Criminology and Economic Theory
22.8K views | +5 today
Scooped by Rob Duke
onto Criminology and Economic Theory!

A Wrongful Murder Conviction and 18-Year Fight for Justice: The Fairbanks Four - YouTube

Rob Duke's insight:
Something close to home:

In a system with a standing judge who accompanies the police on major investigations, would it have been less likely to either: a. have a wrongful conviction; or, b. doubt that the police had made the correct arrest?
katrina watson's comment, February 6, 2018 5:59 PM
This is really infuriating...they should be compensated, I don't feel like what the judge did was right. These four should have been free a looong time ago. I feel that this was racist and so unjust.
Emily Alvey's comment, February 11, 2018 1:14 AM
First off, the state of Alaska’s track record with admitting they are wrong about something is not great. They have been getting reports for years regarding native/indigenous justice that have gone completely ignored. They are unwilling to relinquish any jurisdiction or control despite numerous reports and examples of successful programs showing them the benefits of restorative, local, communal justice especially within native communities. There have been known reports on the overrepresented likeliness of natives to plead guilty, of witnesses to not argue with police and just admit to whatever the police want to hear. It is not surprising that this happened. What sickens me the most is that they were forced to sign something, contingent on their release, even though their innocence had been proven, that they would not sue the state of Alaska for wrongful imprisonment. The ethicality or lack there of with this play by the State of Alaska is mindboggling. Had they forced their imprisonment due to an unwillingness to sign there would be severe constitutional rights violations. This again speaks to native peoples willingness to avoid confrontation with the state, and the state completely took advantage. The whole thing was so wrong.
Krista Scott's comment, February 12, 2018 10:33 PM
This case is very frustrating given the fact that these young native men were thrown into prison as teenagers and were wrongfully convicted. Their freedom was wrongfully taken and the State of Alaska did nothing these 4 young men were arrested as teenagers and spent over 18 years in prison the missed all the important moments in their life such as attended college and living their best life. The Fairbanks Four case really shows the flaw our justice system as a whole still has with institutionalized racism. It seems almost apparent in Alaska that it exists because Alaska Natives are exceptionally overrepresented in the states justice system. In addition, I think that it was COMPLETE BULLSHIT that the four men had to sign a waiver which stated they wouldn't sue the state. 18 years of their lives were taken away 18.. During this time they could have finished 4 years of school and had a steady career or job of some sort. Not only was their freedom taken but their dignity and right to a fair settlement and fair trial was taken. Due to the state not wanting to own up to their mistake.
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!

Family who were told they would be deported after 'causing destruction' across New Zealand can't be booted out of the country for nearly two weeks because of legal red tape

Family who were told they would be deported after 'causing destruction' across New Zealand can't be booted out of the country for nearly two weeks because of legal red tape | Criminology and Economic Theory |
They were handed a Deportation Liability Notice (DLN) on Tuesday, which could lead to them being banned from returning to New Zealand for at least five years.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Friday's Best Deals: Razer DeathAdder, Resistance Bands, Instant Pot, And More

Friday's Best Deals: Razer DeathAdder, Resistance Bands, Instant Pot, And More | Criminology and Economic Theory |

It’s been an infuriating week on the opioid news front. Just days ago, the New York Times reported on court documents revealing how the Sackler family, which owns the company that makes OxyContin, pushed doctors to prescribe more and more dangerous opioids, urging “that sales representatives advise doctors to prescribe the highest dosage of the powerful opioid painkiller because it was the most profitable.” Today, a study published in JAMA Network Open reveals exactly how that kind of pressure works—and how well it works.

As the New York Times’ reported, the study found that “for every three additional payments that companies made to doctors per 100,000 people in a county, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids there a year later were 18 percent higher.” Over two years, the study said, “$39.7 million in opioid marketing was targeted to 67 507 physicians across 2208 US counties,” with 434,754 total payments made. One of the counties with high levels of physician payments and opioid deaths was Cabell County, West Virginia, which the Times said has “one of the highest overdose death rates in the nation,” though its overdose totals dropped 40 percent in 2018, according to the Herald-Dispatch. Still, the 95,000-person county was seeing “an average of three emergency calls a day” for overdoses, the paper reported.

The data on these payments comes from the Open Payments database and includes things like “meals, travel costs, speaking fees, honoraria, consulting fees, or educational costs.” These kinds of payments are commonplace in the medical business (and it is a business, unfortunately): A 2017 study found that about half of doctors received payments from pharmaceutical companies. And these companies spend more on marketing than they do on research and development, despite critics’ claims that Medicare for All would kill pharmaceutical “innovation.”

These payments, as you’d expect, affect prescribing habits, meaning doctors might end up prescribing a drug that isn’t best for their patient or that costs more than an equally-effective alternative. A smaller-scale study from Boston Medical Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction in March 2018 found that doctors who received meals from pharma companies prescribed 9 percent more opioids. Another study found that meals with a rep from Pfizer increased prescriptions of their two cholesterol drugs, Lipitor and Crestor, by 73 percent. Yet another study, from 2016, found that doctors were “up to two times as likely to prescribe the promoted brand-name drugs as physicians who received no meals.” Brand-name drugs are much more expensive than generic drugs—and those drugs are how big pharma makes its massive profits.

Meanwhile, a JAMA study last year found that one in five young people who died in 2016 died from an opioid overdose, and the National Safety Council said this week that the odds of dying of an opioid overdose are now higher than the odds of dying in a road accident.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Canada’s Mounties get an overdue makeover - Dudley Do-Wrong

Canada’s Mounties get an overdue makeover - Dudley Do-Wrong | Criminology and Economic Theory |

In july 1874, 275 members of a new mounted police force rode 1,300km (800 miles) across Canada’s prairies, from Dufferin, Manitoba, in search of “Fort Whoop-Up”, a trading post in what is now Alberta. Their mission was to stop Americans from swapping whiskey for buffalo hides with the local Blackfoot Indians. Indigenous Canadians along the route whispered that the horsemen’s red serge jackets were dyed with the blood of Queen Victoria’s enemies. An artist rode with the Mounties. His sketches were published in the Canadian Illustrated News.

