Criminology and Economic Theory
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Feds: Boston Bomb Suspect Texted 'Don't Go Thinking It's Me'

Feds: Boston Bomb Suspect Texted 'Don't Go Thinking It's Me' | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Just minutes after twin explosions ripped through the Boston Marathon finish line killing three people, one of the accused bombers allegedly told a friend that he wasn't to blame.
Brianne Frame's comment, July 27, 2014 8:20 PM
I think this is interesting as I have been following of the case since it first happened. I find it fascinating and maddening at the same time as to how drastic a story can alter on how the information is presented and by whom. I personally think this whole situation is very sad both for the victims and the remaining brother, but I personally get really irritated when the media and individuals try to make people out to be so evil they are unhuman or devils from hell simply because they made mistakes or have different views then the general public, or individual.
Criminology and Economic Theory
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Dailytimes | Chicago police use algorithm in battle against gun violence

Dailytimes | Chicago police use algorithm in battle against gun violence | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Bryce Schwarz's comment, May 29, 3:30 PM
The steps now being taken to prevent crime are incredible however it is extremely surprising this kind of algorithm has not been extensively used prior to 2016. It is also interesting why they will not release the nature of the criteria. Eventually this may become problematic as more people in the community learn about it and demand to know how the algorithm is used against them.
Kim Gomez's comment, May 29, 8:29 PM
This type of algorithm is essentially doing the work that some criminologists do. It's determining the likelihood of those that will be involved in or a victim to gun violence just like criminologists research crime typology. It will be interesting to see how accurate this algorithm is and whether it will help lower the amount of gun violence that occurs in Chicago.
Gunner Young's comment, Today, 3:27 AM
I think the algorithm is a great way to be able to cut down on the large shooting rates within Chicago. But with systems like this already in use that tell police where high crime is more likely to occur is this algorithm going to be able to predict which people on the Strategic Subject List will be in certain areas? I also think that it's weird that the department feels that it needs to keep the criteria used within the algorithm a secret. I'd like to know if by releasing the criteria they may fear people using it to find a way to commit crimes so that information can't be plugged into the algorithm.
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The Next Time Someone Tells You the World Is Getting Worse, Show Them This

The Next Time Someone Tells You the World Is Getting Worse, Show Them This | Criminology and Economic Theory |
As World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim noted in the organization’s October report on the state of global poverty, which showed a global reduction in poverty of roughly 200 million people in the last four years alone:

“This is the best story in the world today—these projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty.”
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Queen’s Brian May releases VR smartphone viewer

Brian May has taken a break from playing sick riffs, saving the badgers, and casual astrophysics to launch a new VR adaptor for your smartphone.
Rob Duke's insight:
Different countries view things differently.  In the U.S. being a rock star means sex, drugs, among other things, but not so much in other places.  For instance, the Iron Maiden frontman, Bruce Dickinson, is the pilot of the band's 747.  And, here Queen's legendary guitarist, Brian May, is an Astrophysicist as his side gig.
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Esri UK Annual Conference 2016 - What's New in the ArcGIS Platform

Via Fernando Gil
Rob Duke's insight:
The basic platform used by many crime analysis programs....
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Machine Bias: There’s Software Used Across the Country to Predict Future Criminals. And it’s Biased Against Blacks.

Bernard Parker, left, was rated high risk; Dylan Fugett was rated low risk. (Josh Ritchie for ProPublica)
Machine Bias
There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.

by Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu and Lauren Kirchner, ProPublica
May 23, 2016

ON A SPRING AFTERNOON IN 2014, Brisha Borden was running late to pick up her god-sister from school when she spotted an unlocked kid’s blue Huffy bicycle and a silver Razor scooter. Borden and a friend grabbed the bike and scooter and tried to ride them down the street in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Coral Springs.
Just as the 18-year-old girls were realizing they were too big for the tiny conveyances — which belonged to a 6-year-old boy — a woman came running after them saying, “That’s my kid’s stuff.” Borden and her friend immediately dropped the bike and scooter and walked away.
But it was too late — a neighbor who witnessed the heist had already called the police. Borden and her friend were arrested and charged with burglary and petty theft for the items, which were valued at a total of $80.

