impressions are remarkably perseverant.”

A few years later, a new set of Stanford students was recruited for a related study. The students were handed packets of information about a pair of firefighters, Frank K. and George H. Frank’s bio noted that, among other things, he had a baby daughter and he liked to scuba dive. George had a small son and played golf. The packets also included the men’s responses on what the researchers called the Risky-Conservative Choice Test. According to one version of the packet, Frank was a successful firefighter who, on the test, almost always went with the safest option. In the other version, Frank also chose the safest option, but he was a lousy firefighter who’d been put “on report” by his supervisors several times. Once again, midway through the study, the students were informed that they’d been misled, and that the information they’d received was entirely fictitious. The students were then asked to describe their own beliefs. What sort of attitude toward risk did they think a successful firefighter would have? The students who’d received the first packet thought that he would avoid it. The students in the second group thought he’d embrace it.

Even after the evidence “for their beliefs has been totally refuted, people fail to make appropriate revisions in those beliefs,” the researchers noted. In this case, the failure was “particularly impressive,” since two data points would never have been enough information to generalize from.

The Stanford studies became famous. Coming from a group of academics in the nineteen-seventies, the contention that people can’t think straight was shocking. It isn’t any longer. Thousands of subsequent experiments have confirmed (and elaborated on) this finding. As everyone who’s followed the research—or even occasionally picked up a copy of Psychology Today—knows, any graduate student with a clipboard can demonstrate that reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational. Rarely has this insight seemed more relevant than it does right now. Still, an essential puzzle remains: How did we come to be this way?

In a new book, “The Enigma of Reason” (Harvard), the cognitive scientists Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber take a stab at answering this question. Mercier, who works at a French research institute in Lyon, and Sperber, now based at the Central European University, in Budapest, point out that reason is an evolved trait, like bipedalism or three-color vision. It emerged on the savannas of Africa, and has to be understood in that context.
Rob Duke's insight:
Notice the two methodologies.  Any ethical concerns on either one?
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Fairbanks Police Release Footage Of James Richards Shooting Incident | CBS News 13

Fairbanks Police Release Footage Of James Richards Shooting Incident | CBS News 13 | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Rob Duke's insight:
Video is interesting.  Certainly looks like a good shoot to me.  This could have ended a lot worse as it developed into a hostage situation.
Rachel Nichols's comment, Today, 12:16 AM
The article makes mention of the witnesses at the motel where this began stating that he came in demanding drugs and money. These things are very well what caused this and it is sad to me that it escalated how it did because of the need for drugs and for money for drugs. These things ultimately ruined his life and ended it. He also endangered the lives of many others all because of an addiction he (probably) had.
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Cops Say She Catfished a Rival Into Jail—and That Was Just the Start

Cops Say She Catfished a Rival Into Jail—and That Was Just the Start | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Police arrested a California woman for impersonating her hubby’s ex—and now authorities say she may have stolen the identities of other girls as well.
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Top students more likely to smoke pot, drink alcohol, study says

Top students more likely to smoke pot, drink alcohol, study says | Criminology and Economic Theory |
British teens with the highest test scores are less likely to smoke cigarettes but more likely to drink alcohol and smoke pot compared with teens with lower scores.
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A Swedish politician is advocating for the ultimate workplace benefit: paid breaks for sex

A Swedish politician is advocating for the ultimate workplace benefit: paid breaks for sex | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Per-Erik Muskos, a 42-year-old local council member for Övertorneå in northern Sweden, proposed this week that Swedes should take a one-hour paid break from work to go home and have sex with their partners. Muskos expressed concern about couples who do not have enough time together, and noted that “studies” show that sex is healthy
Rob Duke's insight:
Um? ok, I guess.....
Brenden Arthur Couch's comment, February 23, 2:28 AM
I am kind of speechless too, maybe I move to Sweden, my problem is that you'd end up having more kids and I have enough pregnant women in my life. IDK will this better their economy? This is weird I had to read it.
Katrina Bishop's comment, February 25, 7:38 PM
This doesn’t make much sense to me. If they already have a six hour work week, getting paid for eight, wouldn’t they have time to improve the physical element of their relationships? I don’t understand how businesses will have the money or resources to pay their employees if the work day continues to be decreased. I would think the productivity would eventually overtake the business, but if it works for Sweden then I suppose there’s nothing else to say about it.
Rachel Nichols's comment, February 25, 11:49 PM
It sounds like I need to move to Sweden. They have a nice work schedule with relaxing breaks throughout the day to help them rejuvenate and eat sweets, and now they are pushing for more breaks that allow employees to go home and have sex with their partners. I think this sounds great and if used as is intended could probably cause Sweden to have the happiest residents. The world could use a place like that, however how can it be sure that the employees will use the extra, paid one hour break how they are supposed to, and how is there money for this? I feel like potential problems could come from this because the article said the breaks would be for single and coupled individuals, but what are the single people supposed to do during these sex breaks? Still have sex? Would this promote sex with whomever, which would cause more STD’s and result in more pregnant women? I could see problems possibly coming from having this extra break during the workday, but also many benefits as people will enjoy their work days more, possibly wanting to work harder and make the businesses they work for stronger. These people should look forward to waking up each morning because they won’t be as stressed and will be happier in life.
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The Economist explains: Why the yakuza are not illegal | The Economist

The Economist explains: Why the yakuza are not illegal | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

