Criminology and Economic Theory
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Criminology and Economic Theory
In search of viable criminological theory
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Pair charged in explosive device at elementary school; planned to shoot cops, start race war

Pair charged in explosive device at elementary school; planned to shoot cops, start race war | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Zachary Edwards, 35, and Raphel Dilligard, 34, are charged with possession of a hoax destructive device, rendering false alarm and making terrorist threats.
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How DNA evidence went from air-tight to error-prone | Commentary | Dallas News

How DNA evidence went from air-tight to error-prone | Commentary | Dallas News | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Analyzing mixtures of DNA is "not like a Ouija board — it's not junk science in that sense," said David Kaye, a law professor at Penn State University and author several books on forensic science. Scientists can extract useful information from those mixtures, he said. But he agrees with the report that right now there's no reliable, consistent protocol for interpreting that information. "Forensic science is not regulated the way clinical medical labs are," Kaye said. "And people are being put to death."
DNA is reliable when it's analyzed correctly, there's a large enough sample, and it comes from just one person. The traditional system uses 13 different sites on the chromosomes where the genetic code tends to hiccup — five, 10 or maybe 20 times. The number of hiccups in each area varies from person to person. If two samples match the number of hiccups at all 13 sites, the odds of them coming different people are one in billions.
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Research finds sharing, cooperation key to Arctic villages

Research finds sharing, cooperation key to Arctic villages | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A new analysis of subsistence data collected in three Arctic communities underscores the importance of social ties and sharing among households.
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These Senators Want to Cancel Wells Fargo Execs’ ‘Golden Parachutes’

These Senators Want to Cancel Wells Fargo Execs’ ‘Golden Parachutes’ | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Now that a federal regulator has said the government has the power to do so.
The U.S. government should go after payouts to former Wells Fargo executives involved in a scandal over unauthorized accounts now that a federal regulator has said it has the power to do so, lawmakers said on Monday.

The San Francisco-based bank reached a $190 million settlement with federal regulators after admitting employees opened as many as 2 million accounts without customer consent.

That September deal allowed Wells Fargo WFC 0.19% to make “golden parachute” payments to departing executives. But on Friday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees many federal banks, voided those terms.

On Monday, two leading Democratic lawmakers urged the OCC to move ahead and revoke compensation to relevant executives.
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Vermont Looks To Improve Mental Health Care In Its State Prisons

Vermont Looks To Improve Mental Health Care In Its State Prisons | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Vermont is taking a hard look at how it treats people with mental illness in its prisons.
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LA County counted on Prop 47 to save money. It hasn’t yet

LA County counted on Prop 47 to save money. It hasn’t yet | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A California law that turned some felony offenses into misdemeanors to save costs has had no monetary benefits so far for Los Angeles County, according to a report presented on Tuesday. The Los Angeles County
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Why Brown must actively guide Prop. 57's criminal justice reform

Why Brown must actively guide Prop. 57's criminal justice reform | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The state corrections department can't be trusted to properly implement Proposition 57.
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How can investigators trace bullets to a particular gun?

Each time a bullet shot through the slender barrel of the Colt Python .357 linked to five Anchorage homicides this year, the bullet became imprinted with grooves and imperfections -- markings specific to the gun, just like a fingerprint to a person.
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Seattle police, neighbors use technology to fight vehicle prowls

Seattle police, neighbors use technology to fight vehicle prowls | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Erik Karlson was reading the news on his phone on Oct. 15 a few minutes after 1 a.m. when a motion detector sensor made a beeping sound in his driveway.

Karlson did not see anything after looking out the window but a DIY video system he had installed on his front porch displayed some disturbing images.

A man was looking into his wife’s car.

The Maple Leaf man called 911 immediately. The operator asked for a description of the subject. Police officers showed up at his home, saw the video footage and managed to arrest the suspect approximately one hour later.

Karlson’s case is one of the 38 vehicle prowls reported just in October in the Northgate-Maple Leaf area—with 6,570 reports filed in Seattle in the first half of 2016, according to the Seattle Police Department. The police received 14,250 car prowl reports in 2014 and 12,315 the year after.

