Criminology and Economic Theory
21.4K views | +0 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Rob Duke
onto Criminology and Economic Theory
Scoop.it!

Blind man tests DMV's exam methods

Blind man tests DMV's exam methods | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Have you heard the one about the blind man who walked into the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Santa Monica, took an eye test and left with a new driver's license?
more...
Kiara's comment, November 1, 2012 5:19 PM
This is a very interesting article. When I started to read it, it made me think of other drivers who are on the road but shouldn't be. I'm glad the article addressed the issue of the elderly along with people with visual impairments, dementia etc. I think it's important for DMV's everywhere to make more responsible decisions on who they are issuing Drivers licenses' to. I believe that it can be just as dangerous to drive under the speed limit, as it is to drive above the speed limit. I'm glad that this article pointed out that anyone can report a persons driving skills when they feel concerned about someone’s driving ability. It is very true that bad drivers are all different ages, so any factor that a person believes contributes to dangerous driving should be reported. It could mean saving the lives of drivers, passengers and other motorists that share the road. It’s disturbing that a man who lost 94% of his vision was able to essentially walk out of the DMV with a driver’s license. Yeah, he told this story not wanting anyone to lose their jobs but really they should. Whoever issued this man his license should no longer work there. The whole point of their job is to ensure that people have the adequate skills necessary to safely drive a vehicle. It’s scary to think that not everyone is as honest as Mark Overland and they are out driving when they shouldn’t be.
Kimberly's comment, November 15, 2012 8:47 PM
This was an interesting article to read.There are many people on the road that shouldn't be driving, and I wonder if this is due to holes in the DMV's exam methods. The person who was issuing his tests realized there were some things off about this man. He was reading the wrong thing and she realized that. That should be a red flag. The DMV is responsible for who they give licenses out to, and that the person who is going to operate the vehicle can do so safely. It is disturbing that Mr. Overland got his license and has lost 94% of his vision. It is good to know that there are still some honest people out there who are willing to not drive because they know that it will save lives and it will be more safer that way.
Criminology and Economic Theory
In search of viable criminological theory
Curated by Rob Duke
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Video of tense arrest appears to show man pointing object at Toronto officer

Video of tense arrest appears to show man pointing object at Toronto officer | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The suspected driver extends and points an object at what looks like a Toronto police officer drawing his weapon.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Suspect in Berlin anti-Semitism attack turns himself in: police | Euronews

Suspect in Berlin anti-Semitism attack turns himself in: police | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A 19-year-old suspect in Berlin's most recent anti-Semitism attack has turned himself in to police, German authorities said on Thursday.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

France: Government guarantees firms won't make profit from private speed radars | Euronews

France: Government guarantees firms won't make profit from private speed radars | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
As the French government rolls out the first set of private speed radars in Normandy, it reassures the public that firms won't be making a profit from speeding drivers.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Watch: Demonstrators wrestle with police at Armenia anti-PM protest | Euronews

Watch: Demonstrators wrestle with police at Armenia anti-PM protest | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Demonstrators clashed with police in Armenia as anti-prime minister protests entered their eighth day.
Rob Duke's insight:

Though they've had days of violent protest, the democratic system works.  The Prime Minister announced today that he will resign, which opens new elections.  That's not to say that their problems are over, but it does provide for a peaceful transition of power to a new government.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam found guilty by Belgian court | Euronews

Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam found guilty by Belgian court | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam has been sentenced to 20-years after being found guilty of attempted terrorist murder during a 2016 shootout in Belgium.

Abdeslam, the prime survivng suspect of the 2015 Paris attacks, was arrested after a gunfight in which several Belgian police officers were injured.
Rob Duke's insight:

Only two years from beginning to end on a very high profile case.  Can you see this proceeding this quickly in the U.S.?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

New web platform allows public to grade government employees | Miami Herald

New web platform allows public to grade government employees | Miami Herald | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
If you've ever dealt with one of Miami's public employees and have something to say about the experience — good or bad — you're about to get a digital suggestion box to speak your piece.