American journalists took up the myth-making, writing paeans to the 12 Mounties who bravely approached 2,000 Sioux warriors who had entered Canada after the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, seeking their submission to Canadian law. Hollywood made more than 250 Mountie-themed movies from the 1900s to the 1950s, including “Rose Marie” in 1936, starring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald (pictured above). The films created the image of a steel-jawed hero who brought the law into the wilderness.

No real-life police force could live up to such an image. Certainly, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (rcmp), formed by the merger in 1920 of the North-West Mounted Police with the Dominion Police, has not. Scandals over the past half-century have tripped it up. In the 1970s it conducted a dirty-tricks campaign against Quebec separatists, which included manufacturing evidence that separatists were acquiring explosives. It botched the investigation of the terrorist attack that destroyed an Air India plane in 1985. In the 2000s its top brass were caught rifling the pension fund.

Lately the rcmp has been engulfed by allegations of harassment, bullying and sexual misconduct. In July a female officer committed suicide after publicly complaining that she had been sexually harassed. In October 2016 the rcmp agreed to set aside C$100m ($75m) to settle a class-action suit brought by serving and former female officers, and apologised to them. Whistleblowers face abuse. One female officer said that she found a dead prairie chicken in her locker after making a complaint to senior officers in 2013 about verbal abuse. “It’s a crisis in leadership,” says Jane Hall, the head of the rcmp Veterans’ Women’s Council.

Until now, Canadian governments have been loth to reform an institution that has fiercely protected and marketed its image since its inception. In the 1870s constables who complained to the press could be sentenced to six months in prison. The rcmp sold marketing rights to its image to the Walt Disney Company in the mid-1990s, even as whistleblowers were being hounded out of the force. “Being an iconic organisation gives them a kind of pass,” says Christopher Murphy of Dalhousie University, who co-wrote a report in 2007 on rcmp governance.

That has not prevented all change. The rcmp allowed women to enlist in 1973 and handed domestic snooping to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in 1984. But, intimidated by the rcmp’s mythology and fearful of appearing to meddle in police work, Canadian governments have left the force largely alone.

The recent scandals have made that harder. On January 16th Ralph Goodale, Canada’s public-security minister, announced the first shake-up in the running of the rcmp since the creation of the intelligence service. It sets up a board of civilian experts who will advise the force’s commissioner, Brenda Lucki, on management (though not on police work). Such an “innovation in the structure of the rcmp” is a first for the force, boasted Mr Goodale. He said it would raise “the game in terms of quality of management”. Many independent experts had expected a bolder reform.

Canada needs a modernised rcmp. It is the country’s federal police force, fighting terrorism, organised crime and drug-trafficking and protecting the border. It is dealing with new challenges, such as opioids, cybercrime and new sorts of terrorism, Mr Goodale said. Its 30,000 members provide policing for eight of the ten provinces and for three territories. In 150 municipalities and 600 indigenous communities the Mounties act as the local police, issuing traffic fines and investigating burglaries.

Although their responsibilities have expanded, their structure and organisation are largely unchanged. The North-West Mounted Police was modelled on the Royal Irish Constabulary, created in 1836 to enforce British rule in Ireland. Other Canadian police forces brought in civilian managers beginning in the 1980s and now report either to a civilian commissioner or at least a civilian advisory board. The rcmp, by contrast, remains a military-style organisation, reporting directly to the public-security minister. Its recruiting practices have been compared to those of a religious order. People join the rcmp when they are very young, which helps the force shape them to its ethos. Often these recruits lack university degrees. When it comes to promotions, rank and seniority matter more than competence.

At least 15 reports in the past decade, including two commissioned by public-security ministers, have concluded that the force needs more civilians in senior jobs and an independent body to investigate allegations of harassment and sexual abuse. “The rcmp’s approach to training, career streaming, promotion, and education has long ensured that the wrong people often end up in the wrong job,” wrote Christian Leuprecht of the Royal Military College in a recent report.

The Mounties’ rank-and-file are demoralised by the recent bad publicity, confused by sporadic attempts to reform and overstretched. After three Mounties were killed by a gunman in 2014 in Moncton, in New Brunswick, a court found the rcmp guilty of failing to provide adequate training and equipment. The Mounties’ budget has risen (to C$3.6bn from C$2.9bn two years ago) but not in line with their duties, the force complains. It is having trouble recruiting. In 2017, 12% of positions were vacant.

Mr Goodale’s reforms represent progress, but are less ambitious than many observers had expected. The new 13-member advisory board, which requires legislation to become permanent, will advise Ms Lucki on all aspects of management, including human relations, information technology and procedures for dealing with harassment. But it cannot compel her to follow its advice. Mr Goodale said that as minister he could order her to heed it. Ms Lucki called the board “a critical step” towards reform.

Missing from Mr Goodale’s policy was the creation of an independent ombudsman to deal with bullying and intimidation, a recommendation by experts such as Ms Hall. Mr Goodale may be planning further measures this year.

Hollywood’s romance with the Mounties fizzled long ago. The last big Mountie-themed movie was Dudley Do-Right, released in 1999, which was based on a bumbling cartoon character of the 1960s who rode his horse (called “Horse”) backwards. Mr Goodale is no doubt hoping that his reforms will begin to point the Mounties in the right direction.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Project MUSE - The New Malinchista

Project MUSE - The New Malinchista | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Rob Duke's insight:

Another article about the Malinchista in Mexican culture.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

El Chapo Trial: Former Mexican President Peña Nieto Took $100 Million Bribe, Witness Says

El Chapo Trial: Former Mexican President Peña Nieto Took $100 Million Bribe, Witness Says | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The former president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, took a $100 million bribe from Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the infamous crime lord known as El Chapo, according to a witness at Mr. Guzman’s trial.

