Criminology and Economic Theory
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St. Louis Police Chief to join nationally ranked UMSL Criminology Department - UMSL Daily (blog)

St. Louis Police Chief to join nationally ranked UMSL Criminology Department - UMSL Daily (blog) | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Riverfront Times (blog)St. Louis Police Chief to join nationally ranked UMSL Criminology DepartmentUMSL Daily (blog)UMSL Chancellor Tom George (second from right) discusses the hiring of St.
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Criminology and Economic Theory
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Theranos Inc.’s Partners in Blood

Theranos Inc.’s Partners in Blood | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Much of the attention to the medical diagnostics firm accused of fraud has focused on CEO Elizabeth Holmes. But behind the scenes, another character played a central role.
Rob Duke's insight:

In business a simple business practice like using linear programming to streamline supply chain can be a significant competitive advantage, so it's easy to see why some companies demand secrecy, but too much and in the wrong places and it's all too easy for a company to get into trouble with WCC or GCC (green collar/environmental crimes)....

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SEC Charges Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes With Fraud

SEC Charges Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes With Fraud | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The Securities and Exchange Commission said that it has charged Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes with fraud and forced the company’s founder to give up control of the company.
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Who was Charles H Keating Jr.?

Who was Charles H Keating Jr.? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Charles Keating Jr., who died in 2014 at age 90, was a banker and financier who bought Lincoln Savings and Loan of Irvine, Calif., in 1984.

Navy SEAL, grandson of S&L financier, killed in Iraq

It became part of a financial and real-estate empire built by taking advantage of loose government restrictions on banking investments. He built the Valley's noted Phoenician resort and major residential developments such as Dobson Ranch in Mesa and Estrella Mountain Ranch in Goodyear.

By the end of the go-go 1980s, however, Keating's empire was crumbling.

In 1989, federal regulators seized control of the savings-and-loan company and Keating's other holdings, alleging that he looted the federally backed Lincoln Savings at taxpayer expense, sank money into risky ventures and cheated the company's investors.

Federal regulators filed a $1.1 billion civil racketeering and fraud lawsuit against Keating, accusing him of siphoning Lincoln's deposits to his family and into political campaigns.
Rob Duke's insight:

This is two years old now, but revived a big scandal from the 1980's.

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Warning Issued After Record Number Of Counterfeit Goods Seized « CBS Pittsburgh

Warning Issued After Record Number Of Counterfeit Goods Seized « CBS Pittsburgh | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized a record number of counterfeit goods last year and many are flooding into western Pennsylvania.
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Most efforts to control traffic don’t work. Here are four things that do. – Greater Greater Washington

Most efforts to control traffic don’t work. Here are four things that do. – Greater Greater Washington | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Whether it’s an apartment building, shopping center, or a mixed-use project, ostensibly well-intentioned residents regularly cite worsening traffic as the reason to stop new development. However, the most common methods communities push for to alleviate congestion make it worse, while the things that actually help usually face strong pushback.
Rob Duke's insight:

Traffic (even most transportation decisions) are subject to market failures.  Users tend to free-ride, or not truly report how much they need or will use a facility.  This means we under-build (we never have enough resources to build what's really demanded.

 

Even worse, developers lobby and influence so they won't have to pay the full costs of transportation....but here's where white collar crime gets messy--if we demand full pay for transportation (or other infrastructure like sewer treatment, potable water, and stormwater control), then all we get is high end housing and commercial property, because these tend to be profitable.  While low end housing is always a risk in terms of profit potential.  So, we either underbuild infrastructure or we don't produce all those other land uses that a community needs.

 

So, we let developers dupe us and we collect fees instead of building the infrastructure (surely sometimes we require a needed interchange or intersection and help out with a repayment agreement for future development to pay back the current developer), but that creates another problem in terms of the scale of development: sprawl.  When we look at old Pasadena, or old Fairbanks, we saw development patterns where housing and commercial development overlap and was dense by today's standards.  This was because we first put in the public improvements and then private investors put up the development one house, one apartment building and one office/retail building at a time.

 

This illustrates two things: 1. the idea that this type of "white collar influence" is universally nefarious is difficult to support--these problems are just too complex.  Much better to just admit that these are political problems, where politics is the competition for scarce resources. 2. the built environment has a tremendous impact on the quality of life--and even crime.

 

See the article for ideas of how these issues can be better managed...in other words, we have ways to better control competition and politics.