A new startup called CityGrader has launched a website where anyone can leave reviews of municipal employees and departments online for the whole world to read. Think Yelp or TripAdvisor for Miami's government. That includes cops, clerks, parks personnel, elected officials and entire city departments, such as code compliance and building.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

China challenged Australian warships in South China Sea, reports say

China challenged Australian warships in South China Sea, reports say | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asserted the right of the Australian navy to travel the South China Sea, after local media reported three Australian warships were challenged by the Chinese navy earlier this month.
Rob Duke's insight:

A story to follow with one of our case study systems.  Over the last decade, China brought in ton after ton of soil to turn a small atol and shallow water in the South China sea into islands capable of having a "usable" airstrip.  Now they assert that the entire sea is in their jurisdiction and have been warning airplanes and now ships to stay out of the area.  We can expect to see more of this as China is building up its navy.  It's first of several aircraft carriers launched last year.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Alaska corrections leaders look to Norway for inspiration

Alaska corrections leaders look to Norway for inspiration | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
In the last two decades, Norway has made a series of changes to lower their recidivism rate --  the rate people convicted of crimes re-offend. These changes include making life in prison look a lot more like normal life.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

94-year-old former Auschwitz guard charged with accessory to murder | Euronews

94-year-old former Auschwitz guard charged with accessory to murder | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Authorities estimate that 13,335 people were sent to the gas chambers during his time at the death camp.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

How the United States Can Reduce Heroin Overdoses

How the United States Can Reduce Heroin Overdoses | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
In 1995, France made it so any doctor could prescribe buprenorphine without any special licensing or training. Buprenorphine, a first-line treatment for opioid addiction, is a medication that reduces cravings for opioids without becoming addictive itself.

With the change in policy, the majority of buprenorphine prescribers in France became primary-care doctors, rather than addiction specialists or psychiatrists. Suddenly, about 10 times as many addicted patients began receiving medication-assisted treatment, and half the country’s heroin users were being treated. Within four years, overdose deaths had declined by 79 percent.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Too often juries comprise 12 confused men (and women) - Johnson

Too often juries comprise 12 confused men (and women) - Johnson | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

IN 1954 an Ohio jury was told it must acquit Sam Sheppard of murdering his wife if the jurors had a “reasonable doubt” that he had done so. The judge then defined “reasonable doubt”:

It is not a mere possible doubt, because everything relating to human affairs or depending upon moral evidence is open to some possible or imaginary doubt. It is that state of the case which, after the entire comparison and consideration of all the evidence, leaves the minds of the jurors in that condition that they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction to a moral certainty of the truth of the charge.

Sheppard was convicted. Larry Solan of Brooklyn Law School reckons that this and other baffling instructions misled the jury into thinking that the burden of proof was on Sheppard to prove himself innocent, not on the state to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a second trial, in 1966, he was found not guilty and freed.

A jury is a buffer between defendants and the might of the state, and a jury trial is guaranteed in America’s bill of rights. But there is reason to worry that juries often do not understand what they are told to do to fulfil this role. Jurors are not (usually) lawyers, which is the point. They are the defendant’s peers. But their instructions are written by lawyers, who areoften so immersed in their professional argot that they do not realise how impenetrable it can be to outsiders.

Take this sentence from Massachusetts’s civil-jury instructions: “A preponderance of the evidence is such evidence which, when considered and compared with any opposed to it, has more convincing force and produces in your minds a belief that what is sought to be proved is more probably true than not true.” The sentence is not only long; the bigger problem is that it has four clauses, embedded within one another. This kind of prose is hard to process, especially for non-native speakers, even more so when it is spoken rather than written down.

Another problem is the passive voice. Though the passive has some applications, it is overused in formal contexts. Like convoluted clauses, passive jury instructions can be hard to follow. Research has shown that when people hear sentences such as “the woman was visited by the man”, and are quickly prompted to identify who was the “do-er” and who “acted upon”, their reaction time and accuracy are considerably worse than when hearing the active-voice equivalent.

A final problem is legalese. Lawyers love words such as “notwithstanding” and “inference”, but studies suggest as many as half of jurors think “preponderance” has something to do with pondering. Even plain words like “burden” have specialised meanings in court.

