Criminology and Economic Theory
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More than 1000 officers execute Canada-wide drug raids as police arrest 103 ... - National Post

More than 1000 officers execute Canada-wide drug raids as police arrest 103 ... - National Post | Criminology and Economic Theory |
National PostMore than 1000 officers execute Canada-wide drug raids as police arrest 103 ...National PostMONTREAL — One thousand police officers conducted raids in different Canadian cities against an alleged consortium of organized crime that had...
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Criminology and Economic Theory
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Chicago Using Los Angeles-Style Predictive Policing Technology to Reduce Murder Rate - News - POLICE Magazine

Sean Malinowski was torn between two cities last year: chief of staff to Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck and $250-an-hour consultant to the Chicago Police Department, helping create new, high-tech crime-fighting centers.

“I used all of my vacation time and days off to do this,” Malinowski says. “My family time suffered. I’m a little worn out by it.”

Invited to Chicago by Supt. Eddie Johnson to lend his expertise after the city suffered one of its bloodiest years in decades in 2016, Malinowski was hired under a $1.1 million contract between the city and the University of Chicago Crime Lab. The lab’s job: to help build and operate Strategic Decision Support Centers, where officers and civilian analysts monitor gunshot detectors, surveillance cameras and other data to pinpoint where crimes occur and where they might happen next.
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Disgraced Racer Scott Tucker Has Ferraris Repossessed in Payday Loan Scam Sentencing

Disgraced Racer Scott Tucker Has Ferraris Repossessed in Payday Loan Scam Sentencing | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Among the many charges levied against former race car driver Scott Tucker, the convicted payday loan scam artist should also be credited for being the most prolific generator of crime and punishment news in motor racing.

Sentenced in January to a 16-year-and-eight-month prison stint, and ordered to pay $3.5 billion in fines for the predatory lending practices of the multiple payday-loan businesses he operated, Tucker’s prized bounty—the dozens of race cars purchased for his defunct Level 5 Racing sports car team—have already been liquidated in an auction to recover some of his ill-gotten gains.

And in a new development, his rich collection of personal cars and other lavish belongings are being sought by the government to satisfy some of the staggering debt he’s been assigned by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan.

According to Tucker’s hometown Kansas City Star newspaper, the “forfeiture order seeks government possession of several of Tucker’s bank accounts, several Porsche and Ferrari automobiles, high-priced jewelry and two residential properties owned by Tucker — one in Aspen, Colo., and the other in Leawood near the Hallbrook Country Club.”
Rob Duke's insight:
America in contrast with Europe: Adversarial and punitive.
Some might argue that we're tough because White Collar Crime has often been ignored, but it's difficult to make that argument when so few bankers were punished for the "Great Recession".
katrina watson's comment, February 17, 6:55 PM
That is quite a lot of money. Why do bankers get away with their crimes?
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Why New Zealand has so many gang members - The Economist explains

Why New Zealand has so many gang members - The Economist explains | Criminology and Economic Theory |

FOR a quiet country, New Zealand has a peculiar problem with gangs. It is reckoned to have one of the highest membership rates in the world. In a population of 4.7m, police count over 5,300 mobsters or “prospects” who are angling to join. Cumulatively, that makes the groups larger than the army. Bikers like the Hells Angels and posses from Australia are among its 25 recognised groups, but two Maori crews dominate: Black Power and the Mongrel Mob. They are remarkable for their subcultures as much as for their size. Members signal their allegiance by sewing patches onto leather jackets or branding themselves with dense tattoos. A closed fist marks Black Power, which took its name from the American civil-rights movement, and a British bulldog signals the Mongrels. In all, Maori people make up three-quarters of the country’s gangsters.

They have dominated the gang world since the 1970s, when many had moved to the cities where they endured discrimination and ended up in poverty because of difficulties finding work. Opportunities have improved since, but life is often harder for indigenous people than for other New Zealanders. They do worse in school, suffer poorer health and die younger. Some turn to the gangs in search of power or oblivion. Some become members in jail, forced to join a crew simply to protect themselves. Others seek something more positive: whanau, or community. Many recruits join simply because their fathers are members. The gangs, they say, are like a family. 

