Criminology and Economic Theory
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Criminology and Economic Theory
In search of viable criminological theory
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James Comey’s abuse of power

James Comey’s abuse of power | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The FBI director violated time-honored Justice Dept. practices with his remarks about Clinton’s emails.
Rob Duke's insight:
I think these editors are mired in the old Weberian theory of bureaucracy where the public servant is a good little obedient employee and carries out whatever policy (however ill-advised) that the political system dictates. This, in essence, is the old Politics-Administration Debate first posed by Woodrow Wilson and succinctly debated by Frederich and Finer (see here for an excellent tutorial: https://prezi.com/zpiyldlw7pcn/responsibility-versus-accountability-in-the-friedrich-finer-debate/). I tend to think that public administration is the only place that can effectively stop injustice. Imagine one single sheriff's deputy who would have stood against Jim Crow policies in the South...what different outcomes would we have seen? If not the public administration, then whose job is it to Ensure Equity? See Dwight Waldo and H. George Fredrickson for a complete argument for why, when, and how this should occur. I'm not arguing for a "wag the dog" situation, but for a dialog the includes calling out injustices--even when there is no law on which to hang one's hat (or even when our opinion goes counter to law, see my Jim Crow argument).
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Homeless man arrested in death of American student in Rome

Homeless man arrested in death of American student in Rome | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Italian police have arrested a 40-year old homeless man in relation to the death of an American university student.
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Suspected Ambulance Thief Charged In San Francisco Court After Fiery Treasure Island Crash

Suspected Ambulance Thief Charged In San Francisco Court After Fiery Treasure Island Crash | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A woman charged with the alleged theft of a San Francisco Fire Department ambulance that ended in a fiery crash on Treasure Island on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to felony charges Thursday.
Rob Duke's insight:
A cautionary tale about straight release programs...less than 2 weeks later this same perp is back in jail for burglary.  she may need treatment, but she also needs jail.
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Gunner Young's comment, July 5, 2016 7:18 PM
I think that this woman needs to be sent to jail and get her treatment there. She obviously needs to be a place where she can’t have access to drugs. I think that the judge in this case was worried about taking the woman away from her children. I don’t think it was appropriate for the judge to grant her supervised release with the theft amounting to $200,000 or greater.
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Two inmates attempt escape from Fairbanks Correction Center

Two inmates attempt escape from Fairbanks Correction Center | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS — Two inmates attempted to escape the Fairbanks Correctional Center at about 7:16 a.m. Monday, according to Alaska State Troopers.
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Violent crime in California jumped 10 percent last year

Violent crime in California jumped 10 percent last year | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
California violent crime increased 10 percent last year, the first rise since 2012, according to a report released Friday by Attorney General Kamala Harris.
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Disabled teen sues TSA, Memphis airport after bloody scuffle

Disabled teen sues TSA, Memphis airport after bloody scuffle | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A disabled St. Jude Children's Research Hospital patient was injured, and then arrested, by security workers at a Memphis International Airport checkpoint, a lawsuit alleges.

CBS affiliate WREG-TV reports that 19-year-old Hannah Cohen was flying home to Chattanooga on June 30, 2015, after receiving treatment at Memphis-based St. Jude. Attorneys say Hannah Cohen has an impairment from radiation and removal of a brain tumor, and she is limited in her ability to talk, walk, stand, see and hear.

The lawsuit says an alarm went off as she and her mother were going through a security checkpoint operated by the Memphis International Airport Police Department and the Transportation Safety Administration. Hannah Cohen became disoriented by the alarm and the security workers' attempts to search her, the lawsuit says.

"The security personnel failed to recognize that she was confused because of her obvious disability and was unable to cooperate with the search," Cohen's lawyers, Kelly Pearson and William Hardwick, wrote in the lawsuit.

Her mother, Shirley Cohen, said she tried to tell TSA agents about her daughter's disability, but she was kept away by police.

"She's trying to get away from them but in the next instant, one of them had her down on the ground and hit her head on the floor. There was blood everywhere," Shirley Cohen told WREG-TV.
Rob Duke's insight:
A bunch of errors here leading up to the airport incident.  When I had a large dose of radiation days before I was scheduled to fly home, my docs told me that I'd set off alarms and then gave me a prescription card that I gave to the airline clerk and then each level of security that I had to negotiate....That was a year before this incident, so I'm not sure what went wrong here....
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Gunner Young's comment, July 5, 2016 7:18 PM
I think that the TSA agents acted harshly towards this girl. I understand that their job is to ensure the safety of everyone in the airport, but they should have listened to the mother giving information about her daughter’s condition. It is unfortunate that this girl received the treatment she did.
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New Zealand police seize 35kg of cocaine from horse's head

New Zealand police seize 35kg of cocaine from horse's head | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
New Zealand police and customs say they have intercepted 35 kilograms (77 pounds) of cocaine hidden in a diamante-encrusted horse head, according to local media.
Rob Duke's insight:
Um?
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Gang Member Mistakenly Kills One of His Own Who Was Wearing Wrong Colors: Madera Police

Gang Member Mistakenly Kills One of His Own Who Was Wearing Wrong Colors: Madera Police | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
According to the Madera Police Department, Chavez shot and killed Michael Sanchez, whose age was not available, on Sunday. Both men were both Norteno gang members, police said.