Compare their crime with a similar one: The previous summer, 41-year-old Vernon Prater was picked up for shoplifting $86.35 worth of tools from a nearby Home Depot store.
Prater was the more seasoned criminal. He had already been convicted of armed robbery and attempted armed robbery, for which he served five years in prison, in addition to another armed robbery charge. Borden had a record, too, but it was for misdemeanors committed when she was a juvenile.
Yet something odd happened when Borden and Prater were booked into jail: A computer program spat out a score predicting the likelihood of each committing a future crime. Borden — who is black — was rated a high risk. Prater — who is white — was rated a low risk.
Two years later, we know the computer algorithm got it exactly backward. Borden has not been charged with any new crimes. Prater is serving an eight-year prison term for subsequently breaking into a warehouse and stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics.
Scores like this — known as risk assessments — are increasingly common in courtrooms across the nation. They are used to inform decisions about who can be set free at every stage of the criminal justice system, from assigning bond amounts — as is the case in Fort Lauderdale — to even more fundamental decisions about defendants’ freedom. In Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, the results of such assessments are given to judges during criminal sentencing.
Rating a defendant’s risk of future crime is often done in conjunction with an evaluation of a defendant’s rehabilitation needs. The Justice Department’s National Institute of Corrections now encourages the use of such combined assessments at every stage of the criminal justice process. And a landmark sentencing reform bill currently pending in Congress would mandate the use of such assessments in federal prisons.
Two Petty Theft Arrests
Borden was rated high risk for future crime after she and a friend took a kid’s bike and scooter that were sitting outside. She did not reoffend.
In 2014, then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder warned that the risk scores might be injecting bias into the courts. He called for the U.S. Sentencing Commission to study their use. “Although these measures were crafted with the best of intentions, I am concerned that they inadvertently undermine our efforts to ensure individualized and equal justice,” he said, adding, “they may exacerbate unwarranted and unjust disparities that are already far too common in our criminal justice system and in our society.”
The sentencing commission did not, however, launch a study of risk scores. So ProPublica did, as part of a larger examination of the powerful, largely hidden effect of algorithms in American life.
We obtained the risk scores assigned to more than 7,000 people arrested in Broward County, Florida, in 2013 and 2014 and checked to see how many were charged with new crimes over the next two years, the same benchmark used by the creators of the algorithm.
The score proved remarkably unreliable in forecasting violent crime: Only 20 percent of the people predicted to commit violent crimes actually went on to do so.

Rob Duke's insight:
During the Civil Rights era, the courts latched onto the notion that due process was the way to remove racial bias from the system, but social problems are rarely easy to solve; and, due process has not proven to be the cure...
Courtney Higley's comment, May 25, 6:43 PM
I find it alarming that many courts rely heavily on this information when 1) the exact formula for calculating one’s risk level is not made known and 2) the formula has not been tested and refined based on actual recidivism rates. To me, 60% accuracy when determining someone's fate is not reliable enough. It was mentioned that some of the questions that are weighed in determining one's score revolve around home life (ex. single parent home, incarcerated parents, income, neighborhood, prior victimization), which I do believe may be contributing to the racial disparity in calculated scores. Considering that criminologists have not yet determined whether one’s propensity for crime is more dependent on biological or environmental factors, how can we create a formula that will weigh each determining factor correctly? Toward the end of the article, it was noted that Broward County uses Northpointe’s risk scores to determine who is low risk enough to be released from jail due to overcrowding. Again, if this risk determination is based off of on one’s economic condition (ex. employment and housing arrangements), then those who are already at a disadvantage in society will be deemed a higher risk for lacking resources and be further punished, perpetuating unfair disparities. It seems that we are approaching this problem backwards, condemning individuals before they fail as opposed to providing resources for them to succeed.
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The False Promise of DNA Testing