Most New Zealanders never encounter this underworld, because violence generally occurs between the gangs, and even those turf wars have abated in recent decades. Today much of the gangs’ criminal activities relate to drugs. Corrections officers say that foreign syndicates use the biker groups to distribute methamphetamines. Gang members account for over 14% of the charges of conspiracy to deal methamphetamines, and of murder, laid in New Zealand. They fill about a third of prison cells. This partly explains why over half of all the nation’s inmates are Maori, although they make up only 15% of the population. 

The popularity of methamptamines within the gangs has also undermined them. A handful of leaders have banned the drug’s consumption after witnessing the damages its has wrought on their communities. Some have attempted to clean up their branches in other ways. The groups used to have horrific reputations for gang rape, but Black Power now prohibits it, and has also moved to reduce domestic violence more generally. Female associates of that group and of the Mongrel Mob report that their lives are much improved. But while reform-minded members of the more established groups are maturing, a younger set of L.A.-style street gangs is rising in New Zealand, many of them Maori and Polynesian. Their bling-obsessed teenage recruits are violent and unpredictable—and are quickly filling up the prisons.

Manisha Misra's comment, February 17, 9:14 PM
I kind of wonder if this is a cultural thing and if these gangs originated elsewhere but established themselves in New Zealand. It's weird that a country that seems to be so peaceful and laid back and have it together could have such a wild problem with gangs. I do like the fact that some of these gangs are reforming and not adhering to the natural way of doing things for most gangs.
Dustin Drover's comment, February 18, 4:53 PM
I think its interesting how the older and more mature gang members sought to change some of the bad parts about the gang culture like gang-rape and the use of methamptamines. With that it is hard to see that the new and upcoming members are unpredictable and problem inflictors. I also find it interesting that New Zealand has such a big problem with gangs. My aunt and uncle travel there almost every year and always talk about how kind the people are there. The article did talk about that and how the gangs usually only have problems with the police and rivals, but I never would have guessed it was this bad. Like gangs in the united states we can see the resemblance in their motivations, drugs. I think a good way of stopping or helping these people would be to create more community involvement programs for the youth. Get them active in a safe environment so they don't feel the need to join a gang.
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Finland tests a new form of welfare - Northern pilot

Finland tests a new form of welfare - Northern pilot | Criminology and Economic Theory |

JUHA JARVINEN, an unemployed young father in a village near Jurva, in western Finland, brims with ideas for earning a living. He has just agreed to paint the roofs of two neighbours’ houses. His old business, making decorative window frames, went bust a few years ago. Having paid off debts, he recently registered another, to produce videos for clients.

Mr Jarvinen says that for six years he hoped to start a new business but it was impossible. The family got by on his wife’s wages as a nurse, plus unemployment and child benefits. He had a few job offers from local businesses, which are mainly in forestry, furniture and metalwork. But anything less than a permanent, well-paid post made no sense, since it would jeopardise his welfare payments. To re-enroll for benefits later would be painfully slow.

Mr Jarvinen’s luck turned in January, when he was picked at random from Finland’s unemployed (10% of the workforce) to take part in a two-year pilot study to see how getting a basic income, rather than jobless benefits, might affect incentives in the labour market. He gets €560 ($624) a month unconditionally, so he can add to his earnings without losing any of it.

If Mr Jarvinen is making progress, it is too soon to draw overall conclusions. Kela, Finland’s national welfare body, which runs the pilot, will not contact participants directly before 2019, lest that influences outcomes. Instead it monitors remotely, using national registers of family incomes, taxes paid and more. (Anonymised data will be made available to researchers.)

Some lessons are emerging. Olli Kangas, who helped to design the study and now runs it for Kela, says the process is far harder to implement than expected: “a nightmare”. He decries politicians who blow hot and cold, yet insist the study must be wrapped up before an election in 2019. He calls them “small boys with toy cars, who become bored and move on”. Finnish politics is intricate: the Centre party, Greens and a far-left party back the study. So does a libertarian wing of the conservatives, hoping to pare the welfare state. Sceptics include traditional conservatives, many Social Democrats and big unions.

Such unions, with (mostly male) members in permanent jobs in heavy industry, manage unemployment funds and do not want to lose control, so they dislike the idea of a basic income, says Mr Kangas. In contrast the idea appeals to those who represent part-time service staff, such as (mostly female) cleaners or retail workers. He says surveys show the wider public wavering: 70% like the idea of the grant in theory, but that drops to 35% when respondents are told that income taxes—already high—would have to rise to pay for it.