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Gun Deaths In America

Gun Deaths In America | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The data in this interactive graphic comes primarily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Multiple Cause of Death database, which is derived from death certificates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is widely considered the most comprehensive estimate of firearm deaths.
Rob Duke's insight:

2/3 of gun deaths are by suicide...a majority of those are men over the age of 45.  The next big group are poor men of color accounting for 2/3 of the remaining gun deaths.  The last third is made up of: domestic violence, accidents, and police shootings.  Generally cutting down by fractions 2/3 of those left are domestic violence...2/3 of what's left are accidents and unclassified deaths, and what's left are the police shootings.

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State attorney general wants to give more criminal justice options to tribes

State attorney general wants to give more criminal justice options to tribes | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The state is taking steps to expand the criminal justice authority of Alaska Native tribes. Listen now
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Launches Just Spaces Initiative to Examine Justice in Public Spaces

Philadelphia – October 18, 2017 – This week, University City District (UCD), a leader in entrepreneurial approaches to community revitalization, launched Just Spaces, an initiative designed to ensure that public spaces in University City are deeply inclusive and just. With support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, UCD will develop a tool to audit and improve public spaces in its district and throughout Philadelphia.

UCD creates and manages a variety of popular and dynamic public spaces throughout University City, including The Porch at 30th Street Station, Parklets, pedestrian plazas, and the forthcoming Trolley Portal Gardens. UCD will develop and deploy the ‘Just Spaces’ audit to assess its own network of public space projects, building on the notion that public spaces are forums to be experienced and negotiated across lines of race, class, gender, age, sexual preference, ethnicity and ability differences.
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The 25 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice Studies

The 25 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice Studies | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
13. University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, Alaska

University of Alaska Fairbanks ranks among The 25 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice Studies!
UAF enrolls 11,000 students and operates seven campuses across the state. The majority of UAF’s student body comprises undergraduate students, and the university offers small class sizes and individualized instruction. UAF offers a variety of online degrees and certificates, including an online bachelor’s of arts in justice program designed for students planning to pursue careers in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest.

Students learn how to address conflicts involving Native American, federal, and state issues. Learners are prepared to work with tribal and rural justice systems to foster restorative justice. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses in criminology, ethics and justice, principles of corrections, rural justice in Alaska, and juvenile delinquency. Elective options cover topics including gender and crime, police problems, and correctional counseling and rehabilitation. During a culminating experience, students choose to undertake an internship, participate in a seminar that explores critical issues relevant to the student’s intended occupation, or complete a research project.

Students take criminal justice classes online, without any on-campus requirements. In-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and at least a 2.5 GPA. Applicants must submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer applicants must have at least 30 previous credits earned with a minimum 2.0 GPA.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Rob Duke's insight:

UAF Justice has a new ranking!

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States Turn to an Unproven Method of Execution: Nitrogen Gas - The New York Times

States Turn to an Unproven Method of Execution: Nitrogen Gas - The New York Times | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
As problems mount with lethal injection, Alabama, Mississippi and Oklahoma are developing protocols for using nitrogen to carry out the death penalty. Little science exists about the method.
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Exclusive: 'Golden State Killer' district attorneys meet in Santa Barbara

Exclusive: 'Golden State Killer' district attorneys meet in Santa Barbara | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
District attorneys from four California counties are meeting in Santa Barbara Friday to discuss and strategize for the Golden State Killer case.
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American crimes, Chinese trials: Here's how it works

American crimes, Chinese trials: Here's how it works | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

The lead investigator, Iowa City Police Det. David Gonzalez, was concerned about handing over evidence to the Chinese, which could have disrupted an American prosecution if Li ever returned to the U.S.

But then, a delegation of Chinese officials came to Iowa to discuss the case. Gonzalez became convinced that a Chinese prosecution was the best option.

"Ideally we would like to prosecute here, but when it comes down to it … we wanted to get some type of justice served, one way or another," he said.

Li pleaded guilty during a roughly six-hour trial in the Chinese city of Wenzhou and was sentenced in 2016 to life in prison.

The other international prosecution began with the murder of Tianmei Gao, whose body was found in a trash can floating in a lake at L.A. County's Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in early 2007.

By the time investigators gathered enough evidence to charge Gao's husband, Bo Li, he had moved back to China.