THE Yamaguchi-Gumi, one of the world's largest and most ferocious gangs, is estimated to earn over $6 billion a year from drugs, protection, loan-sharking, real-estate rackets and even, it is said, Japan’s stock exchange. This year, the organisation's 100th, over 2,000 of its 23,400 members split away, leaving police nervous about what fallout might follow; a war between rival gangs in the mid-1980s claimed over two dozen lives. And yet membership of the yakuza—as Japan's crime syndicates are known—is not technically illegal. Finding a mob hangout requires little more than a telephone book. Tokyo’s richest crime group has an office tucked off the back streets of the glitzy Ginza shopping district. A bronze nameplate on the door helpfully identifies the Sumiyoshi-kai, another large criminal organisation. Full gang members carry business cards and register with the police. Some have pension plans.
The yakuza emerged from misfit pedlars and gamblers in the Edo period (between 1603 and 1868) that formed into criminal gangs. During Japan’s turbo-charged modernisation, they reached deep into the economy; after the second world war they grew powerful in black markets. Their might peaked in the 1960s with an estimated membership of 184,000. At their zenith, they had strong links to conservative politicians and were used by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Japan’s post-war political behemoth, to break up unions and left-wing demonstrations. Such ties may not have completely faded. 
This history may explain in part why the gangs are not exactly illegal. But partly under pressure from America, which wants Japan to rein in financial crime, the mob is being brought to heel. Yakuza-exclusion ordinances, introduced three years ago, stop companies from knowingly engaging in business with gangsters. Businesses from banks to corner shops are now obliged to confirm that customers have no ties to organised crime. Known gangsters cannot open bank accounts. Still, there are no plans to criminalise the gangs themselves. The police believe that would drive crime underground, says Hiroki Allen, a security and finance consultant who studies the yakuza. At least now they are regulated and subject to the law, he says: gangsters have often been known to surrender by walking into police stations. “If one member does something bad you can call in the boss and take the whole gang down,” he says.

The upshot is that the yakuza still operate in plain view in a way that would be unthinkable in America or Europe. Fan magazines, comic books and movies glamorise them. Major gang bosses are quasi-celebrities. Though membership has shrunk to a record low of 53,500, according to the National Police Agency, "muscle work" is subcontracted to freelancers with no police records. A tougher core of gangsters has migrated from the mob's traditional cash cows into financial crimes that may be harder to detect. The yakuza have also been involved in the Fukushima nuclear cleanup and are thought to be eyeing rich pickings from construction and entertainment ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. As long as violence from the recent split does not spill over into the streets, nobody expects the yakuza to be seriously impeded. Japan, it seems, prefers organised crime to the disorganised alternative.

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Anchorage land-use specialist tapped to head Alaska's alcohol and marijuana office

Erika McConnell, who helped guide implementation of Anchorage's local marijuana land-use regulations, will now head the office tasked with overseeing alcohol and marijuana in Alaska.
Rob Duke's insight:
A land planner was appointed to head the regulatory and enforcement agency in charge of alcohol and cannabis in Alaska....hmm...
Jonathan Beardsley's comment, February 22, 5:07 PM
I can see why they would want someone who is a land planner to be in charge of marijuana since the most regulated part of the industry is where you can and can't grow. The zoning is very important to the local production of recreational marijuana, But for alcohol I don't see how being a land planner can be useful.
Brenden Arthur Couch's comment, February 23, 2:46 AM
I think it will be interesting to see where this goes and how this benefits. If he was in charge of how land for growing marijuana is used perhaps he will be familiar with the new sets of laws and regs that go with it. It could be a good thing to benefit the people within the state if it is spent and/or saved properly.
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The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to take up a challenge to Alabama's lethal injection method

The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to take up a challenge to Alabama's lethal injection method | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to take up a challenge to Alabama's method of lethal injection.
Jonathan Beardsley's comment, February 22, 5:43 PM
Regardless of my views on the death penalty The fact that the state wants to use a more available drug that could cause more pain during lethal injection is not ok with me. I agree with the supreme court that if there is a less painful alternative then the proposed method of death penalty should be turned down.
Manisha Misra's comment, February 22, 5:49 PM
Well this is kind of crazy. I feel like because the death penalty isn't as widely used nowadays is because of cruel and unusual punishment, then why would it even be considered to use a drug that is seen as cruel and unusual punishment because of the level of pain it causes. I think that by purposefully using a method that is known to be more painful, we're bordering on torture with the issue, which is absolutely not okay.
Justin Baugh's comment, February 23, 6:30 PM
Midazolam is a sedative that is used in hospitals to put people under for surgery. No matter that drug use used to inject an inmate to kill them by lethal injection. A lethal injection is nothing more than a legal overdose of a person. So if we look at lethal injection as an overdose does it make sense that we legally overdose a person?
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Police 'warn' of cows trying to sell dairy products

Police 'warn' of cows trying to sell dairy products | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Police in Connecticut are reminding people to not open their doors to "any unfamiliar cattle" after a pair of cows escaped from their pen and were found near a home a couple of houses away.
Rob Duke's insight:
...and now for something completely different:
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Number of Alabama inmates dropping, but not without consequences

Number of Alabama inmates dropping, but not without consequences | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The law made possession of drugs, including heroin, a felony not punishable by jail time for first-time offenders.
Justin Baugh's comment, February 23, 6:41 PM
First-time felons not being in jail if the felon is a drug related charge is not going to help anyone because it puts the felons back on the streets with nothing more than a wrist slap because the lawmakers do not want to have overcrowded. This is not going to change the results on the street because once the felon is on the streets they come back to how their life where before they went to prison. This new system is only going to had a label to the offenders.
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The Heiress Who Buzz Sawed Her Boyfriend

The Heiress Who Buzz Sawed Her Boyfriend | Criminology and Economic Theory |
MUNICH, Germany—After sawing off the head of her bound and blind-folded boyfriend in the midst of a sex game, Gabi P. just pulled a blanket over the body, closed the door and didn’t enter the room for the next few months. It was only when she went on holiday half a year later that her new boyfriend, Christian K, an aspiring techno DJ who was freshly in love with her, accidently discovered the rotting remains when dropping by to feed her cat. (German privacy laws do not allow the publication of last names ongoing court cases.)
A friend of Christian’s remembers how, several years later, Christian once broke down sobbing in the street. Christian confessed: Gabi murdered her ex-boyfriend and he’s buried in our garden.
“And you didn’t ask him any further questions?” the judge, incredulous, asked Christian’s friend in a Munich courtroom Thursday.