The study’s design faced constraints. The constitution ordains equality for all, so getting permission to afford some welfare recipients special treatment was difficult. That limitation, and a budget of only €20m (plus diverted welfare funds that would have otherwise gone to the recipients), restricted the sample size to just 2,000 people. Mr Kangas frets that might prove too small to be statistically robust. And it limits the questions the study can investigate.

He would like to try similar grants on those with low-income jobs, to see if such recipients choose to work less, for example. It would also have been instructive—if expensive and politically difficult—to give grants to residents of entire towns to see how local economies are affected. The timescale is another limitation. Kate McFarland, of the Basic Income Earth Network, which has promoted the idea of basic incomes since the 1980s, says a two-year study is too short to learn how the psychology of beneficiaries changes.

Whatever its flaws, the pilot is a good example of the Finnish penchant for social experiments. Participants will be followed for ten years to identify long-term effects. International interest in the pilot programme has been intense. This month television crews from South Korea and Sweden have been queuing up to see Mr Kangas; he regularly lectures abroad and advises others on similar studies. Just getting started counts as a success, he says. “This is trial and error, and the door is now open for better experiments.”

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Judiciary chief pledges to publicly name corrupt judges

Judiciary chief pledges to publicly name corrupt judges | Criminology and Economic Theory |
TEHRAN – Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani has said that he will not “tolerate” any form of corruption in the judicial system, pledging to publicly name all judges that were involved in such practices.
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Iranian police shoot knife-wielding man at presidential office entrance

Iranian police shoot knife-wielding man at presidential office entrance | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Mohsen Hamadani, the deputy governor of Tehran Province, said the man wanted to pass the gates but was shot in the foot and injured.

Security forces opened fire at the person after he neglected warnings to stop, the official said.

According to the deputy governor, the man is alive and an investigation is underway to find about the motivation behind his move.
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Saudi Shoura studying plan to merge religious police into Islamic Ministry

Saudi Shoura studying plan to merge religious police into Islamic Ministry | Criminology and Economic Theory |
RIYADH: The Shoura Council is currently studying a major proposal to merge the religious police, officially known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, into the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
The plan is widely seen as a move to redesign and redefine the role of the religious police, as also to curb its powers further.
“This is not a plan or proposal from the Saudi government; rather, it is a proposal put forward by three members of the Shoura Council,” said Mohammad Al-Khunaizi, a Shoura member, on Tuesday. He said: “The Shoura Council is currently studying the merger proposal, while seeking the opinion of the members on this subject.”
Rob Duke's insight:
Still too powerful to disband, but a proposal to further sideline the religious police.
katrina watson's comment, February 17, 8:21 PM
Isn't this all up to their king though, whatever he decides?
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No return to previous powers of Saudi religious police

No return to previous powers of Saudi religious police | Criminology and Economic Theory |
JEDDAH: There will be no return to the previous powers of the religious police, which were regulated last year by a Cabinet decree, an expert with in-depth knowledge of Saudi governmental affairs told Arab News.
The source was speaking in response to an inquiry relating to an active hashtag created by some social media users propagating inaccurate news that the religious police’s powers would be restored in full.
“The story is related to a statement attributed to the religious police official spokesperson, Turki Al-Shalil, which said there’s a soon-to-be announced project to improve and enhance the force’s field operation,” the expert said.
“We always knew the religious police field operations required improvement and enhancement. There’s nothing new there as the guidelines that were announced last year were targeted to end the violations and curb the powers of this body so they revert to their original brief of guiding and assisting people, not arresting or interrogating them, which isn’t their responsibility,” he added.
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Gun crime in China has fallen 80% since 2012 -

China's gun crime rate is among the lowest in the world, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday.

Last year, the number of reported gun-related crime was down by more than 80 percent compared with 2012, according to ministry data.

Crime related to explosives also fell by 60 percent over the same period.

The ministry and 23 other departments launched a campaign on Wednesday to further crack down on crime related to guns and explosives. It will last until December 2019 and aims to curb production, smuggling and online sales.

Although the number of crimes involving gun violence, including homicide, has dropped significantly, illegal gun smuggling and sales has increased, posing a major threat to public safety, said Dong Xiaogang, an official with the ministry's Criminal Investigation Bureau.
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Killer nanny gets death sentence in fatal 2017 fire -

Killer nanny gets death sentence in fatal 2017 fire - | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The nanny convicted of starting a fire that claimed the lives of three children and their mother in a high-profile 2017 case that shocked the nation was given the death penalty on Friday.