As car prowl became the top safety concern among Seattleites according to a 2015 Seattle Police Department community survey, the Seattle Police Department North Precinct is partnering with neighbors to apply diverse technological strategies to fight against this property crime.
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British woman facing jail after reporting Dubai 'rape' says she's 'petrified'

Rob Duke's insight:
This is a strange system where reporting rape means you are charged with adultery....
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What we know about the former Valeant employee who just got arrested on fraud charges

What we know about the former Valeant employee who just got arrested on fraud charges | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Gary Tanner, a former Valeant executive who later worked for Philidor, was arrested Thursday morning, along with Philidor CEO Andrew Davenport.
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Accused serial killer on trial in deaths of four women in Orange County

Accused serial killer on trial in deaths of four women in Orange County | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
In his opening statement, Deputy Dist. Atty. Larry Yellin said Gordon and Cano hunted women who worked the prostitution corridors in Santa Ana and Anaheim in late 2013 and early 2014.

Former Anaheim Police Det. Bruce Linn told jurors that when he was called to the recycling plant where Estepp’s body was found, he climbed onto the conveyor belt and stepped shin-deep in trash.   

Linn said the debris around the body – wood, door trim, window trim, and blue plastic drop cloth – looked to him like the remnants from a residential remodeling job.

The key clue, however, was a discarded caulking tube bearing the fingerprint of a window installer who worked at an industrial park in Anaheim, which led to the location of the industrial trash bin where Estepp’s body had been discarded.

Gordon worked at the paint-and-body shop next door and lived nearby in an old RV. The prosecutor said detectives studied the last known locations of Estepp and three other women who had gone missing in recent months, based on pings from their cellphones.

In the case of three of the victims, the locations matched Gordon’s whereabouts at the time, as captured by ankle monitors he wore as a registered sex offender, the prosecutor said.
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Indiana State Police unveil Daily Crash Prediction Map

Indiana State Police unveil Daily Crash Prediction Map | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A new map backed by predictive analytics could help Indiana residents and police prevent traffic collisions and respond more quickly when they do occur.
Rob Duke's insight:
Some predictive policing applications that go beyond penal code crimes....also see the excellent interactive website and mapping utility: http://www.in.gov/isp/ispCrashApp/main.html
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Animal minds

Animal minds | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Consider Billie, a wild bottlenose dolphin which got injured in a lock at the age of five. She was taken to an aquarium in South Australia for medical treatment, during which she spent three weeks living with captive dolphins which had been taught various tricks. She herself, though, was never trained. After she was returned to the open sea local dolphin-watchers were struck to see her “tailwalking”—a move in which a dolphin stands up above the water by beating its flukes just below the surface, travelling slowly backwards in a vaguely Michael Jackson manner. It was a trick that Billie seemed to have picked up simply by watching her erstwhile pool mates perform. More striking yet, soon afterwards five other dolphins in her pod started to tailwalk, though the behaviour had no practical function and used up a lot of energy.
 
Such behaviour is hard to understand without imagining a mind that can appreciate what it sees and which intends to mimic the actions of others (see “The imitative dolphin”). That in turn implies things about the brain. If you had to take a bet on things to be found in Billie’s brain, you’d be well advised to put money on “mirror neurons”. Mirror neurons are nerve cells that fire when the sight of someone else’s action triggers a matched response—they seem to be what makes yawning contagious. A lot of learning may require this way of linking perception to action—and it seems that, in people, so may some forms of empathy.
Mirror neurons are important to scientists attempting to find the basis of the way the human mind works, or at least to find correlates of that working, in the anatomy of human brains. The fact that those anatomical correlates keep turning up in non-human brains, too, is one of the current reasons for seeing animals as also being things with minds. There are mirror neurons; there are spindle cells (also called von Economo neurons) which play a role in the expression of empathy and the processing of social information. Chimpanzee brains have parts corresponding to Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area which, in people, are associated with language and communication. Brain mapping reveals that the neurological processes underlying what look like emotions in rats are similar to those behind what clearly are emotions in humans. As a group of neuroscientists seeking to sum the field up put it in 2012, “Humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures...also possess these neurological substrates.”
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News from The Associated Press

News from The Associated Press | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Jamaica fosters a "culture of fear" and impunity linked to a high rate of killings by police officers that stretches back for years on the Caribbean island with chronically eye-popping rates of violent crime, Amnesty International alleges in a report issued Wednesday.

