Criminology and Economic Theory
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Criminology and Economic Theory
In search of viable criminological theory
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Georgetown police create safe zones for Craigslist sales - The Boston Globe

Georgetown police create safe zones for Craigslist sales - The Boston Globe | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Two designated “Online Safe Zones” located outside of the department’s headquarters are monitored by police cameras.
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Jay Fulk's comment, July 5, 2015 7:27 PM
I actually really like this idea! I would feel much better knowing that my wife could meet someone outside of the police station, rather than our home. We sell things on craigslist sometimes, and I usually meet people at my office during the daytime. I feel like being in a public place during the middle of the day is perfectly safe. This just gives the seller and buyer more comfort with the transaction. I don't think that anyone should sell things at their home and in the evening. Those two things are recipes for disaster.
Rob Duke's comment, July 5, 2015 7:38 PM
Yup. Millions of satisfied customers in eCommerce, but all it takes is one (and there've been enough incidents to make this a legitimate concern). This is an interesting idea, though, to shine some transparency on a quasi-legitimate marketplace. I think we're wise to figure out ways to tame these markets.
William Estrin's comment, July 7, 2015 5:49 PM
This article is of particular interest to me because I often dab in Craigslist. I buy and sell stuff on Craigslist, I’ve searched for and obtained jobs off of Craigslist, I’ve found rooms for rent on Craigslist, and yes I’ve even met a couple of women from personals on Craigslist. While Craigslist has an infamous reputation for serial killers, it is definitely the exception, rather than the norm. But that doesn’t need you don’t need to be careful. I am extremely careful and I always go with my gut. If something about the person or the situation seems off, I don’t do it. There are plenty of times I didn’t go through with something, because something didn’t seem quite right and it’s better to be safe than sorry. If I meet with someone to buy or sell something, I always meet in a public place indoors or outdoors and always during the daytime hours. I am always on high alert and if I’m buying something, I don’t bring any more cash than what was agreed upon. I always make sure to agree on the price beforehand. This would seem like just everyday common sense, but all too often, I read stories about people who naively put themselves in dangerous situations. Each time I read one of these stories, I always mentally pinpoint each mistake that they made along the process. I guess as the old saying goes, common sense isn’t always so common. As far as the article goes, I think that what they’re doing is actually a great idea. Most people will not break the law if they know they’re on camera, so that definitely adds an extra degree of security. I’d be curious to know the success of this program as it continues into the future.
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Final certainty

Final certainty | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
LAST year Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old Californian, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Rather than let the illness take its dreadful course she moved to...
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Angela Perry's comment, July 6, 2015 9:05 PM
I am so glad that Ms Brittany was able to make a choice about her life and not left in the hands of a doctor. I know that practicing doctors don't always get the answer right of how long you have to live but the flip side is they can say you are going to live this long and expire before the month end. I too know that I would like to go to a state that allows doctors to prescribe me a legal dose to take me out of my misery. I don't find this a selfish act in anyway because only the person with the illness knows what pain they are experiencing. So why should a doctor be able to say yay or nay to a terminal illness that you may no longer have the fight inside of you to keep on living like you are. I was really surprised to see how many other countries have adopted and how long these practices have been going on.
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Bethel liquor store debate postponed at Alaska ABC Board meeting

Bethel liquor store debate postponed at Alaska ABC Board meeting | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The application by Bethel Native Corp., through Bethel Spirits LLC, for a liquor store in Bethel was put on hold Wednesday during a meeting of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in Fairbanks.
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Zip it

Zip it | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
IT IS not often that a criminal trial involves a prosecutor pushing for rehabilitation and appropriate counselling", and a defence lawyer urging the judge to jail his client. But that is what happened at a hearing on June 2nd for Amos Yee, a 16-year-old Singaporean blogger found guilty of circulating an obscene image and insulting Christians.
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Walker names appointees for Alaska's first Marijuana Control Board

Walker names appointees for Alaska's first Marijuana Control Board | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Alaska's Marijuana Control Board will craft regulations surrounding legalized recreational and commercial marijuana. Of 132 applicants vying for the spots, here are the five chosen by Gov. Bill Walker.
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Short and too sweet

Short and too sweet | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
“DON’T use anything you can’t pronounce,” Johnson read recently about shampoos. The writer was making a pitch in favour of natural oils, and against those...
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Violent crime drops again in California

Violent crime drops again in California | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Homicides, robberies and overall violent crimes fell statewide in 2014 to levels not seen in decades, according to a Department of Justice report released Wednesday.
Rob Duke's insight:

Huge prison releases have not seemed to have resulted in the increased crime that some expected.