Officials from the district attorney's extradition unit asked the prosecutor, Lisa Coen, not to give any evidence to the Chinese until they had researched the Chinese legal system and felt assured that Li would not be mistreated while in custody.

"Obviously, we also want to stay true to our principles in the U.S.," Coen said. "If we found that they had an unjust system, then it's not something we would have wanted to participate in."

Rob Duke's insight:

In China a 2012 law grants criminal defendants similar rights to those guaranteed in Europe and in the U.S. (right to an attorney, etc.).  Human Rights groups report those rights are largely being honored, at least for mala per se crimes, if not yet for political prisoners.

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Trapped in self-service hell

Trapped in self-service hell | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The self-service revolution is reversing the division of labour. You find yourself doing all sorts of jobs that you’re untrained for – acting as a travel agent booking a trip, an airport porter weighing and labelling bags or a shop-attendant checking out a basket of goods. Meanwhile a handful of companies suck up abnormal profits by turning their customers into unpaid labourers. The real sweatshop workers in the post-industrial economy are you and me.

In previous eras workers who were rendered surplus to requirements by technological advances were redeployed to more productive activities. Today they are being deployed to less productive ones such as public relations and consulting.
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The Rich Drive Differently, a Study Suggests - The New York Times

The Rich Drive Differently, a Study Suggests - The New York Times | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A Berkeley study found most drivers did the right thing when confronted with a pedestrian or other drivers, but those in expensive cars made more infractions.
Rob Duke's insight:

Ah, so maybe it's not simply about institutions, but also about the characteristics of the offenders?

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ENRON'S COLLAPSE: THE OVERVIEW; ARTHUR ANDERSEN FIRES AN EXECUTIVE FOR ENRON ORDERS - The New York Times

ENRON'S COLLAPSE: THE OVERVIEW; ARTHUR ANDERSEN FIRES AN EXECUTIVE FOR ENRON ORDERS - The New York Times | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Arthur Andersen accounting firm dismisses David B Duncan, partner in charge of auditing Enron Corp, saying he ordered destruction of thousands of documents and e-mail messages on Oct 23 after Enron disclosed that Securities and Exchange Commission was probing its accounting; destruction apparently did not stop until his assistant ordered halt on Nov 9; House committee releases full text of letter by Enron vice president Sherron S Watkins warning chairman Kenneth L Lay that complicated, largely undisclosed deals with partnerships set up by Enron officials helped inflate stock price and would be found to be accounting hoax that could destroy company; Vinson & Elkins, law firm asked by Enron to probe her charges, issued Oct report finding Andersen auditors reviewed and approved deals, which later contributed to Enron's collapse; Watkins also held law firm had conflict of interest because of its role in advising Enron on some of deals; chronology of events; photo (M)
Rob Duke's insight:

And, here's some info on the Enron Scandal....

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Russian 'dirty money' puts UK national security at risk, say MPs | Euronews

Russian 'dirty money' puts UK national security at risk, say MPs | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A powerful committee of MPs called on the British government to “get serious” and crack down on Kremlin-linked individuals using London as a base for corrupt assets.
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“Shoplifters”, a touching tale of outsiders, wins at Cannes - Nicking the prize

“Shoplifters”, a touching tale of outsiders, wins at Cannes - Nicking the prize | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The film’s opening sequence has a cheerful late-middle-aged man, Osamu (Lily Franky), strolling around a supermarket with a young boy, Shota (Jyo Kairi). Keeping an eye out for store detectives, and communicating with complicated hand signals, they nip past the checkout with a backpack of stolen goods, although their their ill-gotten gains appear to be less important to them than their father-son bonding. But are they father and son? The relationship between this Fagin and his Artful Dodger isn’t defined at first—they could easily be grandfather and grandson—and when they return to their tiny, cluttered inner-city bungalow, the family connections are just as obscure. 

Osamu’s wife—it seems—is Noboyu (Sakura Ando), who works in a launderette, and pockets any trinkets which her customers have left in their clothes. Their daughter may or may not be Aki (Mayu Matsuoka), who makes a living by wearing skimpy outfits in a peep-show booth. And there is Hatsue (Kirin Kiki), a grandmother who contributes to the household funds via various dodgy schemes of her own. On one level, they are a traditional nuclear family, albeit a nuclear family which scrapes by with minor cons and pilferings. But, for much of the film’s running time, it is hard to say how and if the characters are related. Noboyu articulates one of Mr Kore-Eda’s key themes: “Sometimes it’s better to choose your own family.”