The stunning testimony was delivered Tuesday in a New York courtroom by Alex Cifuentes Villa, a Colombian drug lord who worked closely with Mr. Guzmán from 2007 to 2013, when the kingpin was hiding from the law at a series of remote ranches in the Sierra Madre mountains.

“Mr. Guzmán paid a bribe of $100 million to President Peña Nieto?” Jeffrey Lichtman, one of Mr. Guzmán’s lawyers, asked Mr. Cifuentes during cross-examination.

Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

“Yes,” Mr. Cifuentes said.

Mr. Guzmán may offer more details soon. Shortly after the jury was excused around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mr. Lichtman submitted his client’s name to the prosecution as a potential witness for the defense, confirming that the drug trafficker might testify in his own trial.

Mr. Lichtman said that adding Mr. Guzman’s name to the witness list does not guarantee that he will testify. It is simply “possible.”
Rob Duke's insight:

I'll post some articles about the Malinchista in Mexican culture.  To some it's an unhealthy attraction to foreign influence, but the original academic discussion of the term was to explain the widespread tendency of public officials (and private citizens) to take bribes, etc.  This might be to cooperate with drug lords, or to facilitate a pet project, or to help an American company open a factory or dispose of haz mat.  The idea, as explained to me by a former partner who was an academic and former Mexican citizen, was that Malinchistas are universally reviled, yet at the same time, if the pay off is big enough, then there's a certain understanding about the motivations to take the deal.  The problem with a system that lacks an effective "rule of law" and/or citizen accountability, is that if the people don't believe the system is fair, then they may feel more "free" and justified to "cheat", or become one of the Malinchistas.

Now, full disclosure, this isn't my area of expertise, but it's a documented academic discussion of which you should be aware as we look at other systems of Justice this semester--even though Mexico isn't one of our case study countries--it seems reasonable to spend a little time on our neighbors.

Jason Terzi's comment, January 18, 8:45 PM
I find it crazy that this can take place, even within Mexico's system. With an elected official like President Pena Nieto taking a bribe from a very high profile criminal and simply sweeping it under the table, it would be very interesting to see if something like this could happen in our system in the United States. Personally, I don't think it could, there may be corruption in the government, but I don't think there's enough corruption to allow this to happen.
Rob Duke's comment, January 18, 11:00 PM
Having friends there, it's so common that it's just something they shake their heads and joke about. The Cartel leaders who are on the U.S. most wanted are the same folks who are VIP's in every nice restaurant in Mexico City.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Carlos Ghosn: Emmanuel Macron Starts to Shift on Nissan - Bloomberg

Carlos Ghosn: Emmanuel Macron Starts to Shift on Nissan - Bloomberg | Criminology and Economic Theory |

Carlos Ghosn was the glue that held the Renault-Nissan Alliance together. As he languishes in a Japanese jail a month after his shocking arrest on suspicion of understating pay and misusing company assets — allegations he has denied — the partnership is in danger of becoming unstuck. Whatever the future for the 64-year-old, the alliance would do well to adjust to a new era.

Recent events have pointed to an escalation in Franco-Japanese tensions over the arrest. Renault has consistently supported its chairman and chief executive, arguing that it hasn’t seen proof to eject him in the way Nissan did — a position broadly supported in Parisian circles. Nissan, meanwhile, has dug in its heels, refusing to accede to French demands for a shareholder meeting (Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan, and Nissan 15 percent of Renault.) The Japanese company says it will set its own timetable to replace Ghosn.
Now there’s the added element of mounting internal division on the French side. As Renault publicly puts on a show of unity, Emmanuel Macron’s government — which also owns 15 percent of the French carmaker — has reportedly been scouting around for possible replacements. Le Figaro reported at the weekend that Michelin boss Jean-Dominique Senard was top of the list to take the chairmanship, should Ghosn be replaced eventually, with acting chief Thierry Bollore taking the separate CEO role.

Rob Duke's insight:

Here's a little article on France's response to Ghosn's arrest.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Nissan CEO appeals to Renault board to review Ghosn findings

Nissan believes alliance partner Renault's board will back its decision to oust Chairman Carlos Ghosn when it sees details of the Japanese carmaker's investigation into his alleged misconduct, Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa said in a newspaper interview.

Nissan understands that the investigation findings it provided to Renault lawyers more than one month ago have still not been shared directly with the Renault board, Saikawa said in the interview published in French daily Les Echos on Monday.
Rob Duke's insight:

More on this high profile case from Japan.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

El Chapo's IT guy, Cristian Rodriguez, could be key to his trial - The

El Chapo's IT guy, Cristian Rodriguez, could be key to his trial - The | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Thanks to Cristian Rodriguez, the FBI was able to listen in on hundreds of incriminating phone calls between Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Carlos Ghosn's arrest is more about Japanese criminal justice than corporate governance

Carlos Ghosn's arrest is more about Japanese criminal justice than corporate governance | Criminology and Economic Theory |

No, the real significance of his arrest will likely prove to be in subjecting Japan’s criminal justice system to intense global scrutiny. You can’t use a reporting violation as a pretext for detaining a famous Brazilian-Lebanese-French business leader associated with multiple global automotive brands in an unheated cell for weeks with limited access to lawyers and almost no contact with family members before formally charging him with a crime without generating some negative press. In a Nov. 22 article on news analysis site Agora, former economy ministry bureaucrat and university professor Kazuo Yawata wondered whether Ghosn’s arrest and removal might be a sign of the “suicide of Japan’s judicial system.”

What follows are some key points on how that system works.

1) It’s not the police
Some in the media have wrongly reported Ghosn being in “police custody,” but he was arrested by prosecutors. Japanese prosecutors are exceptionally powerful, having the power to arrest, investigate and prosecute suspects. Prosecutorial arrests are rare, however, and those by the special investigations team at the Tokyo Public Prosecutor’s Office exceptional, usually involving high-profile political or corporate cases. The fact that Ghosn was arrested by this office for a minor regulatory offense means it is probably not actually about a minor regulatory offense.