Last week, 32-year-old Gabi P. was on trial here for murdering Alexander H. with an electric circular saw after a fight in 2008. But what looks like coldly premeditated slaughter (Hey, let me blindfold you and get out my saw!) may have been an “act of desperation” brought on by Alexander’s insistence on degrading sex in their relationship.
At least, that’s what the defense is arguing. Most of Gabi’s own testimony is closed to the public. But from other witnesses the judge wants to know: Was Alexander very dominant with Gabi? Did he beat her up? Did he demand and pressure her into BDSM sex?
By the time police officers got around to unearthing Alexander’s remains from Gabi’s yard last year, his parents had long given up the search for their adoptive son. Yet on the fourth morning of the trial, Alexander’s mother walked up to her son’s alleged killer and shook her hand. “They’ve made up!“ an old lady in the audience whispered excitedly.
“I don’t have any hate,” Alexander’s mother told the court on Tuesday, while fighting back tears. “This is terrible for all of us.”

In court, Gabi speaks very quietly. She keeps her face covered and only looks at the judge. Her red hair dye is growing out, revealing roots that have already gone grey.
She’d started dating Alexander (whom she only refers to as “Herr H.”—Mr. H) when she was 16 years old. He, five years older, had made the moves on her. Back then, she thought it was cool “that he made such an effort.”
Rob Duke's insight:
You've heard the old saw (pun intended): Life is stranger than fiction....
Jasmine Lowery's comment, February 22, 10:53 PM
This case is just crazy. I can see Gabi P. case being featured on the investigation discovery show deadly women a show that views criminal cases about women who kill. This case is clearly premediated a sex game on wrong oh come on there was way to this case than that. Murdering someone with a saw is completely out of control overkill. Its just sickening she showed no remorse just went about life its distributing. Gabi murdered Alexander and had her new boyfriend help her and buried him in a garden. She knew what she did and then tried to cover it up. One thing that stands out to me more than anything is that the parents stopped looking for Alexander that is just strange to me. The family didn’t notice any red flags in their relationship? Whether Alexander was verbally, emotionally or physically abusive or not no one deserves to be killed especially in this manner. You never really know what is going to set someone off mentally and that is just scary. It seems like Gabi P. had an overly inflated ego control and selfishness at its finest. Gabi mentioning that lie to police that Alexander wanted to move on with new girl to Romania. I think to an extent that maybe Alexander was tired of her. It is like absolute control freak murder motive if she couldn’t have him no one can. If Alexander was as horrible as Gabi claimed why didn’t she just leave him? I think there is a lot more to this story that has yet to be explained. It is just heinous and disturbing how someone can harbor so much rage towards someone else.
Tyler Hytry's comment, February 23, 4:07 PM
Thats some crazy stuff. She not only killed her boyfriend but just went about her normal life after she killed him with a freaking buzz saw. That and the mother of her boyfriend, that she killed, forgave her. The way these events rolled out of that article were really quite surprising.
Katrina Bishop's comment, February 25, 7:51 PM
I have to say, this situation seems very strange to me. It doesn’t seem like there are enough details to even make sense of what happened. When the guy went missing, didn’t anyone try to search the girl’s home or question her more than it sounds like they did? And why did the current boyfriend go along with it once he found the body? This seems like a hard-to-believe situation, but at least with a confession, the trial will likely move smoothly.
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For children who survive gun violence, road to recovery can be long

For children who survive gun violence, road to recovery can be long | Criminology and Economic Theory |
In the midst of gun violence in Chicago that has taken the lives of three kids, ABC News looks at the impacts of shootings on those who do survive and their communities.
Jonathan Hall's comment, February 19, 8:05 AM
I can't fathom being that young and not even being able to play basketball near an elementary school safely. I would like to have read more about the services as Briana pointed out. That level of violence does definitely constitute "out of control" in my mind.
Dustin Drover's comment, February 19, 11:38 PM
I never realized how many kids were shot before. I would have guessed that number to be way lower. I also didn't realize how much pain and suffering this leaves on a child, not only the actual physical wounds, but the mental ones as well. I never thought about how this can hurt their classmates, friends, and family either. I am also wondering if President Trumps threat to send the FBI is going to be actually implemented now that these kids have been shot and crime is still on the rise? I hope that these families and kids have the right rehabilitation programs to get them through their emotional pain.
Jennifer Slingerland's comment, February 20, 1:09 AM
So sad. This is one of those topics that I feel tends to get overlooked; we wax day in and day out about gun control, but no one seems to talk about the psychological impact it can have on the survivors. It's sad that we don't have more supportive programs to help people on both sides; maybe if we focused more on placing importance on mental health, we'd have fewer people feeling as if shooting another human being is the best way to solve their own issues.
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Immigration agents detain domestic-abuse victim in court

Immigration agents detain domestic-abuse victim in court | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Six federal immigration agents went to the El Paso County Courthouse last week and arrested an undocumented woman who had just received a protective order alleging that she was a victim of domestic violence.