The latest member of this ragtag clan is a little girl, Juri (Miyu Sasaki), whom Osamu and Shota spot one cold night on their way home from a shoplifting spree. Her parents are too busy fighting to look after her, so Osamu offers her a meal. Noboyu then notices bruises and scars on her arms, and so she lets the girl stay the night in their shack. Soon, with a new name and a new haircut, she has been absorbed into the family unit.

Even Osamu knows that this is morally questionable. After all, he has kidnapped a child, legally speaking, and is training her to shoplift. (“Only children who can’t study at home go to school,” is his slick excuse for neglecting the rest of her education.) But he and the rest of the family are also caring for the girl in a way that neither her parents nor society ever has. To quote Noboyu again: “Someone threw her away and we found her.”

It’s easy to imagine how the family would be portrayed in a newspaper report: a tribe of spongers and scammers made up of exploitative adults and vulnerable children. But Mr Kore-Eda enchants us with scenes of stealthy, affectionate comedy, and with the sheer gentleness of the actors’ nuanced performances. Slowly but surely, we come to understand and respect this outlaw bunch, just as we might warm to the families in “Only Fools and Horses” and “Shameless”. Cast out by the system, they have created their own idyllic if cramped Neverland of lost boys and girls.

When the inevitable crisis finally hits, it is heartbreaking. Sudden twists and revelations raise further questions about Osamu’s morality, but by then Mr Kore-Eda’s bittersweet, politically-charged tale has won us over just as surely as it won over Ms Blanchett and her fellow jurors. We know that whatever else the characters are, they are more than just shoplifters.
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Gun, Badge, Camera

Gun, Badge, Camera | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Fatal shootings by police officers that are recorded on video often get national media coverage, fueling calls for reform, as we saw last week in the shootings …
Rob Duke's insight:

About 1000 per year and less than 1% are not supported by the officer's body camera.

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The Supreme Court lets states legalise sport gambling - You bet

The Supreme Court lets states legalise sport gambling - You bet | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
AT THE dawn of the republic, the Federalist Party advocated a strong national government with an energetic executive, while anti-Federalists worried that too much power at the centre would make for a monarchy, not a democracy. They wanted power to go to the peripheries. But “federalism” has since become synonymous with states’ rights. Devolving power from Washington, DC to states and localities has been a priority of the modern Republican Party. The current era is changing that. Donald Trump's administration is clamping down on states that are loosening marijuana laws or failing to cooperate with federal authorities to deport undocumented immigrants.

A Supreme Court decision on May 13th strikes a major blow for states’ rights. By a 7-2 vote in Murphy v National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the justices ruled that a 1992 statute banning sports betting is unconstitutional. The law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), was a bit of an odd duck. It wasn’t a ban on betting, per se, but a law prohibiting states that already banned betting from legalising it. So states where sport betting was legal in 1992—Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon—were at least partially exempted from the ban. New Jersey thumbed its nose at the law when it legalised sport gambling in 2012, a move that was promptly halted by lower courts. In its appeal to the Supreme Court, New Jersey said PASPA violated the rarely litigated 10th Amendment, the constitution’s textual hook for preserving state’s rights: “the powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people”.
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California parents waterboarded, shot crossbows and BB guns at 10 children: prosecutor

California parents waterboarded, shot crossbows and BB guns at 10 children: prosecutor | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A northern California couple charged with child abuse is now being accused of waterboarding and shooting crossbows and BB guns at their 10 children, according to prosecutors.
Rob Duke's insight:

"just that one time".....

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Legalize and tax marijuana to truly end the disproportionate arrests of black and Latino New Yorkers  - NY Daily News

Legalize and tax marijuana to truly end the disproportionate arrests of black and Latino New Yorkers  - NY Daily News | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have suffered life-altering harms because of marijuana prohibition and the pretext it provides for law enforcement to over-police communities of color.

Sixty New Yorkers are arrested every day for marijuana possession — since 1996, there have been more than 800,000 such arrests.

Although marijuana possession was decriminalized in New York in 1977, a loophole maintains possession in "public view" as a crime. This loophole — coupled with pervasive and racially biased over-policing of certain communities — has resulted in continued mass arrests.

Research shows that many of the people arrested over the past 20 years for marijuana possession were not smoking in public, but simply had a small amount in their pocket, purse, or bag — a legal violation, not a criminal offense. These people were either subject to an illegal search by police or given a directive by an officer to empty their pockets or open their bags. The discovery of marijuana by police then resulted in their arrest for possession in "public view."