High profile prosecutorial arrests generate significant press and are often accompanied by a leak-based media strategy. The press was waiting for Ghosn’s jets together with the prosecutors. Within a day of his arrest, Japanese tabloid magazines had stories out full of salacious details from anonymous sources about his extravagant, allegedly Nissan-funded lifestyle. Such details were irrelevant to the grounds for his arrest, but the goal is to paint the suspect as a “bad person.” Narrative control is a recurring theme of the process.

2) Bekken taiho — arresting you to arrest you again
Unless it is for a crime in process, Japan’s Constitution prohibits arrest except by judicial warrant “which specifies the offense with which the person is charged.” Law enforcement may find this bothersome, since in Japan the most important piece of evidence in many criminal cases is a confession of either the suspect or a co-conspirator, which are hard to procure if you don’t have the target in custody.

In Japan most high-profile murder cases start with an arrest not for murder, but for “wrongful disposal of a dead body.” The police have enough evidence — a dead body and something connecting it to the suspect — to make an arrest on that charge. The suspect can then be interrogated until they confess to the murder. Based on the confession, they can then be re-arrested and prosecuted for the murder. Bekken taiho — arresting a suspect for one crime in order to investigate others — is a questionable but common practice.

The grounds for arresting Ghosn and his conveniently foreign fellow board member Greg Kelly may likely seem ridiculous. How could the pair file an untrue statement of compensation (in Japanese!) in spite of all the financial controls, audit trails and other mechanisms public companies have in place to ensure accuracy in their public reporting, without the acquiescence and cooperation of Nissan management? Granted, both men were representative directors meaning they had both the power to do so and symbolic responsibility for potentially all acts of the company in theory. In practice, however, it is an absurd proposition.

But that is not the point: If prosecutors had reasonable grounds (such as whistleblower reports) that the filing was untrue, it would be sufficient grounds for arrest and the opportunity to investigate other, hopefully more serious crimes (though subsequent reports suggest the executives obtained expert advice about the filings). Press reports that prosecutors are also considering charging Nissan — the corporation — suggest they have concluded it is impossible to ignore institutional involvement in whatever malfeasance has gone on, though to me it also seemed like an announcement that additional human perpetrators would be unnecessary.

3) ‘Hostage-based’ criminal justice
When referring to their nation’s pre-trial criminal process Japanese defense lawyers (and even some former judges) commonly use the term hitojichi shihō, or “hostage-based justice system.” The “hostage” is the suspect, the “ransom” is their confession.

Within 48 hours of a prosecutorial arrest, the prosecutors must either release the suspect, initiate a prosecution or seek a detention warrant. Note that Ghosn was not immediately prosecuted for the charge on which he was arrested, meaning that by the time this deadline arrived prosecutors: lacked evidence (a confession, for example) necessary to ensure a conviction; and/or wanted to investigate the suspects regarding whatever other crimes might have occurred. Either way, they could be assured a judge would both authorize the detention of Ghosn and Kelly for 10 days and extend the detention period again if necessary (such an extension being duly granted on Nov. 30), a request the Tokyo District Court approved Friday.

The judiciary becomes involved very soon after an arrest in a way that may seem superficially similar to other countries but is actually quite different. In Japan, the first time a suspect sees a judge is not an arraignment hearing in open court where they are informed of the charges being brought against them so they can prepare a defense. Rather it is in a closed proceeding where the prosecutor argues that the suspect should be detained because they are still being investigated in order to determine whether to initiate a prosecution and, if so, on what charges. The standard grounds for seeking detention is that the suspect is a flight risk, might tamper with evidence or intimidate witnesses.

These may be legitimate concerns in the case of violent mobsters, less so for someone like Ghosn. Nonetheless, judges invariably accept these assertions at face value, presuming the suspect guilty before there has even been a trial. While Japan is known for its 99 percent conviction rate, the more shocking statistic is the rate at which detention warrants are granted, which is above 96 percent. Even that is regarded as an improvement from a decade ago when it was about as high as the conviction rate.

Although now detained, the suspect is not yet a defendant: They have not yet been prosecuted for anything, not even the crime for which they were arrested. Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, detention is essentially an investigative tool used to interrogate suspects and develop evidence. Suspects in detention have a constitutional right to counsel but not to have a lawyer present during questioning. In fact, the Code of Criminal Procedure empowers prosecutors to subordinate a suspect’s access to their lawyer to the needs of the prosecutor’s investigation.

Defense lawyers thus have to wait until the end of the day to find out what their clients may have already admitted to. And as the world is learning in the case of Ghosn, meetings with family members (if permitted at all) are highly restricted, must take place under the supervision of guards and cannot be in any language other than Japanese. This is more narrative control, to prevent suspects from getting information to the outside world that could muddy the story prosecutors are trying to build for trial, one memorialized in a confession prepared by prosecutors and hopefully signed by an exhausted and demoralized suspect. Then the prosecution can be brought.

4) Confessions and punishment without trial
It may seem incongruous that Japanese law enforcement is so focused on procuring mea culpas, given the nation’s Constitution specifically prohibits convictions based solely on confessions. In reality, with a confession in hand it is not hard to procure something that qualifies as corroborating evidence, and in any case the constitutional prohibition does not extend to convictions based solely on the confession of a co-defendant or testimony of a witness, both of which can also be produced in similarly coercive environments.

The pretrial detention system may seem shocking but is logical in its goal of minimizing uncertainty about the result of the trial by ensuring it is just a formality, at least as to the question of guilt. Most Japanese criminal trials are just about sentencing decisions. A defendant may, of course, challenge the validity of their confession at trial, but the burden of proof is on them — they must prove they are innocent in the face of it.