Janet Randall, a psycholinguist at Northeastern University, has found that rendering these instructions in plain English, stripping out passives and legalese especially, makes them much easier to interpret. Providing a written version brought an even bigger benefit. She first recorded modest results when testing psychologists’ favourite lab rats—their students. But these are people who did well on English tests to get into university. When she recruited respondents online, who looked more like the actual jury pool overall, the good effects of the plain-English instructions shot up.

The Supreme Court has weighed in on ambiguous jury instructions, but has not yet struck down those that are merely hard to comprehend. Some American states have adopted simplified language, and some provide each juror with written instructions. But some still have not. A justifiable reason is that it can be difficult to render legalese accurately into terms that sound like conversational English. Less defensible reasons are mere inertia or, even worse, the belief on the part of a few judges that cumbersome formal language is needed to give jurors a sense of the majesty of the law.

Jurors will not often want to admit they don’t understand. They are eager to end the trials and get back to their lives, and lawyers and judges in crowded court systems want them to get on with it, too. But bafflement should worry anyone who may face a jury, particularly in a country where the state can execute a defendant (see article). As long as that is the law in America, every easy reform that makes the system work better should be seized with urgency. Cleaning up the language of courtrooms is an obvious place to start.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

PICS: Dad who threw baby off roof to appear for attempted murder | Cape Times

PICS: Dad who threw baby off roof to appear for attempted murder | Cape Times | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A Port Elizabeth father, who tossed his baby from a roof while resisting the demolishing of illegal houses, will make his first appearance in the New Brighton Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

He has been charged with attempted murder after throwing his six-month-old daughter off the top of a shack in an illegal township to stop it being demolished.

The 38-year-old had taken the baby and climbed on top of their home in protest against dozens of shacks at a township in Kwadwesi coast being lined up for destruction. 

As half-a-dozen policemen lined up on the ground below him and one climbed up to try to talk him down, the man dangled the baby over the edge by her ankle, before swinging her over the edge.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Why two men were put in the stocks in Bolivia

Why two men were put in the stocks in Bolivia | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Forgot your password?
First a mayor, then a man accused of stealing, were humiliated and punished publicly in two different towns in the northeast of Bolivia. Both of them had one leg put into stocks, a punishment that some deemed humiliating and others found justified. In a country where indigenous justice is recognised by law, was this punishment legal?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

French MPs ban meaty words to describe vegetarian food | Euronews

French MPs ban meaty words to describe vegetarian food | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
‘Vegan sausages’, ‘soya steaks’ and ‘quorn fillets’ will soon be a thing of the past in France.
Rob Duke's insight:

I get protecting cheeses and wines with the regional names from which they have traditionally been created/invented, but it seems hardly likely that carnivores will be fooled by fake meat....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

French terror suspect to stand trial for killing 4 at Jewish Museum in Brussels | Euronews

French terror suspect to stand trial for killing 4 at Jewish Museum in Brussels | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The attack shocked Europe and led to more security around Jewish institutions
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Slovakia police chief steps down as protests persist | Euronews

Slovakia police chief steps down as protests persist | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Slovakia’s national police chief has resigned amid public pressure following the assassination of a journalist in February who was investigating alleged government corruption.
Rob Duke's insight:

Here's another example in Europe.....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Radovan Karadzic appeals 40 year jail sentence | Euronews

Radovan Karadzic appeals 40 year jail sentence | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is to launch his appeal this week against a 40 year prison sentence for genocide and war crimes during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

Karadzic, a former psychiatrist, is the highest-ranking official sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, set up in 1993 to prosecute those behind the Balkans bloodshed.

Two years ago Karadzic, now aged 72, was convicted of crimes committed during the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, including the killing of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica.
Rob Duke's insight:

Justice sometimes comes slow in war crime tribunals....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

India seeks death penalty for child rapists

India seeks death penalty for child rapists | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
India's Cabinet has passed an executive order to make the rape of a girl under 12 punishable by the death penalty as national outrage grows over sexual violence in the country.