Rob Duke's insight:

They should legalize and tax marijuana in order to normalize a gray market.

I doubt it will do much to stop mass incarceration or any perceived disproportionate arrests.  The reason I say this is that cops by-and-large try not to make arrests unless a whole array of factors align that make arrest necessary:

1. politics (this might be #2);

2. whether the officer will be perceived poorly by peers (not a "warrior");

3. their particular supervisor would be unhappy;

4. what administration dictates are priorities;

5. mandatory arrests;

6. likelihood of prosecution;

7. tragedy of the victim;

8. likability of the victim;

9. degree of vileness of the offender;

10. offender's "attitude";

11. likelihood of the crime continuing.

 

These are just the most compelling reasons--there are a thousand more nuances.

 

In addition, cops tends to leave an area alone in terms of arrests.  Your neighborhood probably just gets mild patrol.  Until it becomes apparent (now it's getting easier because of predictive policing, etc.) that there's a crime problem.  When that happens, officers either take it upon themselves or are directed to intervene.

 

The point is that when an area reaches that threshold, then officers start looking for proxies--both in the types of offenses, but also in the ready and available offenders.  It's not that you want to make examples, but on some subconscious level that's what happens.  And, it seems to work.  (But, it may be that it's "push down--pop up" where the real offenders work an area until the cops show up and then move to a new area.)

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Who has the right to judge Americans? - The Economist explains

Who has the right to judge Americans? - The Economist explains | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
America’s federal structure rests on three pillars: a congress to enact laws, an executive to administer them, and a judiciary to settle disputes. While in practice these divisions have never been entirely clean, circumstances have become muddier with the rise of agencies like the SEC that have gained sweeping authority over American life. Their employees are largely removed from the electoral process, but nonetheless create rules, police them and arbitrate disputes. The SEC’s enforcement division traditionally brings cases to a federal court directly or in conjunction with the justice department. But it can also adjudicate matters itself using administrative law judges (ALJs) who work for the SEC. It was before one of these that Mr Lucia found himself in 2012. 
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A church wants to give homeless people safe parking at night – but neighbors aren’t happy –

A church wants to give homeless people safe parking at night – but neighbors aren’t happy – | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church and the nonprofit homeless assistance provider Illumination Foundation hope to begin operating a safe parking program in Fullerton.
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DNA analysis helps solve crimes and clear those who are innocent –

DNA analysis helps solve crimes and clear those who are innocent – | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
DNA has become an invaluable instrument in the search for truth in the criminal justice system. The significant role of DNA in identifying suspects was most vividly displayed in the past weeks when…
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An L.A. triple-murder suspect was tried in China, and his case could open the door for similar prosecutions

An L.A. triple-murder suspect was tried in China, and his case could open the door for similar prosecutions | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

If Chinese police would confirm that Cui was indeed in China, Teague could at least close the almost decade-old case. In a cavernous room off Tiananmen Square, he met with nearly two dozen Chinese police officials.

The highest-ranking officer then made an unexpected offer to Teague, a Los Angeles Police Department lieutenant: "We're very interested in trying him in our courts."

Late last year, Cui was found guilty by a panel of three Chinese judges. There has been no word from China on his punishment.

Teague and other American authorities said they would have preferred to prosecute Cui in the U.S. but believed that working with the Chinese was better than letting him go free. They believe he was treated fairly, they said.

The Chinese legal system, however, has a reputation for coerced confessions, speedy executions and politically motivated arrests. Many trials are not public, and court files are generally not available for public review. In the U.S., Cui's trial would have likely lasted weeks. In China, it took 90 minutes.

Chinese prosecutors appear to have made significant use of evidence the LAPD handed over. The cooperation was approved by L.A. County prosecutors, who weighed concerns about China's judicial system against the violent nature of Cui's crimes. It is unclear what role federal officials played in the decision.

The Times examined the Cui case and two others in which a defendant was prosecuted in China for a crime committed on American soil. The cases are among the first of their kind and could open the door for similar prosecutions, especially in Southern California, with its large Chinese immigrant population.

"The U.S. doesn't want to say, 'No way, no how, we never cooperate,' " said Margaret Lewis, a professor at Seton Hall Law School who researches China's criminal justice system. "But once we open the door for that … where do we draw the line?"

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