In fairness to law enforcement, most of the time they probably deal with people who are clearly culpable, and prosecutors just want the baddies to tell the truth about what transpired. Ideally “the truth” and the story the prosecutors want to tell at trial are the same thing. Unfortunately, one of the criticisms of this system in complex cases that are hard to prove without confessions — those involving corporate malfeasance and corruption, for example — is that prosecutors may commence the process with a preconceived story about what transpired and overzealously use the coercive environment of the interrogation room to force suspects to render interrogations that match the story. In an infamous 2003 case police and prosecutors in Kagoshima managed to force a dozen innocent people to confess to an elaborate vote-buying conspiracy that turned out at trial to have been completely specious.

Think about it: How long could you simply vanish, separated from family, pay bills, respond to e-mails or do your job, before it caused serious long-term damage to your life and career? In addition to encouraging confession, even a false one proffered just to escape the stress of constant interrogation and life in an uncomfortable cell in a facility controlled by your interrogators, the pre-charge detention system gives police and prosecutors in Japan incredible powers to punish someone severely without even putting them on trial. Ghosn’s career as an executive at Nissan and possibly anywhere else has been terminated based on allegations that may never be proven in court.

5) Have prosecutors taken sides?
Perhaps he will ultimately be convicted of every charge brought against him. Given the impact the arrest has had on whatever plans Ghosn may have had for Nissan (including a possible merger with Renault) Japan’s prosecutors will invariably be suspected of “taking sides” — the Nissan side — in what is essentially a cross-border corporate spat.

I like to think Japan’s elite prosecutors are above such things. Nonetheless, awareness of how this case will affect their reputations — not just in Japan but around the world — will doubtless create intense pressure to ensure Ghosn is found culpable, ideally at trial but at least in the court of public opinion. The tools they have to force such a result are frightening and seem easy to misuse.

Rob Duke's insight:

This case will be the standard by which outsiders judge the Japanese system for the forseeable future, and we have a front row seat this semester.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Music festivals are offering to test the safety of people’s drugs, and police increasingly like the idea - The

Music festivals are offering to test the safety of people’s drugs, and police increasingly like the idea - The | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Supporters of drug testing sites acknowledge that there is no safe level of drug consumption, and participants in those tests usually have to sign disclaimers acknowledging that. In some cases, assistance is provided only if participants also attend short counseling sessions on drug use.

Following last summer’s trial effort in Canberra, organizers said they had successfully prevented attendees from unknowingly taking hazardous substances. But in other Australian states, local governments remain opposed, even amid a recent string of deaths.

“Every time there is an event now, people are asking: why aren’t you providing a pill testing facility? Why are people needlessly dying?” said Gino Vumbaca, who works for one of the organizations involved in last year’s test run, the International Harm Reduction Association.

While the idea has recently gained more support, drug tests aren’t new and have also been tried in some parts of the United States. Installing such facilities at music festivals has de facto been the norm in some European countries, including the Netherlands and Austria, for more than a decade. But amid more detailed research and increases in drug-related hospital admissions, supporters of drug tests are now also gaining momentum in Australia and New Zealand, where authorities have so far allowed only limited trials.
Rob Duke's insight:

Smart idea...with promising trial results....

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Be a sociopath—or just act like one - Self-help

Be a sociopath—or just act like one - Self-help | Criminology and Economic Theory |

WHAT is a sociopath? Diagnostically speaking, it is someone who possesses a mixture of the following characteristics: charm, grandiosity, bloodless rationality, impulsivity, an appetite for risk, an erratic sex-life and little capacity for remorse. A sociopath is rarely prone to introspection, which is why M.E. Thomas's "Confessions of a Sociopath" is such an odd memoir.

Ms Thomas is the pseudonym of a female law professor who is also a confirmed sociopath (as confirmed as it gets, at least, in a field of notoriously murky assessment tools: she says she was diagnosed by a professor of psychology who is also a leading researcher in the field). Blending autobiography, anecdote and research, her book is less juicy for its content than for its writing style, which amounts to an uncut expression of a sociopath's distinctive traits. There is bombast: Thomas compares herself to God, a lion tamer and a revolutionary soldier, and observes, "I have remarkably beautiful breasts". There is calculation ("Unless I am actively trying to convey a particular message or to seduce I would rather not talk to people"). There is deceit, presumably: Thomas claims to have averaged a 9.5% stock market return since 2004. And there is plenty of charm, too.

Too bad the author is anonymous. Ms Thomas’s refusal to disclose her identity may account for the book’s failure to climb bestseller lists, for which its subject and sexy cover seem well suited. Character studies are hard to pull off, and the presence of a flesh-and-blood author might have supplemented Ms Thomas’s writing, which is not quite up to the task. Still, given the stigma of a diagnosis like sociopathy, her reluctance to go public makes some sense (and this newspaper has some empathy for anonymous authors). And Ms Thomas's anonymity has an upside, as it permits readers to form their own mental rendering of her. (This reader went with a variation on Sharon Stone in the 1992 film "Basic Instinct".)

For all the book's appeal as a memoir, it is perhaps better as a self-help manual for the rest of us. As it turns out, high-functioning sociopaths are full of handy lifestyle tips. Prospero lifted the best from Ms Thomas's book, with tips on how to incorporate them into your own life.

Rule #1: Disregard unspoken rules

After being hired at an elite law firm, Ms Thomas exploited her company's "non-existent" vacation policy by taking long weekends and lengthy vacations abroad. "People were implicitly expected not to take vacations, but I had my own lifelong policy of following only explicit rules, and then only because they're easiest to prove against me," she explains.

How to apply to your own life: Ignore "suggested donation" pleas at museums, always help yourself to more food and drinks at dinner parties and recline your seat all the way back when flying.

Rule #2: Assess costs and benefits

Sociopaths, says Ms Thomas, “are incredibly sensitive to incentive structures and actively consider both actual costs and opportunity costs in their decision-making” (unlike the rest of us, to the disappointment of most economists). "I have always lived in the worst neighborhoods," Ms Thomas writes. "Rent is cheap and I figure there's no need for me to pay a safety premium if I have health insurance."