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Bethany McNutt's comment, July 6, 2015 1:15 PM
I thought this article was interesting since I’m from California and intend on moving back when I’m finished at school at UAF. I’ll admit that I believed that the prison releases would in fact, increase crime. I think this is because part of me believes that if you commit a crime, you should be punished for it. I feel no pity for criminals. As a law abiding citizen, I am very much aware how easy it is to NOT commit crime.

I remember that we had a huge debate back in CA in my old criminal justice classes about some law they just passed, which I believe made being in possession of a firearm illegally a misdemeanor instead of a felony (I’m not entirely sure though, it’s been a while.) It was called proposition 47, and it essentially reduced penalties for certain crimes. People who were in prison were being exonerated, people who were convicted felons were no longer felons and earned the right to vote and have weapons again, etc. I even remember there being a huge debate about it on the neighborhood Facebook page that I was a part of. I’d be interested to know if that particular law that they passed had anything to do with the decrease in violent crime rates.

http://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_47,_Reduced_Penalties_for_Some_Crimes_Initiative_(2014)

Rob Duke's comment, July 6, 2015 6:10 PM
IDK, but I don't think so and here's why: the Uniform Crime Report has Part I crimes that are defined by the act and not by whether the state thinks these crimes are felonies or misdemeanors. Given this, I don't think the across the board reductions would have any impact. For example, possession and/or trafficking crimes were never Part I crimes. Type I crimes are what we sometimes call the BARRM (barroom) crimes, which stands for Burglary, Arson, Robbery, Rape, Murder/Felonious assaults. Though 2nd degree burglaries (like garage or auto burglaries) were dropped down in Prop. 47, none of the other crimes were impacted.
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Can Mr Obama really help?

Can Mr Obama really help? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
WHAT’S the easiest way to boost America's sluggish wage growth? President Barack Obama thinks that expanding overtime pay may be the answer. On June 30th details...
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The Supreme Court just upheld what one justice calls "the chemical equiva­lent of being burned at the stake"

The Supreme Court just upheld what one justice calls "the chemical equiva­lent of being burned at the stake" | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Here's the scathing dissent.
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Escaped killer's mom says he was bad from Day 1

Bad“He always got in trouble, and every time he did, I would grab him by the ear and take him to the police station,” she said.
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Pamela Sweat
Photo: CNN
The trouble started when Sweat was 9 and his dad bought him a broken fishing pole for his birthday, she recalled.
“He went to the bedroom and took his baseball and threw it through the window hoping it would hit his dad,” Pamela Sweat said. “He broke his new TV that I just got him for his birthday.”

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Bad from day 1...

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Angela Perry's comment, July 13, 2015 7:48 PM
I think Ma Sweat is right in how she was going to treat her son. I know when I was bad as a child my mom would take all necessary actions to make sure that I wouldn't do the same thing over. Even if it meant going to the police station and staying the night there. My mother always told me if you do the crime you are going to do the punishment that comes along with it. I don't know that the Mr. Sweat was bad from day 1, I think some of that comes from the parenting style that he lived. I don't think that you can say he was just bad because. Mr. Sweat was born with the master trait and his life experiences are what led to him becoming a criminal. I hope they put Mr. Sweat in a prison cell that he has no possible way of escaping from this time. I think that Mr. Sweat acted the way he did when he was young for attention because he wasn't getting the attention he so desired.
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Change Doesn't Usually Come This Fast

Change Doesn't Usually Come This Fast | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
I was raised in East Lansing, Michigan. It was a great place to grow up: a college town with good public schools, a beautiful campus, a modicum of diversity, and an active, walkable downtown. But I...
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Brittney Menzel's comment, June 27, 2015 7:24 PM
I don't get what the big deal is? I don't understand the act of being gay, but to each their own. We live in a 'free' country, let a person love whom they want to love.
Marei Benton's comment, June 28, 2015 9:47 PM
This article has a valid point. This entire transition has happened at it seems lightening-speed... I think maybe because it involves something happy? I mean, who doesn't love to hear a good love story? And who doesn't love to look at wedding photos of happy couples?... That could explain why this movement zipped right along, as opposed to abortion or environmental change. Those topics are also very important, but don't provide quite as many photo ops. Also, I don't think anyone really can pat themselves on the back at the end of the day when it comes to those two, unlike the idea of finally "allowing" gays to marry.
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The Justice Department Compares the School-to-Prison Pipeline to Racial Segregation