Mo Huanjing was sentenced to death by a first instance judgment at Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court. She was tried earlier this month and also was convicted of theft charges.

The verdict ruled that Mo, 35, who was burdened with heavy gambling debts, sought nanny jobs in 2015 to pay her debtors. In September 2016, Mo, through an agent, obtained a live-in nanny job at the home of Zhu Xiaozhen and Lin Shengbin in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
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German arrested for pushing policeman into streetcar | News | DW | 13.02.2018

German arrested for pushing policeman into streetcar | News | DW | 13.02.2018 | Criminology and Economic Theory |

Police in Cologne on Monday said they had arrested a 44-year-old man suspected of pushing an off-duty police officer to his death over the Carnival weekend.

The suspect, a German national, has refused to confirm whether he deliberately pushed the police officer between two cars, a reason the public prosecutor pressed for murder charges against him.

The judge did not see any evidence to support the police claims and charged the suspect with manslaughter.

The police are reviewing footage from nearby security cameras for clues.

The 32-year-old policeman was waiting on the tram platform with friends on Friday evening before he was pushed in front of an approaching tram.

Local broadcaster WDR said the victim was wearing a special Carnival costume at the time of the incident.

After the incident, the suspect, a lawyer by profession, is believed to have merged into the crowds that had gathered to celebrate the street Carnival season.

He later came forward as a witness, but was taken into custody after investigators grew suspicious of him.

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Police horses riding back to Denmark – but not for a while - The Local

Police horses riding back to Denmark – but not for a while - The Local | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Funding was allocated to bring police horses back to Danish streets in the budget secured by the government earlier this month.

But it could take over two years to fully reintroduce police horses, which were last used in the country in 2012, writes Ritzau, citing a parliamentary response given by Minister of Justice Søren Pape Poulsen.

“We know from other countries that [police horses] are very good for deployment at demonstrations, where they can help reduce the number of police officers needed on the ground,” justice spokesperson Peter Kofod Poulsen of the Danish People's Party, which voted for the budget, said when the deal was announced.

But Poulsen implied demonstrations were not the primary factor behind bringing back police horses.

The minister cited the budget's reference to the ‘re-establishing of a cavalry section in the Danish police'.
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Calling a police officer 'dude' is a punishable offence in Austria - The Local

Calling a police officer 'dude' is a punishable offence in Austria - The Local | Criminology and Economic Theory |
According to a federal court, calling a policeman ‘Oida', an Austrian/Bavarian dialect word which roughly translates as ‘dude’ or ‘man’, is a punishable offence.

The incident occurred at a football stadium in Pasching in Upper Austria. The fan in question had hung a banner in front of the stadium, and a police officer told him to take it down. The fan replied “let it go, dude”. The officer filed a report, saying that the man had spoken to him disrespectfully, and he was ordered to pay a fine of €100 by the local district authority.

The fan contested the fine, and took the case to the Regional Court of Appeal, arguing that ‘Oida’ is a normal and acceptable slang word used by young people. The court looked into the origins of the word ‘Oida’ and found that it comes from the Viennese word ‘Hawara’, meaning friend or crony. It ruled that the word is not appropriate to use when speaking to a police officer, as the police are not friends or cronies of the general public.
Rob Duke's insight:
Ah, now this is a great article to illustrate the idea we talked about previously in reference to a strong and/or respected police force.
In much of Europe, the courts do not tolerate disrespect to their officers.
Stanley Kreft's comment, February 15, 2:30 PM
I have experienced this first hand, and I'm not saying it is a bad thing. While I was stationed in Germany I quickly came to realize the polizei there are not like American police. They do not ask questions on scene or give any sense of doubt. They know what there power is they know what they are allowed to do and execute what they have been taught, it definitely is a strong police force.
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Pakistani man sentenced for rape, murder of Zainab Ansari, 7