How to apply to your own life: Make spending decisions shrewdly, leveraging each discretionary dollar for its maximum happiness return.

Rule #3: The best lawyers are (probably) sociopaths

“Sympathy makes for bad lawyering, bad advocacy, and bad rule-making,” Ms Thomas writes. Sociopaths are free of this burden. They are also, she says, excellent at reading people (useful during jury selection), immune to performance anxiety (useful during trial) and craftily seductive (useful for persuading juror and judge alike).

How to apply to your own life: When in need, seek sociopathic counsel.

Rule #4: Be prepared

Ms Thomas's opportunism applies to the social as much as the professional realm. "I have learned that it is important always to have a catalogue of at least five personal stories of varying length in order to avoid the impulse to shoehorn unrelated titbits into existing conversations," she writes. "Social-event management feels very much like classroom or jury management to me; it's all about allowing me to present myself to my own best advantage."

How to apply to your own life: Have a few rehearsed anecdotes on hand for awkward social occasions. Might as well score some career points while you're sweating into your cocktail napkin.

Rule #5: If you can't beat them, confuse them.

One of Ms Thomas's favourite activities is attending academic conferences. Since she doesn't teach at a top-tier school, she captures her colleagues' attention by other means: "Everything about the way I present myself is extremely calculated," she writes. "I am careful to wear something that will draw attention, like jeans and cowboy boots while everyone else is wearing business attire." The goal, Ms Thomas says, is "to indicate that I'm not interested in being judged by the usual standards."

How to apply to your own life: If you find yourself at an institutional disadvantage, set yourself apart by other means. Cowboy boots optional.

Rob Duke's insight:

"Life's a team sport" and we all use the 'tit-for-tat' rule, such that the true sociopaths might win the battle, but rarely win the war.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Fentanyl test strips: a controversial tool to fight opioid overdose deaths

Fentanyl test strips: a controversial tool to fight opioid overdose deaths | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A controversial tool has emerged in the fight against opioid overdose deaths. It's a strip that allows people who use street drugs such as cocaine and heroin to test whether their drugs are laced with fentanyl.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Saudi woman has left airport hotel, is under government protection: UNHCR | Euronews

Saudi woman has left airport hotel, is under government protection: UNHCR | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Thailand's immigration chief said on Monday the country will not send back a Saudi woman fleeing her family due to 'safety concerns'.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Nairobi attack in Kenya latest: Al-Shabab extremists, among them a Kenyan army officer's son, cased dusitD2 complex - CBS News

Nairobi attack in Kenya latest: Al-Shabab extremists, among them a Kenyan army officer's son, cased dusitD2 complex - CBS News | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Kenyan investigators have identified one of the extremists involved in the attack on a hotel and shopping complex in Nairobi as the son of a Kenyan military officer. There were conflicting reports on Friday about whether the extremist was among the five attackers who died in the assault, or one of 11 people who have been detained by police since the Tuesday attack.

Kenyan authorities have said 21 people, including one police officer, were killed by the attackers. The al-Shabab extremist group, which is linked to al Qaeda and based in neighboring Somalia, claimed responsibility.

Intelligence officials in the east African nation confirmed to CBS News on Friday that the al-Shabab cell had been scouting the upmarket dusitD2 hotel complex since at least December 2016. CBS News has obtained security camera video from that month which shows three of the attackers walking through what looks like a parking garage at the complex.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

How Do People Define the "Good Life"?

How Do People Define the "Good Life"? | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Certainly, people value certain aspects of happiness more than others. So, we asked users of to defined the "good life."
Jason Terzi's comment, January 18, 8:36 PM
Maslow's hierarchy of needs shows that self actualization (self development) is the final rung in the ladder. While personally I agree that this is needed to live the good life, I think that this article misses all of the other more basic things that are needed, which I posted about in the discussion board.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Turkey leads the world in jailed journalists - Daily chart

Turkey leads the world in jailed journalists - Daily chart | Criminology and Economic Theory |

Jan 16th 2019
THIS MONTH Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar, had appeals against their sentences rejected. Both were investigating their government’s campaign of violent repression of the country’s Rohingya minority, and both were given seven-year terms for violating the Official Secrets Act—a colonial-era law that allows any government information to be classified as an official secret. These reporters were sadly just the most recent examples of a disturbing trend. Last year 251 journalists languished in jails as a result of doing their jobs, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based NGO. It marked the third year in which at least 250 journalists were imprisoned around the world, though it was also the first decline since 2015.

The most censorious governments follow a familiar pattern of suppressing the media and locking up dissenters. Turkey, China, Egypt, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia accounted for 70% of all reporters that were imprisoned last year, mostly for infractions against the regime. Of the 172 reporters being held in those countries, 163 were detained without charge or for offences classified as “anti-state”. From 2000 to 2012 the CPJ recorded a steady increase in the numbers of news staff behind bars, rising from less than 100 to over 230.
Cassidy Edwards's comment, January 17, 6:03 PM
This article actually really surprised me because I have never really looked into the repercussions of what big media journalists have to face and after reading this I am actually shocked. I did not realize that just for doing their jobs that hundreds of journalists are arrested for crimes under the Official Secrets Acts. It is also appalling that most of these journalists were detained without charge or for offenses and they were just detained for telling the news. I really hope that the CPJ can figure out a way to keep reducing the number of these journalist that are being arrested and detained. I would be really interested to see if this type of thing is also happening in the United States because this article doesn’t mention that but it is something that we never really hear about here in the U.S.
Jason Terzi's comment, January 18, 8:40 PM
I agree with you Cassidy that this is very surprising news and I too find it interesting that we hear about journalists being arrested in other countries, but never really hear if foreign reporters are being arrested here. At least I don't think that happens here but I never thought about it before now.
Rob Duke's comment, January 18, 11:03 PM
This is part of that 3 big things needed to have a modern successful country: 1. government must be strong enough to ensure its own survival; 2. rule of law; and, 3. accountable to the people. When we don't have all 3, then it sets up conditions for someone somewhere to have their thumb on the scales of justice...or on the scales of the economy...or both.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Woe is The Malinchista –

Woe is The Malinchista – | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Malinchista is a term some Mexicans use to describe other Mexicans who show a preference for foreign things, speak gushingly of the order and tidiness to be found abroad, or are critical of Mexico and Mexican ways vis-à-vis their foreign counterparts.