The detention has alarmed officials who fear that that the arrest will scare undocumented victims of domestic abuse into staying with their abusers for fear of being deported and separated from their children or other family members.

“Our clients come to us at the lowest point in their lives,” said El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal, whose office represents domestic-abuse victims when they seek court orders against their abusers. “Many of them are so frightened of coming to us because of possible immigration concerns.”

Bernal said her office is taking steps to relieve those fears in the wake of last week’s arrest.
Rob Duke's insight:
I guess it depends on the circumstances.  I didn't want my community members pushed into the arms of the gangs or cartels, so we ignored most immigration violations (we weren't empowered to enforce these Federal laws), but there were some folks who were involved in criminal activity that we asked for help from ICE....
Eric Villasenor's comment, February 16, 7:39 PM
People shouldn't have to fear turning in an abuser because of deportation concerns. However, in most cases, they shouldn't be here illegally in the first place. It is not as difficult as people make it seem to gain residency. Those that prove their worth, can become residents.
Martha Hood's comment, February 19, 10:07 PM

If we want people to report domestic violence they should not have to fear deportation at the same time. There were better ways for ICE to handle this, they could have waited to arrest her, unless she was a serious threat. It is also suspected that the tip was from her abuser, which means that she is still suffering at the hands of her abuser. We need to protect women, even if they are not here legally.
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In the frame: Graphic novels and the refugee crisis | The Economist

In the frame: Graphic novels and the refugee crisis  | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |
ART SPIEGELMAN, the renowned graphic novelist behind “Maus” (1986, 1991), proved that comics can be expansive and nuanced enough to capture the stories of movements, peoples and nations. “Maus” depicted the experiences of his parents at the hands of the Nazis, including their imprisonment at Auschwitz. “In the Shadow of No Towers” (2004) recounted the events of the 9/11 attacks. Both works initially struggled to find a publisher—comics seemed too risky a medium to document such horrific events—yet they are now considered canonical graphic novels, works that cemented the genre’s gravity. 

Faced with documenting another 21st-century horror—the migrant crisis—a new generation of graphic novelists has taken up Mr Spiegelman’s torch, depicting the deadly journey across the Mediterranean. “A Perilous Journey”, a comic series by Benjamin Dix and Lindsay Pollock, follows three men who fled their homes in Syria for Europe (the last frame takes the unexpected form of a photograph, showing one of the characters reunited with his family after being granted asylum in Norway). In 2016, Marvel produced “Madaya Mom”, inspired by the experiences of a young mother in Madaya, a besieged Syrian resort town. Similar projects, like Sarah Glidden’s “Rolling Blackouts”, Ali Fitzgerald’s Refugee Comic Project,  Kate Evans’s “Threads: From the Refugee Crisis” and Wolfgang Speer’s “Stories from the Grand Hotel” also use the expansive form of the graphic novel to familiarise Western readers with the harrowing realities that refugees face every day. Comics have always dealt in the hidden good and evil of the world, celebrating the triumphs of everyday heroes over metaphorical monsters (Godzilla emerged as a stand-in for the nuclear bomb). Mr Spiegelman’s literary heirs do away with much of the metaphor—refugees’ lives are quite dramatic enough. 

The attributes that make the graphic novel an expressive form also make it a useful didactic tool: a handful of local and state governments have turned to comics to prescribe behaviour to newcomers. In January, the Department of National Policy, Interregional Relations and Tourism in Moscow published a 100-page comic guide illustrating proper conduct as part of an effort to lower “the level of tension among Muscovites and migrants”. Narrated by heroes and heroines from Russian fairy tales and folk stories (such as Princess Vasilisa the Wise, the manual instructs migrants not to attract attention to themselves, to refrain from ogling women and to always be ready to show their papers to authorities. Some of the information it imparts is practical—how to navigate the underground system, for example—but its thinly-concealed message is “assimilate quietly or leave”.

A German public broadcaster took a similar approach when it published a comic guide for migrants called “Germany and Its People” last October. In German and Arabic, the guide describes appropriate public behaviours—how to introduce oneself with a handshake or ask for directions from a stranger—and inappropriate ones, such as groping women and using violence to solve conflicts. In comic form, these suggestions take on a condescending tone—so much so that satirist Karl Sharro created his own version, telling Western governments how not to behave in the Middle East.
Prose would be sufficient to communicate social and legal norms, but that is not the only goal of this emerging genre of state-sponsored graphic guides. Each tries to deploy visual language to paint a cohesive portrait of their respective nations—depicting Russians as descendants of their fairy tale heroes and conquering knights, or Germans as law-abiding, egalitarian citizens. Both guides address their audience in the vaguest terms possible, grouping all newcomers as “others”, while relying on illustration to communicate ethnic differences and state narratives. Migrants and refugees are shown to inhabit a space separate to the fairy tale of the nation. 

It is possible to create an empathetic yet instructive guide for refugees. International Medical Corps UK published two comic books for child refugees that tell the story of migration from their point of view while also conveying basic health and safety information, like how to avoid contracting polio and how to stay safe in a refugee camp. “Europa: An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees”, produced in partnership with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, is available in four languages and weaves together photographs, first-person accounts, historical, political and practical information to provide a comprehensive guide for people seeking refuge. Their success lies in specificity, using illustration to illuminate rather than obscure the faces of newcomers. “Comics can be pernicious, fascist propaganda or anti-authoritarian,” Mr Spiegelman said. “The ones that shaped me were particularly anti-authoritarian.” The next generation of graphic novelists would do well to follow in his footsteps. 
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Tribe banishes 4 people over meth

Tribe banishes 4 people over meth | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Allakaket Chief PJ Simon has a message for methamphetamine dealers: “You’re not welcome here. Meth is not welcome in Allakaket,” Simon said in a phone interview Thursday. “We can banish people. The tribal board can vote to disenroll a tribal member. We are willing to go that route.”