The order -- known as an ordinance -- was approved Saturday at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to India's Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The change in the law will only become permanent once it is approved by India's Parliament, which is currently in recess. It goes into effect once it's signed by the President, considered a formality, but it will lapse after six months if Parliament doesn't ratify it.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

An alarming rise in mental-health sectioning in Britain - Locked away

An alarming rise in mental-health sectioning in Britain - Locked away | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

I CAN’T remember how many times I was sectioned,” says Hannah MacDonald, a former nurse. She recalls much of the first time, though. During therapy in 2007 she mentioned that she had self-harmed and had suicidal thoughts. The next morning, on arriving at work, she was taken to a windowless room in the bowels of a psychiatric hospital in London. There, a doctor asked probing questions about her mental health. Soon more unknown faces entered the room to observe her. She began to feel overwhelmed and her speech slowed. Then she was told she had been detained under section two of the Mental Health Act. After that, Ms MacDonald recalls only a few things, including being told that if she refused medication, she would be injected. It took eight months for her to be released.

Ms MacDonald is part of a growing cohort. The number of detentions under the Mental Health Act in England rose from 43,463 in 2009 to 63,622 in 2016. The process requires two doctors and one approved mental-health professional, like a social worker or nurse, to agree that a patient needs hospital treatment for a mental-health disorder, and that they may pose a danger to themself or others.

Experts admit it is impossible to know whether the increase is justified or not. But many are alarmed by its sheer speed. Some also worry that those with only minor conditions are being swept up in the rise.

What is behind it? One theory blames the underfunding of early-intervention services. These were set up by hospital trusts in the early 2000s, after which the number of detentions began slowly to fall. But since 2011 mental-health spending in Britain has fallen by about 1% in real terms, while greater public awareness of mental-health issues has stoked demand for services. As a result, mental-health teams are stretched. Someone with psychosis, for instance, should receive treatment in two weeks but may wait up to six months, says Will Johnstone of Rethink Mental Illness, a charity. In that time their condition may deteriorate, leading them to be sectioned.

Another factor is a long-term drop in the number of beds for psychiatric patients. A shift away from hospital treatment to care in the community saw the number fall from about 155,000 in 1954 to around 20,000 today. Most have welcomed the change. But a lack of beds raises the pressure to discharge patients early, meaning some need to be sectioned again. A survey by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2014 found that about a fifth of trainee psychiatrists had sectioned patients just to secure them a bed and care.

Doctors have also become more risk-averse, says Sir Simon Wessely, professor of psychiatry at King’s College, London, and the chairman of an official review into sectioning set up last year. In 2014 a Supreme Court judgment broadened the definition of unlawful deprivation of liberty. One effect is that some elderly folk with dementia, who had previously been kept in hospital with a bit of informal persuasion by doctors and relatives, are now being sectioned in order to avoid accusations of unlawful detention. A recent report by the Care Quality Commission, a watchdog, revealed that in some wards for elderly people, every patient had been sectioned.

Doctors also seem to be more nervous than before about suicide. In 2009 the National Health Service drew up a list of eight “never events”, errors so grave they should be expected never to happen, and which trigger an internal investigation if they do. It includes patients using curtain or shower rails to commit suicide in mental-health units. In January Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, launched a “zero-suicide target” in hospitals. Such a focus may encourage doctors to increase the supervision of their patients by sectioning them sooner and for longer, rather than risking a death.

That risk-aversion may also harm the recovery of those detained, argues Ms MacDonald. She eventually recovered in a hospital which let her take up pastimes like embroidery and walking in the garden. Such activities calmed her down when she felt depressed. Yet stricter infirmaries did not allow them, for fear of self-harm.

The rise in sectioning has disproportionately affected ethnic minorities. Black people are four times more likely to be sectioned than whites. This long-standing pattern is partly explained by black Britons’ lower incomes, which are linked to poor mental health. But it is also down to discrimination and a lack of black people in senior roles in mental-health services, says Patrick Vernon of Black Thrive, a charity.