The expression malinchista (or the practice, malinchismo) harks back five centuries to the native woman Malinche — the Aztecs called her Malintzin, and the Spanish doña Marina — who served as interpreter for Hernán Cortés, became his mistress, and bore him a son.

Incidents in her early life meant that Malinche spoke both Maya and Náhuatl, and along with Gerónimo de Aguilar, who knew Spanish and Maya, allowed Cortés to communicate with the Aztecs in his conquest of Tenochtitlán.

For some, malinchista is tantamount to traitor, although this is much too strong for its real connotation. To say “no seas malinchista” in reaction to some comment, purchase, or opinion, can be as inoffensive as heckling a friend over his or her choice of favorite sports team.
Rob Duke's insight:

Malinche, the Mayan Princess given to Cortez, who became his translator, his consort, and the de facto first "traitor" to Mexico.  And, the namesake of the "Malinchista" in Mexico.

See the article for more.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Nissan CEO Turns on Mentor Ghosn in `Despair' Over Misconduct - Bloomberg

Nissan CEO Turns on Mentor Ghosn in `Despair' Over Misconduct - Bloomberg | Criminology and Economic Theory |

On Monday, in a dramatic unfolding of events, the tables turned. The manager, not even bothering to contain his anger, took the microphone in front of a room full of reporters and said he was struggling to put into words the indignation he felt after uncovering alleged financial misconduct by his mentor and the Nissan chairman, Ghosn.

Hiroto Saikawa speaks during a news conference in Yokohama on Nov. 19.Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
Click here: Nissan to Oust Iconic Chairman Ghosn After Shock Arrest

“I felt not just that is was regrettable, but much more strongly than that -- I felt indignation and personally, I keenly felt despair,” Saikawa said in prepared remarks before a hastily convened late-night press conference in Yokohama near Tokyo. The Nissan CEO sat alone behind a desk, speaking and taking questions for an hour and a half.

Rob Duke's insight:

Hmm...reminds me of that scene in Hamlet:

"The lady doth protest protest too much, methinks..."

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Ghosn to Stay in Jail as Japan Court Rejects Bail Application - Bloomberg

Ghosn to Stay in Jail as Japan Court Rejects Bail Application - Bloomberg | Criminology and Economic Theory |

Carlos Ghosn’s latest bid to be released on bail was rejected by a Tokyo court, leaving the fallen car titan behind bars for at least another two months as prosecutors continue to build their case against him for financial crimes.

Ghosn’s lawyers had submitted the bail application last week after the former Nissan Motor Co. chairman was indicted for a second time, over allegations he transferred personal trading losses to the carmaker. Prosecutors have said his current period of detention lasts until March 10, but Ghosn’s chief lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, flagged last week that the executive could remain behind bars until his trial, which could be six months away.

Tuesday’s court decision is a win for the Japanese prosecutors pursuing Ghosn, who want to keep questioning him as they firm up their case ahead of an eventual trial. Ghosn’s lawyers said Tuesday they plan to appeal the decision.

Arrested Nov. 19 at a Tokyo airport, the car-industry legend has also been indicted for understating his income at Nissan by tens of millions of dollars. Ghosn’s downfall has rocked the world’s biggest auto alliance, with alleged misdeeds unearthed by the Japanese carmaker but kept from their French partner Renault SA forming the basis for the prosecutors’ case. While Nissan dismissed Ghosn as chairman shortly after his arrest, Renault has retained him as chairman and chief executive officer, saying it needs more evidence of his wrong-doing.

Health Fears
The time behind bars has already taken its toll on Ghosn. A citizen of three nations who traveled frequently between the alliance’s offices around the world, he appeared in public for the first time on Jan. 8 looking gray and gaunt, and was led into a court room handcuffed and with a rope tied around his waist. Ghosn’s wife, Carole, said this month that she fears for his health and that he’s been denied access to his family since the arrest.

It’s not uncommon in Japan for suspects to endure lengthy pre-trial detentions. Suspects are often re-arrested on suspicion of new charges periodically to keep them in custody while prosecutors attempt to build a case, and bail is the exception more than the rule.

Legal experts say this is all a strategy to secure a confession and make a trial easier. In Ghosn’s case, the judge at a Jan. 8 hearing said his continued detention was due to flight risk and the risk of witness or evidence tampering.

Rob Duke's insight:

I'm surprised there hasn't been more of an international outcry.  It's one thing to have a system that internally is accepted by one's population as "fair" or, at least, as Talcott Parsons would say "functional"; but to arrest a foreign CEO on shaky evidence and then hold him in prison for months (reportedly in a cell without heat) and then subject him to daily interviews without benefit of Counsel--it seems like there would be more objections.

The press is certainly beating up on the Japanese prosecutors and courts, but we're hearing little, here at least, about efforts by the French, Lebanese, or Brazilian governments.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Canadian's death sentence in China 'horrific', family says

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was given a 15-year jail term in November but, on Monday, a court said the sentence for drug smuggling was too lenient.

The ruling is likely to worsen a diplomatic row between the countries.

"It is a horrific, unfortunate, heartbreaking situation," his aunt, Lauri Nelson-Jones, told the BBC via email.

"It is our worst case fear confirmed," she added. "It is rather unimaginable what he must be feeling and thinking."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the ruling.

"It is of extreme concern to us as a government, as it should be to all our international friends and allies, that China has chosen to begin to arbitrarily apply the death penalty," he said in a statement.

What's going on with Huawei?
Life of Huawei's high-flying heiress
Schellenberg has 10 days to launch an appeal and his lawyer told Reuters news agency that he would likely do so.