The False Promise of DNA Testing | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The forensic technique is becoming ever more common—and ever less reliable.
Rob Duke's insight:
Using an outlier to prove a point, however, is a common logical fallacy.
Courtney Higley's comment, May 25, 7:56 PM
I would expect there to be human error involved in any and every human task, including DNA testing. Unfortunately, forensic errors have massive implications on the lives of those who are awaiting justice. Upon reading this article, I am convinced of two things. First, there should be a requirement on the minimum sample size of DNA that must be present in order to be utilized in a criminal investigation. Touch DNA and miniscule samples of biological matter (skin cells) in and of themselves should not be determining factors in convicting an individual. The case involving Lukis Anderson, who was charged with murder simply because his skin cells were transferred to a murder victim’s body by a medical technician administering a oxygen-monitoring device that Anderson had previously used, is incredible. It really highlights how easily unintentional contamination can occur. Second, forensic labs should absolutely be housed separately from and disassociated with law enforcement. Again, although interpretation error is bound to occur at some rate in forensic analysis, having the technicians working alongside law enforcement is only ensuring that corruption will leak into a process that aims to be objective. This article really hammers home the fact that DNA testing is not nearly as conclusive the general population assumes it to be. Reading and decoding complex samples requires much more interpretation on behalf of the analyst than we may realize, and really should be examined by more than one set of eyes.
Brandon Morley's comment, May 29, 6:03 PM
Nothing is every going to be perfect, it is human nature to make a mistake. The issue here is peoples lives are at risk, and this is a big indication in a court room for justice. I did not realize how many mistakes have been made and how easily a mistake can happen. I was under the impression that these tests are 99% accurate, as they should be, but after reading this article I no longer think or believe that.
Kim Gomez's comment, May 29, 8:42 PM
Crime shows on television are notorious for giving viewers a false idea of what DNA testing truly is and that even the slightest mistake can give inaccurate findings. DNA results play a huge role in many court cases, and the fact that someone could go away for the rest of their life based on possibly inaccurate results it's mortifying to think about.
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Inside ‘Elle’: The Rape-Revenge Film Seducing Cannes

Inside ‘Elle’: The Rape-Revenge Film Seducing Cannes | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The latest by acclaimed filmmaker Paul Verhoeven (‘Basic Instinct’) stars Isabelle Huppert as a woman who seeks revenge on her rapist through very unique means.
Kaitlyn Moos's comment, May 28, 5:38 PM
I think this movie will be a big hit in the box office especially considering media focus on campus rape in the last few years. With the issue brought to light, there are a lot of concerned parents and scared college students. I am sure a rape/ revenge film releasing would create a little controversy and drum up some interest.
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Chicago police arrest almost 100 gang members over 2 days

Chicago police arrest almost 100 gang members over 2 days | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Chicago police say they have arrested nearly 100 alleged street gang members and 40 others on weapons and drug trafficking charges in an effort to combat the city's gun violence.

Officials announced the arrests Friday, saying they took place over the past two days with help from federal law enforcement.
Gunner Young's comment, May 21, 9:03 PM
I think that that is a huge amount of arrests to make over that short period of time. I would like to know if this was a planned operation and the length of time that this was planned. I noticed that they said that they worked with federal law enforcement but they don't say whom.
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A New Growth Industry for Native Americans: Weed

A New Growth Industry for Native Americans: Weed | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Can cannabis revive Oregon’s long-struggling reservation economies?
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No, Bill Clinton Does Not ‘Know How’ To Fix The Economy

No, Bill Clinton Does Not ‘Know How’ To Fix The Economy | Criminology and Economic Theory |
But the Clinton boom, and even some specific Clinton policies, also helped sow the seeds for the far more severe Great Recession of the late 2000s. Mortgage-backed securities and subprime loans weren’t invented in the 1990s, but they expanded greatly during the period, part of a broader “financialization” of the U.S. economy that contributed directly to the severity of the Great Recession. Critics on the right argue Clinton-administration policies promoting increased lending to low-income and minority applicants contributed to the subsequent bubble; critics on the left, including Bernie Sanders, argue that Clinton’s deregulation of the banking industry paved the way for the crisis.

Bill Clinton deserves, at most, a small sliver of the blame for the financial crisis. But he probably doesn’t deserve much credit for the late-’90s boom, either.
Rob Duke's insight:
Who knows where the National Elections are going later this year, but here's a little food for thought....
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What life is like now for one of the Fairbanks Four