Sanchez was wearing the colors of a rival gang and walking home from a bar near Gateway Drive and 11th Street, where he was fatally struck by gunfire, police said.
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Kim Gomez's comment, July 3, 2016 6:38 PM
Symbolic interaction theory at it's finest right here. Purely the colors the one man was wearing was enough for this man to decide his life needed to end. Glad this man is no longer on the streets.
Bryce Schwarz's comment, July 4, 2016 12:26 AM
I personally find it shocking that this happened. Not only because Sanchez was gunned down purely because of the colors he was wearing but because he was wearing the colors of a rival gang in the first place. Gang colors are deeply engrained in ones set of beliefs. They live and die by the gang they join and the colors they take. I'm thinking there must be more to this story as a known member would not represent a rival gangs colors accidentally.
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20 Tech Companies Ranked On How Much Slave Labor They Use

20 Tech Companies Ranked On How Much Slave Labor They Use | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
HP has a policy on recruitment that separates it from other companies, Moote says. It tells contractors to hire workers directly, rather than using intermediaries who present higher risks. Apple and Cisco, which come second and third in the list, both look to reimburse recruitment fees. Apple says its paid $25.6 million to workers since 2008, including $4.7 million last year alone.

Moote says the industry has made some progress to clean up its act in the last decade. But the overall level of performance is still low. The average score among the 20 companies is only 39 out of 100, with the average for the recruitment theme only 19 points. "Eighteen of the 20 have some kind of awareness of these issues, but what we need to see more of is the implementation process. That's where the big gap is," Moote says.
Rob Duke's insight:
This isn't good for workers here or overseas....
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Father stops Tennessee man during attempted rape of 7-year-old

Father stops Tennessee man during attempted rape of 7-year-old | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The unidentified dad detained Sebastian Alonzo, 21, to prevent the heinous crime
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Courtney Higley's comment, July 11, 2016 8:56 PM
I wish this story had more details. Why was the young man staying with the family? How did the family know him? How long had he been staying with them? Was their any legal action taken against the father?

I remember reading a similar story a while back, which also took place in a southern state, and learning that some states allow citizens to use force to stop the commission of certain crimes, including rape. Now that I’m googling though I can’t find any specifics. It must be a type of self-defense law. Since the victim was a minor, her legal guardian acted to defend her. I wonder how self-defense laws differ by state. I would assume that they would be more restrictive in highly populated places like California, New York, and Virginia and more lenient in rural or conservative states.
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Man sentenced to life in prison for beating caught on nanny cam

Man sentenced to life in prison for beating caught on nanny cam | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Shawn Custis punched and kicked his victim repeatedly and threw her down a flight of stairs.
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Bryce Schwarz's comment, July 4, 2016 12:32 AM
While it is great he was caught and convicted I find it hard to cope with the fact that Custis, a career criminal with 17 felony convictions including one of similar nature, was only now sentenced to life in prison. Why someone with almost 40 arrests and 17 felony convictions be released on the streets following his previous conviction is mind boggling. Even more confusing is why he was acquitted of attempted murder.
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Inside The Chicago Program That Is Slashing Youth Crime Rates

Inside The Chicago Program That Is Slashing Youth Crime Rates | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
"They learn that the kid sitting across from them in the circle has those same fears, has those same anxieties and that it's OK."
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Michaela Cameron's comment, June 30, 2016 3:13 PM
I'd like to explore this one using social learning theory and Social reaction or labeling. These kids are learning to become criminals and murderers in an environment that raised them that way. When all of your peers are in a gang then you are going to join that gang. This program doesn't tell these kids how to act but it helps them sit down and think about their morals and values and justifications for their actions which is what most cognitive therapy is as well. For them to understand their "rival's" justification and mirror those onto themselves then they are able to learn from others behaviors to reduce violence. These kids have been labeled criminals and I think that this program will help them realize that they don't need to adopt that identity but that they can change and live differently. Providing positive labels allows for these kids to self-fulfill into those identities instead of negative ones. In this case it is creating an identity that doesn't mark them as an "easy victim". This program is probably so helpful because it does not pretend like their environment is positive or different and accepts the reality of where they are and who they hang out with.
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The fascinating, strange medical potential of psychedelic drugs, explained in 50+ studies