The Justice Department Compares the School-to-Prison Pipeline to Racial Segregation | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Meridian, Mississippi, is the latest district to face consequences for disproportionately punishing black students.
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William Estrin's comment, June 28, 2015 8:38 PM
This article certainly doesn’t surprise. I am currently living in Florida, but will be returning to Alaska in August and I hope I never have to return to the South for the rest of my life. It is honestly unlike I’ve ever seen here before. The racism that exists down here is unbelievable. I’m beginning to think that the blacks are not the problem, as much of the country likes the claim. It’s the extremely racist white rednecks (I apologize if that offends anyone) pre civil war attitudes towards blacks. So the fact that something like this is happening in the South does not surprise me at all. Blacks are unfairly victimized in my opinion and are more readily arrested for offenses that a person of another race might not be arrested for, thus over-representing them in the prison population. The attitudes and racism that exist down here are disgusting and I hope I never have to be around them again.
Marei Benton's comment, June 28, 2015 9:40 PM
Not surprising at all... I've never lived in the south and there's a reason for it... I love the part that the students were being questioned by the police without a guardian present and were not being given their Miranda rights... Hey, if you're going to commit a civil rights violation, you may as well go big, or go home, right??
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Teen Shot and Killed After Using App To Track Smartphone, Police Say

Teen Shot and Killed After Using App To Track Smartphone, Police Say | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Police say a Canadian teen was shot and killed after an attempt to retrieve his missing smartphone.
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Angela Perry's comment, June 22, 2015 8:09 PM
This is truly a sad situation. No one person deserves to die over a misplaced phone. @Jay Fulk, I too agree that he should have got the police involved if he knew it were stolen. Well obviously he didn't think he was going to run into this situation. I feel that he was using the app like i have before to find where i last misplaced my phone. Thank God I have never ran into anything like this. I am wondering did the individuals do this for joy? Because it sure wasn't to keep the phone. Do they really think they are going to get away with the crime scot-free?
Brittney Menzel's comment, June 23, 2015 4:56 PM
I don't think this kind of lesson should need to be learned. It is a horrible tragedy that a life was lost over a stupid electronic device. However, it does make a person wonder what is wrong with this world when a cell phone is worth shooting and killing another human being over. Geeze
William Estrin's comment, June 28, 2015 8:28 PM
Wow, this article was not what I expected it to be. I expected to read about how the teen went to the location to retrieve his phone and someone mistook him to be an intruder and shot him in what they perceived to be self-defense. But that is obviously not what happened here. There was definitely criminal intent behind his killing. That is just really sad that a person like that who had his whole life ahead of him was shot dead for no good reason. The only thing I would say is that since he went to this address so early in the morning, perhaps he should have used more caution. Maybe he should have tried calling his phone and seeing if someone would answer or have his wits about him when visiting and unfamiliar address and to just turn back if he had a bad feeling. As nice as his smart phone probably was, it’s not worth it to risk your life. But that’s still a tragedy and I hope they find the people responsible and they are held fully accountable for their actions.
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Aren't markets manipulated on the way up?

Aren't markets manipulated on the way up? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
CHINA'S stockmarket sell-off continues, with the Shanghai Composite sell-off reaching 10% in a week and approaching 30% from the peak. Somoene must be to blame and the authorities are investigating "market manipulation" with some short-selling accounts suspended. Earlier this week, measures were announced to prop up the market, including a proposal to allow traders to pledge their houses in margin accounts; one of the craziest ideas ever announced. What next? Pledge your kidneys on commodity futures?
Rob Duke's insight:

Another reason why WCC isn't always easy to differentiate....