His case was unexpectedly reviewed after Canada arrested a top official at the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, on a request from the US.

The detention of Meng Wanzhou, 46, last month angered China and soured its relations with both Canada and the US.
Rob Duke's insight:

Any bets about whether they drop the charges if Canada suddenly releases the Huawei executive?


We have to ask with this case, if despite changes in recent years, does China have a true Rule of Law?

Cassidy Edwards's comment, January 17, 5:48 PM
When I first heard about this ruling I was rather surprised to see that China had found that 15-year jail term was too lenient for a drug smuggler because that to me did not seem out of the ordinary at all. I was even more surprised to hear that his case was only reviewed after the arrest in Canada of the Huawei executive and to me it seems like China is simply trying to use Schellenberg as leverage to get the executive released, which in no way is humane. I do think that if Canada releases the executive there will be a miraculous drop in charges for Schellenberg just because of how all the events played out. Because of this I do not think that China has a true Rule of Law, I think they do what will benefit their country the most and in this case that is definitely showing.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

UK: MPs urge police to improve response to abusive protesters | Euronews

UK: MPs urge police to improve response to abusive protesters | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory |
More than 50 MPs have called on Britain's police force to improve its response to abusive protesters outside Parliament after Conservative MP, Anna Soubry, faced chants by protesters calling her a "Nazi" and a "liar" on Monday.

Soubry was doing a live interview with British media when she was accosted by protesters.

Afterwards, Brexit commentator Femi Oluwole filmed protesters calling Soubry a "fascist".
Rob Duke's insight:

In France, anything goes.  In America, almost anything goes.  In England, you're expected to protest "nicely".

Similar origin stories, but very different cultural outcomes.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Updated: Carlos Ghosn In Court — Japanese Justice In The Dock

Updated: Carlos Ghosn In Court — Japanese Justice In The Dock | Criminology and Economic Theory |
In any other OECD country, these type of misdemeanors are good for a fine of a few thousand dollars at the most. Perhaps a holding in custody for a few hours to execute a search warrant. Not solitary confinement, daylong interrogations, limited contact with lawyers and representatives or family, denying adequate food and blankets, denying writing materials. And all of that for as many months as the prosecutors want to hold him.

I expect Carlos Ghosn to issue a “J’Accuse” type of rebuttal. Placing the Japanese justice system in the dock. Treatment like this is classified as torture in other countries. It can be classified as cruel and unusual punishment.

And perhaps he drops the bomb that he was about to fire Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

Whatever happens, it will be fireworks.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Carlos Ghosn says he is innocent in first court appearance

He has been in custody since November and faces allegations of financial misconduct.

In a prepared statement, Mr Ghosn said he had been "wrongly accused and unfairly detained".

His lawyers requested the court hearing to address the reasons for his lengthy detention.

Japanese prosecutors have charged Mr Ghosn with financial misconduct and accuse him of under-reporting his pay package.

Mr Ghosn, a towering figure of the auto industry, appeared at the Tokyo District court wearing a dark suit and appearing thinner.

"I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations," his prepared statement read.

The 64-year-old was expected to tell the court he never received any compensation from Nissan that was not disclosed.

Mr Ghosn said he had "never been accused of any wrongdoing," and had dedicated two decades to "reviving Nissan".

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

Monday's Best Deals: Compact Jump Starter, Soylent, Fitbit Smart Scale, and More

Monday's Best Deals: Compact Jump Starter, Soylent, Fitbit Smart Scale, and More | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A British geneticist is worried that He Jiankui—the Chinese scientist responsible for the birth of genetically modified human twins—could face the death penalty for corruption and bribery charges.

When He Jiankui went missing back in early December, we suspected big trouble ahead for the rogue scientist, but as Sarah Knapton reports in the Telegraph, his predicament is even worse than we thought.

The embattled scientist is reportedly living under armed guard at a state-owned apartment in Shenzhen, China, according to geneticist Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Institute in London, who now worries that He could face the death penalty for his indiscretions.
Rob Duke's insight:

Something on the Chinese system....a story to follow this semester.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Rob Duke!

The theory of survival crime rationalizes stealing. | Christopher F. Rufo,

The theory of survival crime rationalizes stealing. | Christopher F. Rufo, | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The theory holds that the homeless, the poor, and people of color commit property crimes and low-level infractions in order to secure their basic survival. Any enforcement of these laws is thus a violation of their basic human rights and should be relaxed—that is, local governments should stop enforcing any laws that “criminalize homelessness” and “criminalize poverty.”

Survival crime theory is the flipside of Broken Windows theory. They deal with the same class of offenses—mainly property crime, drug possession, and public nuisances—in precisely the opposite way. Broken Windows theory argues that everyone is responsible for their own behavior and that, if we permit low-level crimes, it will lead to a general breakdown in law and order. Survival-crime theory, by contrast, argues that local governments should decriminalize these offenses because vulnerable individuals have been compelled by social conditions to commit them.

The idea of “survival crime” is not new, and has floated around in academic circles for decades. And for people living in a slum in Caracas, Peshawar, or Khartoum, there might be a moral argument that stealing food for oneself or one’s family is a justified “survival crime.”
Rob Duke's insight:

This is a dangerous and slippery slope.  When we already have a very good social safety net, it seems improbable that a person would be force to "steal" to literally survive.

Cassidy Edwards's comment, January 17, 5:35 PM
To me this theory of crime is in a grey area because like Professor Duke has pointed out, our world already has a very good social safety net. Now I know that not all countries are this way and I can see survival crime being relevant in certain low poverty countries and places, but everywhere else it is a dangerous game to play. There are so many resources that people can go to and receive their basic needs that if we start allowing survival crime to be a more prominent thing than we are saying that certain crime is allowed for certain people which would become a major problem. In some situations, yes, I think petty crime like this can be rationalized but I do not think it should be used for an excuse and that is why to me the theory of survival crime is in such a grey area.