The fascinating, strange medical potential of psychedelic drugs, explained in 50+ studies | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin (from magic mushrooms) are in the middle of a research renaissance. Here's why.
Rob Duke's insight:
I have no experience with these, but I've seen amazing things with Cannabis....
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Why the FBI Didn't Throw the Book at Clinton

Why the FBI Didn't Throw the Book at Clinton | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The FBI found evidence laws were broken when secrets got onto Hillary Clinton’s personal server, but the case wasn't strong enough.
Rob Duke's insight:
While the law would allow prosecution for negligence, in practice no one has been charged under these facts in the past.  There's some concern that setting a precedent of charging negligence would be more damaging (see the article for details)....
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Courtney Higley's comment, July 11, 2016 8:36 PM
First of all, if this case did go to trial, it would be nearly impossible to get an impartial jury. She’s currently the most famous (or infamous) woman in the country. Second, at one point does carelessness with lack of intent cease to be an excuse? Would the decision to prosecute be different if serious harm resulted from her carelessness? How many people would have had to die for her to have been tried in court? Government officials who handle classified information that has the potential to compromise national security shouldn’t get a pass for being careless. Don’t these people go through computer security training? I’ve had to take this training, and I’m a nobody. I have a hard time believing that an individual in her position and of her intelligence could fail to realize that using an unsecured server for government work and correspondence is a violation. Lastly, since when does the government decline to press charges based off of lack of intent? Shouldn’t that be up to the jury to decide whether intent existed?
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Comey: 'No Reasonable Prosecutor Would Bring Such a Case'

Comey: 'No Reasonable Prosecutor Would Bring Such a Case' | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The FBI director said the agency had concluded its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server on Tuesday.
Rob Duke's insight:
While police often make recommendations on prosecution, it is rare that the prosecutor would not make their own decision on what charges to file, but this is anything but a "normal" case...
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CHP officers shoot and kill driver in Fullerton during street racing investigation

CHP officers shoot and kill driver in Fullerton during street racing investigation | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The officers, part of a task force investigating street racing and other outlaw driving events over the holiday weekend, called for marked cruisers to break up the gathering.

As the law enforcement units arrived, a red Chevy Silverado pickup truck fled the area, blazing along side streets at speeds approaching 90 mph, according to California Highway Patrol Lt. Charlie Sampson.

The undercover officers followed the pickup for five miles, stopping on a dead-end street in Fullerton about 10:50 p.m.

The truck made a U-turn and barreled toward the CHP officers, who opened fire, Fullerton police said.

The truck struck another vehicle before driving toward the officers, who were exiting their vehicle when they opened fire, according to another law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. The truck struck the undercover cruiser either during or immediately after the shooting, the official said.
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Gunner Young's comment, July 5, 2016 7:18 PM
This article confuses me about the officer’s decisions regarding this pursuit. If they witnessed this man driving 90 mph, why didn’t they pull him over. How are they unsure of the man not knowing he was being followed? That must mean that they never turned on their lights and instead chose to wait until it was necessary to shoot the man. I think that this whole incident could have been avoided if the officers would have performed a traffic stop.
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Measure to speed up executions in California qualifies for November ballot

Measure to speed up executions in California qualifies for November ballot | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
An initiative that aims to speed up executions in California qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot on Thursday, making it one of tw
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Kevin Lawson's comment, July 17, 2016 8:08 PM
This measure, if it passes, has the potential to deter serious crime in the future. One of the issues with the death penalty is the length of time in which it takes for an execution to be carried out once sentenced. As the article mentioned, numerous appeals can draw the process out by as much as 30 years. By this point, the correlation between the punishment and crime is all but broken. On the other side of the coin, it also puts those wrongfully accused at greater risk of facing death. While this number is small, time is certainly on the innocent’s side as new evidence has the potential to come to light along with the advancement of technology. By limiting the number of petitions that prisoners can file, the estimated 95.9% (From NewsWeek 2014) of guilty offenders will meet their sentence in a more reasonable time while also providing the families of victims with much needed closure and justice.
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Income inequality today may be higher today than in any other era

Income inequality today may be higher today than in any other era | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
“We went from one of the most egalitarian places in the world to one of the least,” Williamson said. “What happened?”

In their book, the pair of professors — one at UC Davis, the other at Harvard — attempt to explain how it all transpired. Their data reveal that today’s situation is not unprecedented; income inequality rose twice in American history, the first time in the 1800s. That period, the economists argue, holds lessons that may help us better understand the skyrocketing inequality of recent decades.