The London-based group said just two Jamaican officers have been convicted of murder since 2000 while roughly 3,000 citizens were killed in police-related fatalities during that time. It's been such a longstanding pattern of killings that Amnesty suggests there could be state-sponsored executions in the gritty slums where the deadly shootings generally take place.

"Information gathered for this report points to a strong likelihood of the existence of individual police officers or even units tasked with carrying out extrajudicial executions on the orders of some governmental authorities or with its complicity or acquiescence," the report said.
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Dutch Police Use Augmented Reality to Investigate Crime Scenes | Hacked

Dutch Police Use Augmented Reality to Investigate Crime Scenes | Hacked | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Dutch police are undertaking an experiment to see if augmented reality can help officers at a crime scene, according to the New Scientist.

Using an AI system video from the body cameras worn on the officers at the scene will relay back to experts who can guide the officers by making virtual notes which the officers will be able to see via a smartphone or head-mounted device.

Dragos Datcu, principal researcher at augmented reality (AR) company Twnkls in Rotterdam, the Netherlands said:

We now have good enough software and hardware to use augmented reality at crime scenes.
What’s great about the new AI system is the fact that experts can get involved with what the crime scene investigators are doing regardless of where they are located.

So by viewing the footage that is sent from a camera on the police vest, a chemical specialist in one location can view it while a forensic scientist in another location can too. The system is similar to the popular Pokémon Go smartphone game that has grabbed the attention of millions of people around the world.
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President Obama Has Granted Over 1,000 Commutations to Federal Inmates

President Obama Has Granted Over 1,000 Commutations to Federal Inmates | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
With 79 new grants, he’s set a modern-era record for presidents.
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Orion Hutchin's comment, November 29, 2016 4:40 PM
I am okay with commuting some sentences. I think many of our laws in the past put people away for far to long for non-violent crimes. I found the disparity between men and women receiving commuted sentences rather interesting. Another gender issue we have to work on.
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Independent report condemns Police for ignoring “fleeing driver policy” during pursuits

Independent report condemns Police for ignoring “fleeing driver policy” during pursuits | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The Authority Chair Judge Sir David Carruthers said “this pursuit included many of the highrisk factors which have led other pursuits to end in tragedy”
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Investigation: How effective in curbing violent crime is Prop 47?

Investigation: How effective in curbing violent crime is Prop 47? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Dubbed the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act before its passage in 2014, Proposition 47 divides law enforcement officials over its impact to the state criminal justice system.The proposition reduced the following felony crimes to misdemeanors:Shoplifting,
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Data mining reveals the world’s healthiest cuisines

Data mining reveals the world’s healthiest cuisines | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Algorithms are teasing apart the link between food and health to provide the first evidence that we really are what we eat.
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Police use technology to track offenders

Police use technology to track offenders | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Tags are being used to monitor the movements of offenders who have qualified for early release from prison, those who have been released on licence and offenders who are being considered for re-release following recall to prison.

The scheme is part of a collaboration with police in Beds, Cambs and Northants and will run for 12 months.

Detective Inspector Craig Flint said: “This tagging technology is being used in support of, and not as a replacement for, other more traditional policing methods.”
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US marshal shot to death during arrest attempt

US marshal shot to death during arrest attempt | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The marshal was believed to have been wearing a protective vest but suffered a fatal wound from a rifle
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Coming Soon to Patrol Cars: Pot Breathalyzers

Coming Soon to Patrol Cars: Pot Breathalyzers | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Lynn argues the breathalyzer will be the best defense for pot users who aren't stoned at the time they are driving, but get pulled over anyway.
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Finally, HPD's online crime mapping tool includes violent offenses

Finally, HPD's online crime mapping tool includes violent offenses | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The Honolulu Police Department will answer to council members tomorrow about why their crime reporting map doesn't include violent crimes, like sex assaults and murders.  It's somethin
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What police can learn about you from the skin chemicals on your cell phone

What police can learn about you from the skin chemicals on your cell phone | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Police hope to use the chemicals you leave on cellphones in criminal investigations
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