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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 | Scoop.it
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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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.
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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.

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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
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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
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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.

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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.
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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.”
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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. 
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Overdose deaths are the product of drug prohibition - Chicago Tribune

Overdose deaths are the product of drug prohibition - Chicago Tribune | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

During Prohibition, drinkers never knew what they would get when they set out to slake their thirst. Bootleggers often sold products adulterated with industrial alcohol and other toxins. Some 10,000 people were fatally poisoned before America gave up this grand experiment in suppressing vice.

So it was a tragedy but not a total surprise when three deaths were reported in Illinois from synthetic marijuana laced with an ingredient (possibly rat poison) that caused severe bleeding. Nationally, in 2015, says the Drug Policy Alliance, “poison control centers received just under 10,000 calls reporting adverse reactions to synthetic cannabinoids, and emergency rooms received tens of thousands of patients.”

People consume synthetic cannabis for the same reason people once consumed bathtub gin: Their drug of choice is illegal. Criminal organizations that cater to forbidden demands don’t always make a fetish of quality control. After Prohibition was repealed, though, tipplers could buy from legal, regulated suppliers. They no longer had to worry about ingesting sudden death.

Rob Duke's insight:

Coincidentally, the late Nobel Laureate in Economics, Gary Becker, was also from Chicago (Univ. of Chicago).  Becker shows convincingly that Black Markets don't controlled the prohibited item, but actually facilitate its existence and proliferation.

Becker's work is pleasantly intuitive.  First, you prohibit an item and all the sane, peaceful, law abiding people exit the market.  This leaves behind those prone to misbehave.  Second, supply and demand drives price up as legal supplies of the product dry up.  Third, as the potential profit goes up, it attracts more participants to the market (usually more of the same violent, unlawful type of people).  Fourth, as these violent people compete, without the benefit of legitimate means of conflict resolution, they resort to the violence with which they are already comfortable.  Fifth, as mortality within the field rises as dealers and users die off, price increases again.  Sixth, though the market has produced huge profits, it also has significant risks and costs, thus, there's always the competitive disadvantage to the participant who doesn't remain vigilant to protect their market.  This leads to not just allowing the market's invisible hand to dictate demand, but participants to "push" their product through unethical schemes like "free samples".  Lastly, in economically under-served areas, there's always a need for outlets in the underground economy to bring in income to poor neighborhoods.  Without prohibition this would likely remain in the realm of property that "falls off trucks" and is then resold, but prohibit something and it invites an underground institution structure to bring some sort of order to the uncertainty of an unregulated market.  I'm reminded of another Nobel Laureate, Ron Coase, and his seminal work: The Nature of the Firm.  In it Coase asks if the invisible hand of the market is so efficient, then why do we organize into firms.  The answer is the same reason why we organize into cartels, gangs, and mobs: because we seek to control uncertainty.

Much better to establish institutions to regulate behavior, remove uncertainty, and establish means to resolve disputes. 

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Latin America’s homicide epidemic - Daily chart

Latin America’s homicide epidemic - Daily chart | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

LATIN America boasts just 8% of the world’s population, but it accounts for 38% of its murders. The number of criminal killings in the region came to around 140,000 people last year, more than have been lost in wars around the world in almost all of the years this century. And the crime is becoming ever more common.

Yet the continent also has some of the biggest improvers. In many Colombian cities murder used to be the leading cause of death. The rate in Cali in 1994 was 124 per 100,000, four times worse than New York at its most lethal. The mayor was a surgeon who realised that murder was like a disease. Following an approach pioneered in New York and copied across the rich world, he set up “violence observatories” to study precisely how people, places and behaviour led to killings. They found that, even amid a raging drugs war, most murders resulted from drunken brawls. Restrictions on alcohol and guns helped cut murders by 35%. Other Colombian cities tweaked Cali’s evidence-based policing to suit their own needs—Medellín, for example, targeted drug cartels. Police and judicial reform, and aid from the United States, were crucial, too. In 2017 Colombia’s murder rate was 24 per 100,000, the lowest for 42 years.

That is still high, and there are more problems to come. The demobilisation of the FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) after decades of guerrilla war has created local power vacuums that could be filled by organised crime, especially if the government does not create opportunities for ex-combatants, coca farmers and young people. “Colombia is not approaching heaven,” says María Victoria Llorente of the Ideas for Peace Foundation. “We’re barely leaving hell, and if we aren’t careful, we’ll stay in limbo.”