Simon said four people suspected of dealing methamphetamines were confronted and banished from the village Tuesday after an emergency tribal council meeting was held.
Liam Juhl's comment, February 24, 7:59 PM
I'm 100% behind the actions of the village elders in this situation, I'm glad that they used their tribe authority to remove from their town what they saw fit. I think in Alaska today we have a unique set of circumstances where the powers of the state and federal government are being applied to a people who also recognize another government, one that has and through Alaska's history had authority in the state. In a community where there are no state law enforcement officers, I'm glad to see that the people are willing to govern themselves for the benefit of the village. Bravo!
Joshua Vey's comment, February 24, 9:52 PM
Right thing to do. Don't stand for some bullcrap.
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Two Fairbanks residents dead in apparent murder-suicide

Two Fairbanks residents dead in apparent murder-suicide | Criminology and Economic Theory |
FAIRBANKS — A Fairbanks man and woman died in an apparent murder-suicide Wednesday night in the area behind Shopper's Forum Mall, according to a news release issued by Fairbanks police.
Rob Duke's insight:
Socially Disorganized?  Strain?  A deviant subculture?  Does the Chicago School model hold water in Fairbanks?
John Oulton's comment, February 24, 1:55 AM
What an interesting story to read. I think something was bound to happen to Tran due to his criminal record and he could of sought help for his behavioral problems. I thought the article provided a good example of domestic abuse because Alaska is one of the leading states for domestic violence. I wonder if the state is going to do something about domestic violence considering how governor Bill Walker declared an opioid epidemic for the state. Domestic violence has been an issue for quite sometime and I haven't heard any addresses to it at the state level.
Rachel Nichols's comment, February 24, 7:00 PM
I am mainly confused at the fact that it seems this man did not spend enough time incarcerated. He was charged with all of these felonies and murders, has a horrible track record, and his time in jail was suspended. Did I read that wrong? Because I totally could have. I feel awful for the woman who was murdered and for her little boy who is left behind. He shouldn’t be motherless because this man should have been in jail or put away or something. It is seeming to me as if this man never ‘paid’ for what he was doing to others. Alaska is one of the leading states in our nation for domestic violence and something that I feel is being talked about, needs to change and be put in place so that these things can be addressed and hopefully stop.
Joshua Vey's comment, February 24, 9:53 PM
This was very sad to read. I wish it could have gone differently and better for everyone.
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A Danish man has been charged with blasphemy after filming himself burning the Quran and posting it on Facebook

A Danish man has been charged with blasphemy after filming himself burning the Quran and posting it on Facebook | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A man who set fire to the Quran has become the first Danish national charged with blasphemy in 46 years.

The 42-year-old man, who remains unidentified, filming himself burning the Muslim holy book in his garden in north Jutland in December 2015, and then posted the footage on an anti-Islam Facebook group called “Yes to freedom - no to Islam.”

He posted the video with the message: “Think of your neighbor: it stinks when it burns,” according to prosecutors, The Copenhagen Post reported.
Liam Juhl's comment, February 24, 5:31 PM
What does a charge of blasphemy bring? That the danish are close to 80% christian, and less than I think 4% muslim, it seems doubly odd that there would be even a law opposed to a free speech act like that, and that it would apply to the non dominant religion. That the law has been ignored for almost half a century, too, leads me to believe that there may be other motivating factors in the charge of this crime, likely political in base.
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DEA, Troopers, FPD To Discuss Opioid Addiction With Public At West Valley Feb. 23rd | CBS News 13

DEA, Troopers, FPD To Discuss Opioid Addiction With Public At West Valley Feb. 23rd | CBS News 13 | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Chasing the Dragon' is a film produced by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration that depicts the harsh reality of heroin and opioid addiction.

There will be a showing of the film Thursday, February 23rd, at the West Valley Performing Arts Center, starting at 5:30 p.m.
The Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, the US Attorney's Office, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District are presenting the film.

After the showing, there will be a Q & A session with representatives from the DEA, U.S. Attorney's Office, Alaska State Troopers, Fairbanks Police Department, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, and the School District.

This event has been organized on of the heels of Gov. Bill Walker's public health crisis declaration earlier this month.
Rob Duke's insight:
While you can't ignore enforcement, Harm Reduction programs are where you really reduce the deaths and market demand for opiates.  Few people want to be addicted or to die of an overdose, but enforcement of users sends these folks underground where they have few treatment options, they share needles, and eventually, they overdose.  A good Harm Reduction program combines needle exchange, methadone, and readily available Narcan/Naloxone shots.  It also includes treatment so folks learn to manage their addiction and to cope with whatever led them to opiates in the first place (pain, lifestyle, PTSD, or other psychological trauma).
Law enforcement should focus on those who import and traffic the drug.
Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, February 23, 1:53 AM
This is a very serious issue within our communities, not just here in Fairbanks but everywhere in the nation. I have wondered for a long time though how many people do to the underground to buy pain pills because they don't have a way to get them through a prescription when they are in need of them. I remember after my back surgery they tried to cut my script as part of the nation's attempt to cut down on the illegal sales of opioids and they almost cut mine when I actually needed them.
Brenden Arthur Couch's comment, February 23, 2:38 AM
I believe public awareness campaigns are crucial to raising awareness community wide, especially when the penalties to a great number of crimes within the State are in flux as a new senate bill takes effect. If I had the time I would love to go see this but unfortunately I am really busy currently. I hope to catch it on youtube or on some public domain.
Justin Baugh's comment, February 23, 6:16 PM
as an EMT I see this a lot the effects of opioids in people. IF there is Narcan/naloxone there for them to use there are no people there to administer it besides an EMT or a paramedic to administer it to them. With the recent declaration from Governor Bill Walker, it puts a more public eye on this epidemic. Some people become tolerant to the prescription opiods that they were prescribed by a doctor because of pain.
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Fighting crime using social media