Sir Simon’s review will report its initial findings in the next few weeks and make proposals later in the year. Some will be quick fixes, but mental-health legislation can take decades to change because it is so complex, he warns. One hurdle is legal, since the rules on sectioning are tied to other laws, such as the Mental Capacity Act. Another is ethical, because of the need to balance individuals’ right to liberty against the state’s duty to protect them and others. And a third is scientific, as mental illness has many causes, from the genetic to the economic. The rise in sectioning may have been rapid, but anyone hoping for an overhaul of the system is in for a long wait.

Rob Duke's insight:

Some insight on why England may have fewer mass shooter incidents than does the U.S.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Chuck Schumer to Unveil Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana

Chuck Schumer to Unveil Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to introduce a bill on Friday that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Instagram-Famous Cocaine Mule Sentenced to Eight Years

Instagram-Famous Cocaine Mule Sentenced to Eight Years | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Melina Roberge will remain behind bars until at least 2021 for role in cruise ship drug trafficking
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Parents now spend twice as much time with their children as 50 years ago - Daily chart

Parents now spend twice as much time with their children as 50 years ago - Daily chart | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
PARENTS these days spend a lot more time with their offspring, or at least middle-class parents do. One analysis of 11 rich countries estimates that the average mother spent 54 minutes a day caring for children in 1965 but 104 minutes in 2012. Men do less than women, but far more than men in the past: their child-caring time has jumped from 16 minutes a day to 59.


At the same time a gap has opened between working-class and middle-class parents. In 1965 mothers with and without a university education spent about the same amount of time on child care. By 2012 the more educated ones were spending half an hour more per day. The exception is France, where the stereotype of a bourgeois couple sipping wine and ignoring their remarkably well-behaved progeny appears to be accurate.
Rob Duke's insight:

If you asked Travis Hirschi why crime has gone down, he might say something like: we're keeping our kids engaged more, which is teaching them more self-control.  Now we have some data to back that up.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Emotional day in court for US pastor jailed in Turkey

Following an attempted coup in Turkey, Andrew Brunson, a 50-year-old evangelical pastor from North Carolina, was arrested as part of a sweeping crackdown on political opponents of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Despite his case being raised by U.S. officials at the highest levels, including President Donald Trump, he's now standing trial for terrorism and espionage.

Brunson faces up to 35 years in prison.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Will Iraq's 'tribal court' undermine rule of law? - Saudi Gazette

Will Iraq's 'tribal court' undermine rule of law? - Saudi Gazette | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
AMID Iraqi calls to reinforce the rule of law and strengthen Iraqi state institutions, the Ministry of Justice announced March 28 a new initiative for “arbitration” among tribes, allowing a team of tribal elders to intervene as arbitrators in resolving all possible disputes and conflicts between Iraqi tribes.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Justice, this team of 47 tribal leaders will be called “Al-Awaref,” selected by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior in virtue of a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Justice and to be charged with several tasks, most notably reducing the expansion of tribal conflicts and focusing on “bringing about community peace” in Iraqi provinces.

The 47 arbitrators will work voluntarily and receive no salaries from the Iraqi state. In addition to undergoing a background check by the Ministry of the Interior, their names were presented to tribal leaders for approval.

The Ministry of Justice statement noted that the ministry “has adopted a team of well-known tribal arbitrators to resolve disputes,” describing them as “a safety valve for the community, which will have a major role in strengthening security and establishing community peace in all provinces of the country.”
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke
Scoop.it!

Award for metro cop who caught baby flung from roof by dad | Cape Times

Award for metro cop who caught baby flung from roof by dad | Cape Times | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A Nelson Mandela Bay metro police office was dubbed a hero on Friday after he caught a one-year-old baby girl who was flung from the roof of a shack by her father. 

Constable Luyolo Nojulumba caught the baby girl after her father flung her from the roof of a shack in the Joe Slovo informal settlement during tense evictions on Thursday. 

Not a man of many words, Nojulumba was awarded with a commendation by Metro Police Chief Yolande Faro on Friday. 

The 27-year-old, who also plays rugby for a local club, said that when he caught the baby, she immediately stopped crying. 
more...
No comment yet.