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Why The Rules Of The Road Aren't Enough To Prevent People From Dying

Here’s how speed limits are established in most states, according to Federal Highway Administration research: Traffic engineers conduct a study to measure the average speed motor vehicles move along a road. The speed limit is then set at the 85th percentile. From then on, 85 percent of drivers would be traveling under the speed limit and 15 percent would be breaking the law. Sometimes other factors2 are taken into consideration, but in most places, speed limits are largely determined by the speed most people feel safe traveling.
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Angela Perry's comment, July 13, 2015 7:31 PM
I can see where NY is trying to go with this but there is always going to be that one butt-head that feels he/she is beyond what the law states. So you will always have that speeder that can meet that pedestrian at the wrong time. I would like for NY to reach 0 traffic fatalities, because if they can do it; that means any other city can do it as well. Maybe the intersection where the accident happened might need to be looked at to see if maybe a bike lane can be put to possibly avoid the same accident that happened from happening again.
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Haines man charged for shooting brown bear, cubs in his trash

Haines man charged for shooting brown bear, cubs in his trash | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Alaska Wildlife Troopers said that the man couldn't invoke state laws allowing animals to be shot in defense of life and property because his improper storage of garbage had caused the incident.
Rob Duke's insight:

This is the jist of those who advance the idea that victims can contribute to their own victimization.  See Routine Activities Theory, for instance.  In rape investigations, this has been extremely controversial (e.g. the idea that the rape victim might contribute by failing to wear proper clothing, etc.).

 

What do you think?  Does the victim have to be 100% correct in order to be a "true" victim?

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Jay Fulk's comment, July 5, 2015 7:31 PM
I have mixed feelings on this one. I do see the point of having such a clause in the laws about disposal of trash. I, however, do not agree with the charges being brought as misdemeanors. I think that he should face a fine and lose hunting privileges for a year or two. At the end of the day, these are just animals and they were on his property. I grew up in Ketchikan, so having black bears in our trash was not uncommon. We never shot a black bear for getting into our trash though.
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A costly mistake

A costly mistake | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
OVER five years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded in waters off the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 men and unleashing millions of gallons of crude...
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Appeals court blasts lawyers and 'scorched earth tactics,' publishes opinion despite settlement

Appeals court blasts lawyers and 'scorched earth tactics,' publishes opinion despite settlement | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
“We find FCI’s conduct with respect to this entire case demonstrative of a particularly nasty type of scorched earth tactics,” the court opinion said, referring to Finton Construction as FCI. “While we strongly suspect that FCI is the prime mover behind the prosecution of this lawsuit, we remind FCI’s counsel–and indeed, all attorneys–that while they owe their clients a duty to zealously represent them, that zealousness does not trump the duty they owe the courts and the judicial process to prosecute only lawsuits with merit.

“The type of uncivil behavior and specious tactics demonstrated by filing this case represents conduct that brings disrepute to the entire legal profession and amounts to toying with the courts.”
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Undercover drug agent pleads guilty in Silk Road case

Undercover drug agent pleads guilty in Silk Road case | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The lead undercover agent in the federal investigation of the drug-dealing website Silk Road pleaded guilty Wednesday to using his position to extract $500,000 in digital currency from the drug kingpin and an investor in another enterprise. In a plea agreement filed in federal court in San Francisco, Carl Force also admitted signing a contract with 20th Century Fox in March 2014 for a movie about the Silk Road investigation without authorization from the Drug Enforcement Administration, where h
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'Magic Mike’: Come For The Pecs, Stay For The Economics

'Magic Mike’: Come For The Pecs, Stay For The Economics | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
For fans, it's been a difficult several years since "Magic" Mike Lane left the male stripping industry in 2012, but like a phoenix with magnificent pecs, the Channing Tatum character returns in "Ma...
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ACLU: Why we can no longer support the federal ‘religious freedom’ law

ACLU: Why we can no longer support the federal ‘religious freedom’ law | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The law is often used to discriminate against women, gay and transgender people, and others.
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Obama to Expand Overtime Pay to Nearly 5 Million Workers

Obama to Expand Overtime Pay to Nearly 5 Million Workers | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The rule change would raise the threshold for people who earn overtime pay from $23,660 to $50,440 by 2016.
Rob Duke's insight:

Giving a person a managerial title was a key way companies kept pay low.  Entry-level workers get less than 30 hours, so they don't qualify for benefits and salary employees get benefits, but very low pay (long hours).  This could be a significant game changer for those who make low wages.