Fighting crime using social media | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Sergeant Mickey Keaton of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office talks about how social media helps them solve crimes.
Caitlin Mattingly's comment, February 22, 5:51 PM
I think social media is a great way to catch criminals. They can show warning signs before they commit a crime just by what they are posting about. Plus social media can provide all the evidence needed to convict a criminal and its funny because basically we have people convicting themselves.
John Oulton's comment, February 23, 12:36 AM
I wonder how significant social media has helped police since almost everything is digital. I did not think that Sergeant Kenton can spend an entire day for weeks monitoring FB and online sources. I think using social media is a great idea because it connects you with community and makes them aware that there is some one watching. Pretty soon they are going to be using drones. I think it will be interesting if a police department does.
Tyler Hytry's comment, February 23, 3:35 PM
Yeah I can see how this would help out in solving cases or finding stolen property like the guitar that was mentioned. The article also talks about how people's pages on Facebook are a photo album of their lives which can provide a lot of information about people.
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John Rawls

John Rawls | Criminology and Economic Theory |

WHEN young, John Rawls was a talented athlete. Instead of becoming one of America's most distinguished political thinkers, he could have been a baseball player. Thin, quick and gangly, he would have made a perfect third baseman, a position requiring lightning reflexes and no time to think.

In the line he chose, however—close argument—Mr Rawls was a slow mover. He noted queries in pencil, responded to every objection and often begged for time with, “I'll have to think about that.” Many philosophers treat their theories as extensions of themselves; his seemed more like a common enterprise. He was modest, claiming that he took up philosophy because he was not clever enough for music or mathematics. Others at his level were quicker. Few were as thorough.

The germ of “A Theory of Justice”, the book that to his surprise made him famous, began to circulate in draft soon after he reached Harvard from Princeton and MIT in 1962. By the time of its publication in 1971, Mr Rawls had done his best to work in answers to every possible objection. His assiduity made the book hard-going. It also meant that it met a test proposed by Hilary Putnam, a logician and colleague, for a philosophical classic: the smarter you get, the smarter it gets. The book has sold getting on for 400,000 copies, and exists in dozens of languages, most recently Arabic.

In “A Theory of Justice”, Mr Rawls attempted to lay out a defendable basis for an equality-minded liberalism. Its pillars were two principles of justice: the inviolability of individual rights and the idea that when justifying social inequality—some degree of which was inevitable in a flourishing and prosperous society—absolute priority should be given to the needs of the worst off. By putting rights back at the centre of the enterprise and by re-invoking the old idea of a notional social contract among putative equals, Mr Rawls did much to free political theory in America and Britain from apparent cul-de-sacs. It also encouraged philosophers to think more practically about moral issues in the public arena.

Problems of redistribution
Challenges were not long in coming. Much fire was concentrated on Mr Rawls's famous “veil of ignorance”: what principles of justice would we choose, he asked, if we did not know our talents, wealth or opinions? Would we be as risk-averse as he seemed to think? This eye-catching device actually mattered less to the whole than it looked. A more notable attack came from Robert Nozick (who died in January). In “Anarchy, State and Utopia” (1974), Nozick argued that Mr Rawls's two principles of justice were in irreconcilable conflict. Attempts at redistribution to correct for inequality were bound, Nozick believed, to infringe on personal freedoms.

Conservatives took up Nozick's charge with alacrity. Though socialists were lukewarm to Mr Rawls, the two men were soon represented outside the academy as prizefighters for right and left: in the blue corner, Nozick, in the red corner, Rawls.

For all its importance, the issue of redistribution arose for Mr Rawls from a deeper concern. How can people with conflicting ideas about morals, religion and the good life agree to principles that will allow them to live together in a decent society? Though the need for toleration is perfectly general, because of America's divided history and his own family background, Mr Rawls felt its demands with unusual acuity.

He was born to a wealthy, professional family from Maryland, a slave-owning border state that stayed in the Union during the civil war. The father was a Baltimore lawyer who, to the son's chagrin, shared the racial bigotry of his class and time. His mother campaigned for women's rights.

Mr Rawls grew up with a powerful conscience. Though not conventionally religious, there was something deeply moral about him. At one time, he thought of becoming a minister of religion. Colleagues remember his kindness and wry humour. He was almost universally admired, even loved. Not all of us can be so good, of course. Isaiah Berlin, an Oxford political thinker, referred to him teasingly as Christ. Political opponents chided Mr Rawls for overplaying human decency and underestimating our selfishness. A conservative writer called him an innocent.

Holier than some might wish, perhaps. But innocent, never. In 1943, Mr Rawls signed up as an infantry private and fought on the Pacific beaches. A rare example of direct political action was his protest in 1945 against the Hiroshima bomb. Like his reconciling hero, Abraham Lincoln—whose memorial he visited on trips to Washington—Mr Rawls appealed to our better natures. But he knew from experience what people and states were capable of. Not to see this darker, more pessimistic side is to mistake what he was about.