Pakistani man sentenced for rape, murder of Zainab Ansari, 7 | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A Pakistani man was sentenced to death Saturday for the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl whose killing last month led to widespread protests.
Dustin Drover's comment, February 18, 4:25 PM
For the most part I don't agree with Pakistanis judicial processes. In this case I respect it. This article didn't explain the facts of the case or how they were sure the man was guilty, but assuming they were right or had solid evidence; the best outcome happened. In American this case would have taken much longer than 4 days and depending on the state he would have most likely been sentenced to life in jail. To me that seems like a waste of resources and money on someone that doesn't deserve to live. However, I believe that life imprisonment (specifically solitary confinement) is a much more harsh and deserving punishment for people like him.
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“Cow vigilantism” in India - The Economist explains

“Cow vigilantism” in India - The Economist explains | Criminology and Economic Theory |

MANY stock images of India’s cities show cows lying by the roadside or ruminating in the middle of the street as cars and bikes swerve around them. The animals, sacred to Hindus, have a licence to roam. Earlier this month the state government of Uttar Pradesh proposed making medicines with their urine, which is rumoured to cure cancer, eliminate wrinkles and prevent ageing. Their dung is believed to absorb harmful radioactivity. The animals’ status is now so high that in recent years “cow vigilantes” have taken to attacking and sometimes killing people they suspect of trafficking in cattle intended for slaughter. Thirty-seven such attacks were reported in 2017, many more than in previous years. Just last month a mob in the eastern state of Bihar beat up a truck driver whom they suspected to be carrying beef.

It was not always so. D.N. Jha, a historian, writes in “The Myth of the Holy Cow” that beef, along with other varieties of meat, was often used in the haute cuisine of early India. But sometime during the second millennium BC, with agriculture evolving, cows were increasingly considered more useful as a source of milk, manure and ploughing power than as meat. Fast-forward to the 19th century AD and for upper-caste Hindus the eating of beef had become a taboo. Cows were central to the first big riot between Hindus and Muslims, in Uttar Pradesh in 1893, which took place after Muslims had been stopped from slaughtering cows during an annual festival. 

Most of India’s 29 states have either banned or restricted the killing of cows. In Gujarat it is punishable by life imprisonment. Rajasthan has a cow-welfare ministry. In the “cow belt” of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, “cow protectors” armed with bats, swords and guns look for vehicles that are transporting cows across state borders. They have been known to extort money from drivers without verifying whether the cows they carry are being sent to slaughter or, in the case of meat, whether it is indeed beef. In a country where relations between some Hindu and Muslim communities remain especially fraught, this behaviour does not necessarily reflect greater religiosity. But politics does seem to matter. According to IndiaSpend, a data-journalism website, 97% of all cow-vigilante attacks reported since 2010 took place after the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014, with Narendra Modi as prime minister. Most have targeted Muslims and Dalits (formerly known as untouchables), who traditionally skin the carcasses of cows. In a report published in January, Human Rights Watch, a global campaigning group, wrote that the Indian government has failed to investigate the attacks in credible fashion, while “many senior BJP leaders publicly promoted Hindu supremacy and ultra-nationalism, which encouraged further violence.”

The costs of the attacks are high. India’s $83bn dairy industry has taken a hit. Farmers are increasingly unwilling to expand their herds, as it is hard to get rid of unproductive livestock. Shelters for old cows are often overcrowded, says Kavita Srivastava, an activist. In Rajasthan a 10% surcharge is levied on stamp duty to fund the shelters. In many states boxes outside shops encourage people to donate towards their upkeep. But the system is opaque. “No one knows where the money ends up,” says Arjun Sheoran, a lawyer. Some steps would improve the situation. Stricter laws that recognise cow vigilantism as a crime against minorities could be enacted. Victim-protection schemes and faster court rulings could be funded. And more stringent punishments could be meted out to those who use cows as a pretext to exacerbate communal tensions. But moves of this nature will be difficult in a country where a judge claimed just a few years ago that cow dung was more valuable than the Koh-i-noor diamond.