What life is like now for one of the Fairbanks Four | Criminology and Economic Theory |
George Frese has been a free man for five months now. He’s taken his daughter shopping for shoes, plucked geese in Beaver, gone four wheeling in Fort Yukon. He’s told his story in tribal halls and school gymnasiums across Interior Alaska. After more than 18 years in prison, it took a while for it all … Continue reading What life is like now for one of the Fairbanks Four
Lydia Weiss's comment, May 21, 12:49 AM
Being totally honest, I don't know enough about this to have an opinion on whether it was a good decision to let them go or not. I would have only been 2 or 3 when it happened, and while I'm from Alaska, I'm not originally from Fairbanks. From what this article stated, he seems to be making light of this situation and using it for good, but one article is not enough to base an entire opinion on.
Courtney Higley's comment, May 26, 12:44 PM
It’s too bad that these men will never receive compensation for their time spent behind bars. The state was able to barter these men’s long awaited freedom (right before a major family holiday, nonetheless) for protection against recourse. To me, it seems that the decision to release these men was solely an attempt to appease or silence public outcry. The state fails to acknowledge that there was not enough evidence to convict in the first place and that they jumped to conclusions (racial profiling) based off pressure to solve the case in a timely manner and maintain the illusion of safe, small town Fairbanks. I say that the state of Alaska should have to pay each man the amount of money they would have spent housing him for the rest of his sentence. Because it’s pretty clear that they’d still be in prison carrying out their sentences without the persistent advocacy of The Innocence Project.
Rob Duke's comment, May 27, 1:53 AM
Yes, I agree. It doesn't seem like this would be the kind of rights you could sign away--especially if the choice is between stay in jail or take the "deal".
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Who Are These People? A Look at Trump's Potential Supreme Court Picks

Who Are These People? A Look at Trump's Potential Supreme Court Picks | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The list suggests the presumptive Republican nominee has no interest in breaking the mold when it comes to the lifetime appointments on the court.
Lydia Weiss's comment, May 21, 12:54 AM
I don't even know where to start with Trump. I'm not going to get into a huge political debate here, but I have some views that are democratic and some that are more towards republican. However, his lack of knowledge in the world of law and politics is worrisome. While not much would maybe be done, I believe equal representation in the supreme court from both sides would be most helpful, but either side will just be trying to get all on their side to further their agendas.
Bryce Schwarz's comment, May 29, 4:38 PM
I think much of this presidential election will really come down to who the candidates appoint as their VP's. Present day Americans are extremely sensitive and Trump has definitely ruffled some feathers in the past year. Should trump appoint a good, politically sound VP, he may actually have a good chance of gaining a good deal more votes. While I will not claim to know a lot about politics, it seems like the wise thing to do is nominate unbiased and possibly "boring" candidates for the position to ensure he does not lose the votes of his present supporters.
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Study: To Reduce School Violence, Start With Test Scores

Study: To Reduce School Violence, Start With Test Scores | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Researchers find causal link between academic gains and safer schools.
Kaitlyn Moos's comment, May 28, 5:49 PM
Once students are focused on increasing their academic performance, it would seem to be quite obvious that they would have less time to engage in violence. It is interesting to note that the extra motivation of maintaining good grades combined with staying focused and occupied could have had a large influence on the increase in test scores resulting in less violence. In my school, we have a lot of students who were raised in violent homes and have the predisposition to become violent themselves. I have seen that unoccupied students with a tendency towards violent behavior find themselves in a lot more trouble than when they were focused on academics or sports.
I think what really sums up the article was that schools with principals who make academics the number one priority without ignoring emotional and behavioral needs experience more success.
Brandon Morley's comment, May 29, 6:08 PM
Fights are not 100% preventable, but there are many ways to make them happen as minimal as possible. I never would have thought this would be an idea but i love it. I think it is a genius idea and apparently is has worked. The better you feel about yourself, the less you will need to hurt others. My opinion this helps the individuals ego, as they will be happier with themselves because they are receiving better grades. When someone is down or feel like they are not as useful as the other, they tend to take out their anger on them or try to feel more power by using violence. This is a win win situation for the school, as their students will be receiving higher grades, while giving their students a worry free environment.
Rob Duke's comment, May 29, 11:22 PM
Restorative Justice in schools is another useful tool. We're working on an initiative to add RJ discipline as a method option in the FBX schools....
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NYPD Commissioner on T.I. Show Shooting: Rappers Are 'Basically Thugs'

NYPD Commissioner on T.I. Show Shooting: Rappers Are 'Basically Thugs' | Criminology and Economic Theory |
NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said that rappers are "basically thugs" after a fatal shooting at a T.I. concert in New York.
Gunner Young's comment, Today, 3:39 AM
I agree with Commissioner Bratton on his statement he made in his radio interview. Although it is a large generalization to say that rappers are 'basically thugs' he is right in saying that in much of today's rap music it consists of drugs, violence, and degradation of women. The lyrics that they speak end up manifesting themselves in today's society and creating the types of problems shown in this article.
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Man Arrested for Calling Cop 'Pedophile' Says the Law Allows It

Man Arrested for Calling Cop 'Pedophile' Says the Law Allows It | Criminology and Economic Theory |
NJ Weedman says he will give prosecutors a ‘legal a--whooping,’ and a First Amendment expert says he’s right.
Rob Duke's insight:
We'll see: in San Bernardino County we had a case where the guy was annoyed at being arrested for domestic violence, so he put billboards on his lawn accusing his arresting deputies of being child molesters.  The Deputies sued him and won.