In his later work, Mr Rawls paid more attention to “how” questions of fair process and tried to extend his principles from what struck some as their unduly western, not to say American, context. He lived behind a veil of privacy with his wife and four children, accepting few honours, giving few interviews and devoting spare time to hiking and sailing.

Rob Duke's insight:
One of the greats.....
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Why Are Shootings Deadlier In Some Cities Than Others?

Why Are Shootings Deadlier In Some Cities Than Others? | Criminology and Economic Theory |
What explains the disconnect? On the most basic level, shooting rates don’t always align with murder rates because shootings are more deadly in some cities than others. I was able to get a breakdown between fatal and nonfatal shootings10 for 14 of the above 17 cities through a mix of publicly available data, requests to police departments and private citizen tallies. Looking at gun violence like this shows that Baltimore had the highest murder rate among the 14 cities in 2016 because shootings were more lethal there.
Tyler Hytry's comment, February 23, 3:51 PM
Interesting article and explanations with regard to gun violence in different cities. It there were a few good explanations like how a larger gun could be one possible factor the simple fact that a bigger bullet will make a bigger hole seem logical other factors such as what type of gun might also fall into this case a gun with a longer barrel is far more accurate than that of a gun with a little snub barrel, but this is likely not the case as concealment is more important in larger cities. The other explanation brought up was that individual people were being being targeted. That is a good explanation but is it just me or does that seem kind of micro rather than macro.
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Chasing thunder: Searching for Alaska's most legendary cannabis strain

Myths surround the history of the Mat-Su marijuana strain that once defined Alaska cannabis.
Us Woodards's comment, February 19, 10:45 PM
I just read this article before starting my homework. I find the comments on ADN more enlightening than the article itself. The issue of legal weed is one that is still playing itself out, and one that is staunchly divided among Alaskans. I personally think that the public perception of marijuana is more of a nuisance than a criminal act, much like chronic intoxication. So I think the legalization of the drug is just following suit with the public opinion. I do find it interesting how analytical grow operators approach the hunt for MTF. It is surprising to me just how business oriented some of the growers are. I think in this new era of legalisation, proponents of marijuana use have a huge responsibility. If there is any hope in normalizing the drug, it must be done by showing responsible use. Stereotypes of the burned out loser must be broken. The worst thing that can happen is for people to go overboard, and drive stoned, or associate the drug with criminal acts. Marijuana seems to be at a crossroads, and this article proves it. Hopefully adults who partake are responsible, and keep it to themselves. That way it remains legal. Otherwise, they risk criminalizing it again.
Dustin Drover's comment, February 19, 11:15 PM
I first heard of this "strain" back in high school. A lot of the stoners still continue to talk about it. Whats interesting to me is that no one actually still has it. I also think that some of the public overreacts when it come to marijuana. Law enforcement, I think has done a good job at enforcing marijuana laws. From what I have seen on some of the several Alaska shows, pot usually used in law enforcement to find other information out about someone. I am interested in how the legalization of marijuana in Alaska has changed things. Has it made cops jobs easier? Harder? And how does this work with federal laws?
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U.S. Cities Experienced Another Big Rise In Murder In 2016

U.S. Cities Experienced Another Big Rise In Murder In 2016 | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Murder almost certainly increased substantially in the U.S. in 2016, one year after it rose at its fastest pace in a quarter century. The government won’t relea…
Rob Duke's insight:
The Institutional ownership of the right to use force shifted away from the police.  Into this vacuum, stepped extra-legal groups like the cartels and gangs.  The true costs of this shift will be borne by ordinary people.
John Oulton's comment, February 21, 2:22 AM
Dustin I had the same thought as why some cities have spiked in crime over the years. I also want to know if the cities share the same crime characteristics as each other such as gangs and drugs. Trump has stated that Chicago mayor needs federal help due to its record number of murders. What about the murder rates for the other cities? St Louis has held the number one spot for the last two years and I did not know about this. I think it really comes down on the politicians who run these cities who need to find whats effective and whats not.
Rob Duke's comment, February 22, 1:16 AM
John. Yes, good point. Is Trump going after Chicago because it's really that bad or because Chicago is where Obama's protege Rahm Emanuel is Mayor....?
John Oulton's comment, February 23, 1:13 AM
Mr. Duke- Trump views that it is unacceptable to have such violence under his administration. On his recent press conference he stated that he inherited a mess and I totally agree. We really need to crack down in crime and we cannot move forward when half the country supports him. I also think he wants to prove a point that he can be effective and bring justice to Obamas hometown.
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The Islamic Englightenment: A counter-argument to the “clash of civilisations” | The Economist

The Islamic Englightenment: A counter-argument to the “clash of civilisations” | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason. By Christopher de Bellaigue. Bodley Head; 398 pages; £25. To be published in America by Liveright in April; $35.

FEW topics are as bitterly contested today as the nature of Islam. America has just elected a president who speaks pointedly of “Islamic terrorism”; his predecessor balked at connecting Islam with violence and said those who did, including terrorists, were misreading the faith.

In Western intellectual debates, meanwhile, some maintain that Islam stultifies its followers, either because of its core teachings or because in the 11th century Islamic theology turned its back on emphasising human reason. Others retort indignantly that the Islamic world’s problems are the fault of its Western foes, from crusaders to European colonists, who bruised the collective Muslim psyche.

A new book by Christopher de Bellaigue, a British journalist and historian of the Middle East, hews to the latter side, but with an unusual twist. He describes how Islam’s initial encounter with modernity, two centuries ago, had some benign consequences and he sees that as a basis for hope. Sceptics will inevitably call the book’s title, “The Islamic Enlightenment”, naive or oxymoronic.