Rob Duke's insight:
Yes, you heard correctly: "cow vigilantes".  How about that?
katrina watson's comment, February 17, 8:16 PM
This is such a different type of isn't there a law there against farming or livestock? cows really? this world is really getting crazy.
Manisha Misra's comment, February 17, 9:11 PM
This is actually so interesting for me because my family is from India. India has such a corrupt justice system and corrupt government, they can't deal with murders and rapes properly but cow vigilantes can be front page news and the biggest thing to be happening right now. I find it interesting that this article makes it sound like the government literally cares more about cows than they do about people. Which isn't too far off to be honest, cows are extremely sacred in India and to those who are old fashioned and stick to the more original beliefs, I can see why this would be an important issue to them. I just think this is the wrong way to handle things and that there are so many other ways to go about the whole situation.
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Well Apparently Ambulance Siren Has a Quick Influence on Germans

Well Apparently Ambulance Siren Has a Quick Influence on Germans | Criminology and Economic Theory |
"Isn't that normal?" must be the question you should ask after watching the video below thus seeing how German people, or let's just say German dr
Rob Duke's insight:
Lest you thought it was just a "tough" police force, here's some proof that there's something more going on with the German culture and their reverence for public order.
Anyone who has ever driven an emergency vehicle in the U.S. can tell you that you'd never see that much cooperation here.  <My thought on that one black car...must be an American tourist.>
katrina watson's comment, February 16, 7:52 PM
I have never seen people just stay on the road and ignore the ambulance and emergencies here in America, I didn't know this was an issue. Then again I haven't traveled all over the United States.
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French man in court over 'rape' of 11-year-old girl after prosecutors said it was consensual sex

French man in court over 'rape' of 11-year-old girl after prosecutors said it was consensual sex | Criminology and Economic Theory |

A French court has ruled a 29-year-old man who had sex with an 11-year-old girl must face rape charges, after prosecutors initially said the sex was consensual.

Authorities in September charged the father-of-two with sexual abuse of a minor under 15, which carries a penalty of up to five years, instead of rape of a minor, punishable by up to 20 years.

But on Tuesday the presiding judge in Pointoise, near Paris, ruled the man faced the wrong charge, and postponed the the trial, in what the defence called “a victory for victims”.

Defence lawyers say the man met the girl in a park and the girl voluntarily followed him to an apartment and consented to sex. They also say their client, then 28, thought she was over 15. 

The girl’s family filed a complaint for rape in the town of Montmagny, but prosecutors apparently believed the suspect did not use violence or coercion. French law defines rape as sexual penetration committed “by violence, coercion, threat or surprise.” 

Rob Duke's insight:
This illustrates the shared power of the investigative judge, the prosecutor, and the bench judge.
Stanley Kreft's comment, February 15, 1:49 PM
I can't believe that the prosecutor in this case and the jury in the case mentioned in the end don't see a 29 year old convincing a 11 year old to have sex as coercion. As well as the defense attorney to say that this case isn't about a child because she was nearly 12. Im glad the judges decided that the man was facing the wrong charge and hope they go for a a rape conviction. On the flip side I can see why the prosecutor may have chosen to go for the lesser charge, after the other case found the offender not guilty. The lesser charge would have a higher conviction potential.
katrina watson's comment, February 16, 8:03 PM with a girl even 15 is still rape! 11, this is just so sad that this happens. This is inquisitorial system?
Manisha Misra's comment, February 17, 9:18 PM
I'm curious as to what the legal age of consent is in France? Because even if the man were to assume she was 15, she's still a minor and still not mature enough to make a decision to have sex with a man almost twice her age. This is definitely a case of coercion, it's pretty easy for a man of that age to do what he needs to do to convince a young and vulnerable girl to do what he says. I'm always surprised at what defense attorneys have the guts to say in child rape cases. It astounds me.
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Ayatollah Khamenei pardons, commutes sentences of 565 inmates

Ayatollah Khamenei pardons, commutes sentences of 565 inmates | Criminology and Economic Theory |
TEHRAN – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday pardoned or commuted prison terms of 565 convicts sentenced in courts across the country.
Stanley Kreft's comment, February 15, 2:10 PM
I believe this to be a very rare if not unheard of occurrence in a sacred law country. As most of the prisoners would be in there either crimes against the state or against the religion, they would not be inclined to release them as leniency is not their typical response to these types of crimes. This move is probably to quell some of the civil unrest the country has been experiencing.
Rob Duke's comment, February 15, 2:28 PM
Yes, you're absolutely right. Though Iran has been much more cosmopolitan than some of it's neighbors. Despite this, the clerics have held their power very guardedly. This illustrates how opening trade and including a country in the diplomatic community of nations, tends to make that country's leadership more moderate. What we may also be seeing is some internal displeasure with some of the rigid behavior by the judicial at the same time as a fairly open culture of corruption and even moral flexibility. From what I've been seeing, I'd say that the "normal" citizen believes there has been a bit of the "do as I say--not as I do".
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Calm restored without gun, Rouhani says of recent protests 

Calm restored without gun, Rouhani says of recent protests  | Criminology and Economic Theory |
“We ordered police forces to enter the streets without weapon. The French President [Emanuel Macron] was surprised when I told him that and said ‘why don’t you announce this issue that police entered the street without weapon and restored peace’,” Rouhani said at a convention of provincial governors, ministers, heads of economic organizations and financial institutions.