Rob Duke's insight:

Pioneered by NYPD, we know that people, places and behavior lead to crime.  Control the places and deter the behavior that occurs in public places, but are related to private crime, and you will reduce crime in your city.

uaf.edu/justice

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Australian sentenced to rehab for drug offenses in Indonesia

An Australian accountant was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months of rehabilitation for drug offenses on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali.

The court in Denpasar said Isaac Emmanuel Roberts' sentence, which includes time already served in prison, will be carried out at the Anargya Foundation, which specializes in drug and alcohol rehabilitation therapy.

The 35-year-old was arrested at the island's Ngurah Rai airport on Dec. 4 after arriving from Bangkok with 14.3 grams (0.5 ounce) of crystal methamphetamine and 14 ecstasy tablets.

Christian Indonesians fear deportation to hostile homeland, seek sanctuary at church
Indonesia has very strict drug laws and convicted traffickers can be executed by firing squad.

Rob Duke's insight:

Just a few years ago and this man would likely have faced a death sentence.

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Leah Haskell's comment, April 12, 7:08 PM
Indonesia is tougher on drugs than the United States. 150 people are on death row in Indonesia, mostly for drug related offenses. The article mentioned that one-third of those people are foreigners. In 2014 under the President of Indonesia, 18 people who were convicted of drug related crimes were executed. The 35 year Australian was lucky and was sentenced to 15 months in a rehab center, the judge saw that this man needed help instead of jail time or death sentence.
Krista Scott's comment, April 13, 3:03 PM
Wow this guy is extremely lucky and fortunate unlike the other foreigners that are sitting on Death Row in Indonesia. I kind of found it interesting that Indonesia had strict laws and that the typical punishment for the offense is death. I would have never guessed this would be such a big deal.
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Public Restrooms Become Central To The Opioid Epidemic : Shots - Health News : NPR

Public Restrooms Become Central To The Opioid Epidemic : Shots - Health News : NPR | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A man named Eddie threads through the mid-afternoon crowd in Cambridge, Mass. He's headed for a sandwich shop, the first stop on a tour of public bathrooms.

"I know all the bathrooms that I can and can't get high in," says Eddie, 39, pausing in front of the shop's plate glass windows, through which we can see a bathroom door.

Eddie, whose last name we're not including because he uses illegal drugs, knows which restrooms along busy Massachusetts Avenue he can enter, at what hours and for how long. Several restaurants, offices and a social service agency in this neighborhood have closed their restrooms in recent months, but not this sandwich shop.

"With these bathrooms here, you don't need a key. If it's vacant you go in. And then the staff just leaves you alone," Eddie says. "I know so many people who get high here."

At the fast food place right across the street, it's much harder to get in and out.

"You don't need a key, but they have a security guard that sits at the little table by the door, directly in front of the bathroom," Eddie says. Some guards require a receipt for admission to the bathroom, he says, but you can always grab one from the trash.

A chain restaurant a few stores down has installed bathroom door locks opened by a code that you get at the counter. But Eddie and his friends just wait by the door until a customer enters the restroom, then grab the door and enter as the customer leaves.

"For every 10 steps they use to safeguard against us doing something, we're going to find 15 more to get over on their 10. That's just how it is. I'm not saying that's right, that's just how it is," Eddie says.

Eddie is homeless and works at a restaurant. Public bathrooms are one of the few places where he can find privacy to inject heroin. He says he doesn't use the drug often these days. Eddie is on methadone, which curbs his craving for heroin, so he only uses the drug occasionally to be social with friends.

He understands why restaurant owners are unnerved.

"These businesses, primarily, are like family businesses; middle class people coming in to grab a burger or a cup of coffee. They don't expect to find somebody dead," Eddie says. "I get it."

Managing public bathrooms is "a tricky thing"

Many businesses don't know what to do. Some have installed low lighting — blue light, in particular — to make it difficult for people who use injected drugs to find a vein.

The bathrooms at 1369 Coffee House in the Central Square neighborhood of Cambridge, Mass., are open for customers who request the key code from staff at the counter. The owner, Joshua Gerber, has done some remodeling to make the bathrooms safer. There's a metal box in the wall next to his toilet for needles and other things that clog pipes. And Gerber removed the dropped ceilings in his bathrooms after noticing things tucked above the tiles.
Rob Duke's insight:

Managing the public space is a big part of maintaining quality of life.  It can be difficult to strike a balance between freedom and security.