An individual cop is not a public figure in the sense that you would expect to have frivolous accusations thrown around.  Given this, libel and slander are much easier to prove.
Bryce Schwarz's comment, May 29, 3:47 PM
It's a shame many throughout the U.S. generalize what most police are like based on the incidences they see online. While it may not have been right for the police to arrest him, there was no reason (that can be gathered from the article) to be calling the cop a pedophile. Unfortunately these kind of encounters will only occur more often from this point forward because of the perception Americans have of police. In todays society the first instinct is to pull out your phone and record if you see police apprehending someone because everyone wants to be that next "YouTube star". This really only creates more problems since the public likes to generalize the actions of all based off of the actions of one.
Brandon Morley's comment, May 29, 6:00 PM
I believe that the man should have some punishment, but the cop did act out of turn. Cops have a very tough job and deserve more credit and respect than they are receiving, but also need to understand that they will not always receive wishful comments and the best reputation. They have a tough job, many times they are arresting people that they don't want to, and people need to realize they are not arresting you because they want too it is because they have too. This man should not have been arrested i agree, but he also should have a little bit more respect than what he showed.
Gunner Young's comment, Today, 3:54 AM
I don't think that this man should be punished for this. I believe in the freedom of speech and that the man can say what he wants. As a police officer you should be prepared to deal with people like this. The NJ Harassment law does state that you can be charged with it if you use language ,"in any other manner likely to cause annoyance" and '"to annoy or alarm". I just think that this law is so open that it could be charged against nearly anyone.
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Major Study Finds The US Is An Oligarchy

Major Study Finds The US Is An Oligarchy | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The U.S. government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country's citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern universities has concluded.

The report, "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens" (PDF), used extensive policy data collected between 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the U.S. political system.
Rob Duke's insight:
Time to repeal Citizen United and limit corporate participation in politics.
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Canada shifting position on UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Canada shifting position on UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Canada is set to formally announce a shift in its position on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, CBC has learned, nearly a decade after the powerful statement of rights was first adopted by the UN.
Via Jeff Makana
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Six More Suicide Attempts in Devastated Attawapiskat Tribe, Chief Says

Six More Suicide Attempts in Devastated Attawapiskat Tribe, Chief Says | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Canadian Tribe Declares State of Emergency Over Suicide Crisis 0:51
At least six more members have tried to take their lives in the past few days in a Canadian aboriginal community of 2,000 that has declared a state of emergency over repeated suicide attempts, its chief said Sunday.

There have been more than 100 suicide attempts and one death since September among the residents of Attawapiskat, in a remote section of Ontario on Hudson Bay.

Chief Bruce Shisheesh of the Attawapiskat First Nation, a Cree community, said Sunday on Twitter that two serious cases were reported Saturday, following four suicide attempts late last week. There was no immediate information on the conditions of the residents Sunday.
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How laws meant to protect African elephants may end up hurting Alaska Native artists

How laws meant to protect African elephants may end up hurting Alaska Native artists | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Suppose you own a sculpture by Siberian Yupik artist Beulah Oittillian made from walrus ivory, whalebone and polar bear fur. And suppose you bring it to Los Angeles, where someone offers to buy it from you. Can you sell it to them? Once upon a time, the answer from those familiar with art and law would have been an unequivocal yes. The … Continue reading How laws meant to protect African elephants may end up hurting Alaska Native artists
Rob Duke's insight:
Ivory law & policy is one of the most interesting to study in terms of how government action impacts illegal, yet profitable activity.

Ron Coase, a Nobel Prize winning economist, predicted that markets will work out new arrangements whenever the rules are changed so that a new group owns property rights over certain interests.  Thus, in India where elephants are sacred, the property rights for elephants (and their ivory) belong to a the collective and are protected by a religious belief system, you have no endangered elephants.  In South Africa, you had a system where elephants were kept on ranches and the ivory was harvested (and the tusks grow back rather rapidly).  After the ban, elephant ranchers can no longer sell their ivory, though they continue to preserve their herds.  In Kenya, a similar situation was being successfully managed.  Give the elephants on private land to the land owners and they will manage the herds in such a way as to harvest ivory, and sustain the herds.  In contrast, the U.N. (and other nation states) has banned the sale of ivory, yet demand remains high.  This drives up the price and emboldens rogues to engage in poaching, which ironically increased the threat to endangered African elephants.