Protests which started in Mashhad on December 28 died down after a week. Groups of people held demonstrations in several cities across the country to voice their anger over rising prices, unemployment and corruption. However, some rioters and hooligans misused the situation to commit acts of violence.

Rouhani also said that the people do not like chaos, noting there are legal ways to express complaints.

“Our constitution has many capacities. It has the capacity to manage the country and attract the public satisfaction even if not being reformed for many years,” he explained.

He also called on all the officials to help the administration to fully implement the constitution.
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A year after curbing its power, the Saudi religious police is deemed redundant by many

A year after curbing its power, the Saudi religious police is deemed redundant by many | Criminology and Economic Theory |
JEDDAH: As Saudi Arabia marks the first anniversary of curbs placed on the religious police, people are taking to social media in an unprecedented way to criticize their previous behavior, stating they are better off without them.
This week Saudi-based social media users celebrated the anniversary of the government’s decision to limit the authority of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice or the religious police with a mixture of sarcasm, humor and serious discussion about the enforcement role of the religious establishment.
The commission’s former president of the Makkah branch, Ahmed Qasim Al-Ghamdi, is optimistic about Saudi society.
“Many people anticipated that society would plunge into moral corruption if the religious police didn’t resume its work,” Al-Ghamdi told Arab News.
“This is not only an exaggeration, but a questioning of Saudi society’s religion and ethics. The reality proves the opposite.”
Social medial user Amro bin Talal was more direct in his evaluation of society without the moral police.
“They filled the world with their screams that illegitimate children will fill the roads and that the streets will be ruled by the drug mafias... none of that happened,” he tweeted.
Another Twitter user simply wrote: “Happy anniversary.”
Hammad Al-Shammari wrote: “One year of tranquility and peace after years of tragedy, action and domination.”
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Un-forbidden love: Saudis enjoy second ‘religious police-free’ Valentine’s Day

Un-forbidden love: Saudis enjoy second ‘religious police-free’ Valentine’s Day | Criminology and Economic Theory |
JEDDAH: Saudis celebrated Valentine’s Day and its message of love and peace in the absence of religious police after a fatwa permitting the celebrations was circulated via Twitter.
Gift and flower shops opened their doors without any hassle or confiscation from the religious police, who formerly banned florists from working on Valentine’s Day and monitored the Kingdom’s streets for any violations. This was confirmed by market visits by a number of Arab News reporters in different Saudi cities.
Speaking to Arab News, Sheikh Ahmed Qasim Al-Ghamdi, former president of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Makkah, endorsed Valentine’s Day as a social celebration similar to the National Day and Mother’s Day.
“All these are common social matters shared by humanity and are not religious issues that require the existence of a religious proof to permit it,” he said.
Describing love as a natural feeling, the cleric said that Valentine’s Day celebrated “a positive aspect of the human being.”
Al-Ghamdi said the celebration of love was not limited to non-Muslims. “There are many worldly things that we deal with morally that may be of interest to non-Muslim communities and became more common among Muslim communities because of their popularity,” he said, citing the Prophet as an example. “The Prophet dealt with many worldly things that came from non-Muslims.”
He rejected the view that marking the day is an imitation of non-Muslims and said: “Even greeting peaceful non-Muslims in their special religious holidays is permitted without participating in a forbidden act that contradicts Islam.”
Al-Ghamdi stressed his support for fatwas that permit the celebration of Valentine’s Day and exchanging of gifts.
A fatwa issued on Feb. 13 by the fatwa secretary of Dar Al-Ifta Al-Misriya (Egyptian Religious Edict House), Ahmed Mamdouh, said: “There is no harm to allocate one day to show love to one another.”
Tunisian Grand Mufti Othman Battikh also rejected the claim that Valentine’s Day is solely a Christian tradition. “Anything that brings people closer together is good and desirable,” he said, adding that Muslims can celebrate without departing from Islamic ethics.
Mohammed Al-Shahat Al-Jundi, a member of the Islamic Research Center, said that the celebration helps “maintain ties of kinship.”
Al-Ghamdi described the current religious police as “very useful and conciliatory.”
Rob Duke's insight:
More proof that Islam is a religion that grows and evolves (if allowed).  Sometimes this is difficult because Islam is both a religion and a public policy dealing with governance.
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Duty counsel available in criminal cases