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No laughing matter: China watchdog shuts down Toutiao joke app over vulgar content

No laughing matter: China watchdog shuts down Toutiao joke app over vulgar content | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

(Reuters) – In China, a platform for risqué jokes is no laughing matter.tent

Toutiao, a hugely popular news and online content portal that is luring investors, was forced to pull its joke sharing “Neihan Duanzi” app, literally meaning “implied jokes”, after a watchdog said it included “vulgar and improper content”.

The move comes amid a broader clamp-down targeting online content from livestreams and blogs to mobile gaming, as the country’s leaders look to tighten their grip over a huge and diverse cultural scene online popular with China’s youth.

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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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

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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?
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Madeleine Albright’s guide to fascism, past and present - March of the times

Madeleine Albright’s guide to fascism, past and present - March of the times | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Dismissive of hyperbole, the former secretary of state is still nervy about Donald Trump

Fascism: A Warning. By Madeleine Albright. Harper Collins; 254 pages; $27.99 and £16.99.

WITHIN each human heart lies an inexhaustible yearning for liberty, “or so we democrats like to believe”, writes Madeleine Albright near the end of “Fascism: A Warning”, a book on how nations descend into tyranny. In reality, that desire often competes with another: the urge to be told what to do. When people are fearful, angry or confused, observes Mrs Albright, a former secretary of state, they are tempted to give away freedoms, or the freedom of others, to leaders promising order. In uncertain times many no longer want to be asked what they think: “We want to be told where to march.”....

She describes a graduate seminar with Georgetown students in her sitting room, “lasagne-leaking paper plates on their laps” as she challenges them to define fascism. She reminds the class that fascism wears different ideological guises, sometimes calling for a dictatorship of the proletariat or higher pensions for the old, at others seizing power in the name of a race, a religion or national rebirth. In a useful passage, she defines a fascist as someone who claims to speak for a nation or group, is unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use all means, including violence: “A fascist will likely be a tyrant, but a tyrant need not be a fascist.” One litmus test involves who is trusted with guns. Many kings or dictators fear the masses, and create corps of bodyguards to shield them, she notes. Fascists seek to have the mob on their side.

Mrs Albright sees only one true fascist regime today, in North Korea, with its ultra-nationalism and murderous contempt for human rights. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, is not a full-blown fascist, she finds, because he has not yet felt the need.

Bookshops are full of expert guides to spotting a country’s slide into autocracy. Bearing names like “How Democracies Die” or “Trumpocracy”, they generally focus on the man in the White House. This book is broader; Mrs Albright says she first planned it as a primer for defending democracies worldwide, when she thought Hillary Clinton would win. Still, in historical chapters that a college might call Fascism 101, she has professorial fun describing despotic tactics with modern-day echoes, noting for instance that Benito Mussolini promised to “drain the swamp” by sacking Italian civil servants. Journalists were pointed out at his rallies so that his fans could yell at them. Only in periods of relative tranquillity are citizens “patient” enough for debate and deliberation, she writes, or to listen to experts.

Rob Duke's insight:

A book review of the work of former Secretary of State and Ambassador to the U.N., Madeline Albright, that is a good survey of the types of things we study in Comparative Criminology.  What goes wrong with liberal institutions that allows despots to seize control?

As James Buchanan argued, how can you be sure you have the best institutions possible? Have open, free, and plural institutions so everyone participates and has a say in the political process.  In other words, ensure that sunshine shines into every potential dark corner of power.  Start tolerating shadows and it's a slippery slope after that....

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The Local - Europe's news in English

The Local - Europe's news in English | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The man, who is Tibetan and worked for the pro-Tibetan "Voice of Tibet" newspaper, is accused of supplying the Chinese government with information on where exiled Tibetans live, their family relationships, and their travel plans.

The man carried out his suspected espionage on "certain people of importance to the Chinese regime" Swedish prosecutors said, primarily through attending political meetings of the Tibetan diaspora in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe.

His purpose was to "pass this information to representatives of the Chinese state".

Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist told Swedish broadcaster SVT that he man had been in contact with Chinese officials in Poland and Finland, and was paid 50,000 kronor ($6,000) on at least one occasion.