Still, having focused for a number of years on Iran and modern Turkey (from where he reported for The Economist), Mr de Bellaigue is well-placed to tease out at least one strand of the debate about Islam: the reaction to European influence as it unfolded over the 19th century in the political and cultural centres of the Muslim world following Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798.
The author succeeds in his main purpose, which is to show that in Cairo, Istanbul and Tehran, prominent figures embraced aspects of Western thought and technology with discernment and gusto while remaining good Muslims. His heroes are writers, doctors, generals and sultans. They include Abdulrahman al-Jabarti, an Egyptian sheikh who articulated the fascinated shock with which his compatriots greeted the arrival of Napoleon, accompanied by scientists and scholars. Jabarti had grown up believing that his own faith’s superiority should assure success in war. However, his honest, lively mind had to acknowledge both the invaders’ more effective firepower and the intellectual heft which the French were bringing to the study of his homeland.

In Istanbul the sultan, Mahmud II (pictured), responded to the rising strength of Western powers by imitating them. He curbed the rapaciousness of his civil servants and clerical reactionaries. By removing religious restraints on the study of the body, he ushered modern hygiene and medicine into a region ravaged by plague. 

In Persia, meanwhile, Abbas Mirza, a charismatic prince, drew on French and British help to modernise an army run on medieval lines. Young Persians were sent to train in Britain and proved quick learners. One of them, Mirza Saleh, wrote a remarkable account of his travels and became the country’s first journalist.

Mr de Bellaigue shows that in the Islamic world, just as in the West, efficient forms of transport and communication made it easier for intelligent individuals, including women, to share ideas. This is one example of the rich detail that his research brings to the stories of these Muslim modernisers and the violent reaction they sometimes triggered.

In the book’s final two chapters, there is an abrupt change of pace as the author speeds through Islam’s dealings with European colonial powers during the late 19th and, above all, in the early 20th century. It is a fairly accomplished gallop through difficult terrain and its purpose is to show, in very broad terms, why relations between Muslims and Westerners would eventually turn so sour. Western policies became greedier and more cynical, especially during and after the first world war, and this triggered a sharp reaction in the Muslim world, enraging humble, pious folk as well as clever elites.

The author empathises with the resentment felt by Muslims over being used as geopolitical pawns and over the arbitrary borders that were drawn by Europeans. That prompts him to write with a degree of understanding about all the popular movements that successively shook Islam’s heartland, including Turkish nationalism, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and even the Iranian uprising of 1979.

He acknowledges that these last two movements amounted to a form of “counter-enlightenment”, reinstating theocracy, but he insists that even the mullahs’ Iran has some modernising features: they educated an unprecedented number of girls.

Mr de Bellaigue is equally adamant that the positive legacy of the period closest to his heart (the early and mid-19th century) is still partially intact. For him, the very fact that there was once an era in which the Islamic world drew, selectively and intelligently, on Western ideas and technology while remaining true to itself, still gives hope. For one thing, it means that Muslims now migrating to the West retain, deep in their collective memories, an intimation that Islam can flourish in an enlightened form. His book thus offers a refreshingly optimistic counterpoint to the idea that Muslim and Western world-views are doomed to clash.

Rob Duke's insight:
Many authors have concluded that Islam is neither monolithic nor universally violent.  See, for instance, Roxanne Euben's excellent book: Enemy in the Mirror; and, Heaven on Earth: A Journey through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World, by Sadakat Kadri.

See also Cleveland and Bunton's "A History of a Modern Middle East" and Findley's "Turkey, Islam, Nationalism, and Modernity" and Arjomand's "The Turban for the Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran" for excellent discussions on the periods of peace and disruption in the Sacred Law systems.

It is far from true to depict Islam as always closed, backward, and violent.  It has had significant periods of peace, prosperity, and enlightenment.  It should be our task to define what leads to disruption and what contributes to stability and peace.
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Seven Hong Kong policemen jailed for assault on democracy activist

Seven Hong Kong policemen jailed for assault on democracy activist | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A Hong Kong court sentenced seven policemen to two years jail on Friday for beating a handcuffed pro-democracy activist during mass democracy protests in 2014, a rare case of police brutality in the financial hub that triggered public outrage.
Jennifer Slingerland's comment, February 20, 1:16 AM
I’ll just never understand this sort of thing. How many stories have we had now where police find themselves struggling to justify the use of force in situations like these? It’s truly unfortunate, and sometimes makes it seem like all police forces are run by criminals. Surely it can’t be legal for a police officer to assault someone for peacefully demonstrating, right? I’m sure Hong Kong’s political structure is different from the US – perhaps they don’t have the same emphasis on freedom of speech or protest as we do – but this truly boils down to a humanitarian standpoint. How long can we continue to numbly scroll through these articles and wonder when the world will change?
Rob Duke's comment, February 22, 12:41 AM
Yes, two issues here really: 1. cops response to protests. I read a blog last year where soccer hooligans in the U.K. mocked American cops as being "wooses" when they went to a match in the U.S. They liked the tough U.K. cops who could trade blows and then, most likely, not even file charges against them...that was just plain "fun" to these hooligans. 2. China was roundly criticized for coming down too hard on protesters and seen as going back on their agreements from 1999 that they could take control of Hong Kong without rolling back the civil liberties under British rule. These protests brought many questions forward and it's interesting to see the Chinese government has decided to reprimand the cops...actually nice to see them move more towards transparency and a rule of law.