Duty counsel can provide legal support for undefended criminal cases, Deputy Minister of Justice Xiong Xuanguo said at a press conference of the State Council Information Office on Feb 8.

Xiong said that the service ensures that those accused of crimes can enjoy full access to legal aid from duty counsel which is an important guarantee of human rights.

The Ministry of Justice, the Supreme People’s Court and the Ministry of Public Security carried out a pilot criminal trial project including full-coverage lawyer defense, appointment of legal aid duty counsel, and lawyer mediation, according to Xiong.

Since the pilot program was carried out in October 2017, the volume of legal representation for the accused in criminal defense cases has considerately increased, and has doubled in some pilot projects in Beijing and Zhejiang province.

Lawyers taking part in mediation work have the skills necessary to resolve social disputes, thus reducing the number of cases heard in court.

Lawyer mediation services are currently available in court lawyer mediation work rooms, the lawyer mediation center of the lawyer association, and similar facilities at public legal service centers.
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Help keep prisoners with dementia from becoming repeat offenders

To prevent elderly prisoners from committing crimes again, it is necessary to treat them in a way that takes their lives after they are released from jail into account.

Starting next fiscal year, the Justice Ministry will require prisoners aged 60 or older to be tested for dementia when they are newly incarcerated. The move will cover eight major prisons.

In recent years, there has been an aging trend among prisoners. The number of new prisoners aged 65 or older reached about 2,500 in 2016. The percentage of prisoners in the advanced-age bracket exceeded 12 percent.
Rob Duke's insight:
This is another sharp contrast with the U.S. system: Whether it's called the Home Office or the Justice Ministry, it's not uncommon for justice policy to be set at the nationally level.  In the U.S., the national level policy can be suggested and is often adopted because Congress dangles funding.  They offer funding because they really don't have the power to require change.
Consider, however, that the U.S. can have hundred of experiments going on at one time.  50 at the different state levels, several more at the territorial level [Guam, Puerto Rico, etc.), and maybe hundreds more at the County or City level.  Is it any wonder that many of the "Big Ideas" in policing in the last 100 years have started in the U.S.? (professional model, community policing, "war on drugs" (ok, they're not all winners), zero tolerance (ditto), Stop-n-frisk, crime analysis and mapping, etc. etc.].
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Armed military to replace cops on Danish streets and border - The Local

Armed military to replace cops on Danish streets and border - The Local | Criminology and Economic Theory |
According to the Danish National Police (Rigspolitiet) and Copenhagen Police, 160 soldiers will patrol the border and take over guard duties at Jewish institutions including the Great Synagogue in central Copenhagen. 
The synagogue has been under constant police protection since a Danish-born terrorist of Palestinian descent shot and killed 37-year-old Dan Uzan, a volunteer security guard, outside the building in February 2015. The gunman, Omar El-Hussein, had earlier in the night opened fire with an automatic rifle outside a cultural centre hosting a free speech event, killing 55-year-old Finn Nørgaard and injuring police officers. El-Hussein was later shot and killed by police. 
The soldiers’ role at the German border was described as ancillary and will not entail actively checking the IDs of those entering the country. That role will still be filled by police officers and members of the Danish Home Guard (Hjemmeværnet), which has been active in border checks since April 2016. 
The plan to put armed military personnel at the border and potential terror targets has been under discussion for well over a year. It is being implemented as a way to ease the workload of an overworked and undermanned police force. 
Rob Duke's insight:
This is unusual for Americans who have constitutionally prohibited the use of military on U.S. soil, but quite common in the rest of the world.
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Police crack down on Vienna's problem drug dealers - The Local

Police crack down on Vienna's problem drug dealers - The Local | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Authorities in Vienna say that the number of drug dealers and drug addicts have increased in certain areas of the city, but that police are cracking down on dealers.
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