Ljungqvist said the crime was serious because the man was deeply embedded in the Tibetan community and "could have caused or still cause a large number of people serious harm".

READ ALSO: Man suspected of spying on Tibetans in Sweden for China

Jamyang Choedon, who chairs the Tibetan Community in Sweden organisation said the decision to charge the man was a breakthrough.

"It is clear that there are spies who are sent by China to Tibetan communities, but this is the first time it’s been officially investigated," she told The Local.

"It will be interesting for us to know if it's really true or not. We've heard that it's happening, but now we might have evidence."
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Federal lawsuit filed over Hawaii stun gun, taser ban

Federal lawsuit filed over Hawaii stun gun, taser ban | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Andrew Namiki Roberts this week filed suit against Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard and state Attorney General Russell Suzuki seeking to overturn the state’s strict laws concerning stun guns and tasers. The devices are illegal to possess or sell under most circumstances, with exceptions for police and the military, and Namiki Roberts cannot get a local concealed carry permit due to his citizenship. As such, he contends he is defenseless under Hawaii’s laws.

In the 14-page filing, attorneys Alan Beck and Stephen Stamboulieh outline that the would-be Taser owner is a self-employed photographer in the picturesque Pacific island chain and often carries expensive equipment. Although Nakimi Roberts has a clean criminal record and no history of mental problems that would prevent him from owning a firearm, he was told by Honolulu police that it would be illegal for him to possess a Taser either in his home to protect himself or nine-year-old daughter, or while out in public.

The filing pointed out the apparent flaws in the state’s law when compared to the 2008 Heller decision as well as Caetano, a 2016 Supreme Court case directly concerning stun guns which held the electric devices were bearable arms protected by the Second Amendment.

Beck told Guns.com that, post-Caetano, “It is clear that electric arms are protected by the Second Amendment and the State of Hawaii’s complete ban on electric arms is unconstitutional. It is my hope that the State of Hawaii will acknowledge that fact so that this case can have a quick resolution. However, if they do not, Mr. Stamboulieh and I are prepared to litigate this matter as long as needed to vindicate our client’s constitutional rights.”

Namiki Roberts is seeking for the courts to declare Hawaii’s law unconstitutional.

Since the Caetano case, a flood of lawsuits and pre-litigation letters has seen bans on the devices scrapped in Baltimore, New Jersey, New Orleans, Tacoma, Washington, D.C. and other cities. Litigation is pending in New York and Massachusetts.
Rob Duke's insight:

Let's hope he wins.  Owning a Taser for self-defense is a viable alternative for some folks (e.g. with children in the home, etc.).

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Want more self-reliant, responsible kids? Try Selbständigkeit, the German way.

Want more self-reliant, responsible kids? Try Selbständigkeit, the German way. | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
When journalist Sara Zaske moved to Berlin with her family a few years ago, she noticed something different about German parents. They don't hover. They don't follow their kids on the playground or intervene when they fight. They let them go places on their own and play with knives and matches. Zaske was so struck by this cultural difference that she wrote a book about the six and a half years she spent raising her two kids there.

In "Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children," Zaske argues that the German practice of giving children more independence and responsibility early on fosters Selbständigkeit, or self-reliance, and creates more resilient and responsible grownups. Somewhat like Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bébé, Zaske believes that American parents should chill out a bit and not be so controlling, and their kids will still turn out just fine — maybe even better.

That sounds good, but is true? Peg Oliveira, PhD, a developmental psychologist and the executive director of the Gesell Institute for Child Development in New Haven, CT, agrees that in Germany, as well as other economically advanced countries, children are raised with more freedom than American children, "and the benefits seem to come through for them — they're more self-reliant."

But, Oliveira adds, this isn't a silver bullet. "I have a nine-year-old who's fairly independent, but I wouldn't hand her a token and expect her to navigate the bus system," she notes. "It's not like this is a recipe and because it worked there it'll work here."
Rob Duke's insight:

One of my professors at USC, Wes Bjur, always said the secret is love.  Give kids all the love they need and even if they're a clinging, hide behind your legs child, they will begin to venture out--occasionally running back to your lap; and, as long as you reassure and welcome them back, one day they will become the independent, socially adept individual that will become a well-adjusted adult.  Simple, sometimes counter-intuitive, but timeless advice.  In reading this article, it suggests that Wes' advice may have been very European.

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