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Bethany McNutt's comment, July 6, 2015 1:24 PM
I agree that this will be a big game changer to those who work on a salary. However, you only make the cut if you earn under $50,000 a year. This sort of sucks for people who barely made the cut off. I’m curious to as if this will include military as well? My husband is a soldier who earns a salary and shocker, works tons of over time! There have been many times where he had to be at work as early as 4 am, wasn’t able to take his lunches or breaks, field exercises which he “technically” worked 12 hours on and 12 hours off (but there were many days where he pulled 24 hour shifts), there were days when he was required to work nights, weekends, (and there was even a time where he worked a whole month straight with no weekends!) Obviously, he is a soldier (I get that.) He chose this life, and he signed his life away with that contract. However, he is not deployed. He works an office job and is basically a glorified receptionist. He is a soldier who fights for our freedom, with the risk of being deployed at any time. I think if anything, he is more entitled to overtime pay than anyone else. (Being a military wife makes you a little biased that way.)
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The last question

The last question | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Audio and Video content on Economist.com requires a browser that can handle iFrames. Read "Final certainty", our briefing on doctor-assisted dying here, and see the...
Rob Duke's insight:

A crime or a final mercy?

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Marei Benton's comment, June 28, 2015 9:13 PM
As a nurse, I would definitely vote this as all being a final mercy. Having dealt with a few dying patients in my time (albeit, not a lot comparatively-speaking to, oh, say a hospice nurse), it seems to me that an individual's death can be quite beautiful. It can also however be quite draining on the person, and, let's admit it, damn depressing for everyone involved (the patient, the patient's family, etc.)... I took the survey and was rather surprised at how liberal France rated on almost every single question. I never think of France as being a bastion of liberal ideas, as I think most people associate Scandinavian countries in that role. I was pretty surprised to see that France even "beat" Sweden in quite a few of the questions.
max mckernan's comment, June 29, 2015 4:43 AM
I think that this should untimely be up to the person and the doctor. if the person and the doctor are willing to or even just the person the they should be aloud to. i mean it makes sense that a person should be able to make decisions about when and how they are going to die. i know i would want that choice.
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One of the New York prison escapees, Richard Matt, is fatally shot

One of the New York prison escapees, Richard Matt, is fatally shot | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Richard W. Matt
Rob Duke's insight:

The one on the right...

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Brittney Menzel's comment, June 27, 2015 7:26 PM
Hallelujah! I am a strong believer in the death penalty for heinous offenses. He got his serving.
William Estrin's comment, June 28, 2015 8:16 PM
I have been following this story very closely since it broke. I saw on CNN when they announced the capture of Mr. Sweat today. I know he was shot and his condition remains unknown. I am eager to see his fate, medical and otherwise. As far as Richard Matt, I read up a little more on him and was interested in learning about his extensive history of prison escapes and his time in Mexico. However, this escape was definitely the most elaborate. Sources are comparing it to the escape masterminded in The Shawshank Redemption. What was the most disturbing was the corrupted prison officials who aided this escape: both the woman who thought she was in love with them and the man that gave Matt supplies in exchange for his paintings. I’ve read about how prison guards will take bribes from the inmates and can be major suppliers of illegal drugs and other illegal items for inmates. I wasn’t sure how true that was, but reading this story gave me a clear picture. And these are just the ones that got caught. I’m sure there are countless other prison guards across the country doing similar things who just haven’t been caught. But reading this story just further affirms in my mind that prison is a place I never want to be! I have one question about this story. Matt was shot when he ignored commands to drop his firearm. What I want to know is how a prison escapee managed to get a firearm. My guess is he probably broke into someone’s residence and stole it.
Marei Benton's comment, June 28, 2015 9:15 PM
It was reported today that he was shot three times in the head. Uhhhhhhhhhh, that seems a wee bit like overkill to me.
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Toddlers Carrying Out Restorative Justice

Toddlers Carrying Out Restorative Justice | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
New research shows that children as young as three may dole out punishments to ease harm to victims.
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Brittney Menzel's comment, June 27, 2015 7:30 PM
Very interesting! I always was awed by how smart young children were. Now that I have my own little boy I am constantly amazed at what he is able to comprehend. I think that young children have an advantage over us more lived persons. They are seeing the world through innocent, pure eyes. They haven't been messed up by the systems of the world yet.