What does this say about other types of government crime policy?
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Your Field Guide to the Female Psychopath

Your Field Guide to the Female Psychopath | Criminology and Economic Theory |
It may be that while many male psychopaths act in traditionally aggressive, socially -constructed ways which can eventually lead them to be incarcerated (and evaluated for psychopathy), female psychopaths operate in more nuanced, less overtly physically aggressive ways, though they can ultimately lead to equally destructive outcomes. Think of a seemingly kind older female nurse who cares for a sick man. This woman could well be a psychopath but her presentation as an older woman in a helping profession causes others to see her in a benevolent light.
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Dean Foods' Davis said he threw phone in creek to hinder FBI

Dean Foods' Davis said he threw phone in creek to hinder FBI | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Dean Foods Co's (DF.N) former chairman Thomas Davis said he threw his cellphone into a Dallas creek to hide his role in an insider-trading scheme after FBI agents visited his home, according to a transcript of his guilty plea.

In a secret hearing in Manhattan on Monday, Davis told a federal judge about his efforts to hinder the investigation into the scheme as FBI agents and regulators closed in on him.

U.S. authorities on Thursday unveiled charges against Davis and gambler William "Billy" Walters for running the insider trading scheme that netted over $40 million and included a tip that benefited professional golfer Phil Mickelson.
Kevin Lawson's comment, May 25, 11:39 PM
I find it interesting that Mickelson was not charged or found of wrongdoing, despite gaining over a million dollars from a tip that Davis provided. While he did have to pay the money back, is that really sufficient? That's like asking a thief to return a Macbook that they stole from an Apple store but withholding any sort of punishment. An additional fine to cover costs of the legal proceedings should have been imposed at the very least.
Kim Gomez's comment, May 29, 8:46 PM
So while Davis plead guilty to MULTIPLE charges, Mickelson basically got a slap on the wrist and was only responsible to return the $1.03 million he had acquired because of the illegal trading. The justice system at it's finest ladies and gentleman, the famous seem to get away with everything.
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A right, not a duty

A right, not a duty | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Mr Garton Ash does not call for total freedom of speech. He believes child pornography should be banned, for example, and that those who post “revenge porn” should be prosecuted. Overall he makes the case that people have a right, but not a duty, to offend. Better education and a more civil society should help people become more tolerant of one another, and also of their differences. The alternative is a higher degree of state intervention that would stoke resentment, particularly among young people, and end up isolating people from each other. “Only with freedom of expression”, he argues, “can I understand what it is to be you.”
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“It is happening again”: David Dayen on the epidemic of mortgage fraud and the rigged economy that sets it in motion

“It is happening again”: David Dayen on the epidemic of mortgage fraud and the rigged economy that sets it in motion | Criminology and Economic Theory |
At the low levels, what you heard a lot in depositions and interviews is that these people needed a job, they didn’t understand the complexities of foreclosure law at all, they were told that what they were doing was legal, and it was drummed into their heads that their employer could always find someone else if they had a crisis of conscience. What I call in the book the Great Foreclosure Machine survived on this intimidation of their own workers. It was a tough time for the economy and the ordinary $12/hour working stiff didn’t have any bargaining power. So people just went along. That probably says something worse about American workplaces than American ethics!
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Overtime rule out today

Overtime rule out today | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The rule, which will take effect Dec. 1, raises to $47,476 the salary threshold under which virtually all workers qualify for overtime pay. (We said $47,000, we said $47,500; now we’re saying $47,476, which is where it honest-to-God ended up.) That's more than double the current salary threshold ($23,660 ) but below the Labor Department's proposed threshold ($50,440). Workers above the salary threshold may still be eligible for overtime provided their duties aren't executive, administrative or professional. The rule won't affect hourly workers, whom employers already must pay overtime. More from POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine here:

For the first time, the Labor Department will index future salary thresholds to inflation: Every three years the threshold will rise to the 40th wage percentile for full-time salaried workers in the country’s lowest-wage region (now and for the foreseeable future that’s the Southeast). Previously, lifting the salary threshold required the department to propose a new regulation — a politically and bureaucratically arduous process.
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