This is as much a work of history as it is a work of economics. The conclusions depend on a tangle of assumptions, and the authors spend a good deal of time explaining their choices. The most controversial section involves how they accounted for the income of slaves, whom they included in the inequality calculations.
Rob Duke's insight:
Arguing about the election or what the cops are doing is just a distraction from the big problems confronting our system of governance....Fix inequality and you fix many other problems within the system.
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Billy the kid

Billy the kid | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
He married twice more and had two more children. His first Kentucky wife died of cancer; Bill is said to have cared for her lovingly, as he did for a half-brother who came to live with him and died recently. (Whether and which of his relatives knew the truth is another subject he is wary of.) He and his most recent wife, Jean, divorced but remained on good terms. She answered the door at his home near the café, and before tearfully closing it described him as “the most kind, the most wonderful man you could ever meet. He helped so many people in the community.”

That estimation seems to be widely shared. When a ghastly crime occurs, it is normal for the suspect’s neighbours to say how mild and considerate he seemed. In this case that sentiment is based on long acquaintance after the offence rather than brief knowledge before it. Sitting beside a fruit stall in his wheelchair, between the café and a little stream, Tim Johnson says that “Bill Arnold is as good a man as I’ve ever met.” Bill, he says, gave him a trailer that he had previously used as a cigarette kiosk: “I never know’d anybody that’d say he’d wronged them.”
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Bryce Schwarz's comment, July 4, 2016 12:48 AM
While it is nice he turned it around and made a productive life after he escaped, he had to pay the price sooner or later. It is nice that he stayed within the law and dedicated himself to good. Hopefully like the article says, Georgia does not want him and all is somewhat forgiven. There is not much harm he can do as a 67 year old with fading health. Hopefully he is not extradited and is aloud to live the rest of his life in London as Bill Arnold, the man he became after his reinvention.
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Sanders to push a plan to ban private companies from running prisons

Sanders to push a plan to ban private companies from running prisons | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will unveil a plan Thursday to ban privately run jails and prisons, which he says have a “perverse incentive” to increase the
Rob Duke's insight:
The push & pull between efficiency, economy, and effectiveness is particularly strong since the reinvention of government movement; however, equity (the fourth "E") often gets left behind and judges sentence in order to ensure that prisons stay full in order for the private owners and government bonding entities to remain "happy".  Empty jails don't pay for themselves.....
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Doctors received $6.5 billion from drug and device companies in 2015

Doctors received $6.5 billion from drug and device companies in 2015 | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Doctors received $6.5 billion worth of payments — including meals, research grants and charitable contributions from drug and medical device companies in the last year, according to new data released Thursday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. They also owned a little over $1 billion in stock in the industry.
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Police: Suspect Decapitated Girlfriend's Suspected Rapist

Police: Suspect Decapitated Girlfriend's Suspected Rapist | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. - Prosecutors in northern Minnesota have filed murder charges against a man they say decapitated the person who he thought had raped his girlfriend. 
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Kevin Lawson's comment, July 3, 2016 2:37 AM
This almost sounds like a vigilante/revenge plot gone terribly wrong. What gets me is that after they beat the hell out of this guy, they take a car ride together and smoke. Something doesn’t sound quite right here. Was the victim forced into the car with them or did he willingly go along? Regardless, Mr. Haiman sounds as if he was likely troubled before committing this murder. The destruction of the victim’s body goes beyond pure murder or revenge. This is an individual that wants to be in control and do whatever it takes to demonstrate his authority. I believe that he would have done something similar to another person had this opportunity not presented itself first.
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SF expanding program that has bused 10K homeless residents out of town in past decade - The San Francisco Examiner

SF expanding program that has bused 10K homeless residents out of town in past decade - The San Francisco Examiner | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
“Get your ass out of here.” That’s the title Bilal Ali, a homeless man living at a city shelter, gave to San Francisco’s decade-old program providing free one-way Greyhound bus »
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Michaela Cameron's comment, June 30, 2016 3:01 PM
I had heard of this program in the past and to me it makes no sense, but I'm going to try to look at it from a social structure and strain perspective. Structurally, the city has neighborhoods with poor populations that rely on panhandling which creates a culture in that area. The city wants less panhandlers to avoid creating negative images of their town and promoting more of them. The strain is that with such a high population housing is through the roof and many people are homeless. This culture of panhandling is inviting to those who are homeless o they come from other areas to be homeless here. This influx of homeless created the need for public assistance and resources which are helpful but cannot handle the numbers of homeless that exist. That being said I believe there needs to be much more follow up and planning on how to not create this environment elsewhere or send these people to places where similar strains exist and don’t have the resources that San fan has.
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Who's Killing the Legal Pot Buzz in Colorado?

Who's Killing the Legal Pot Buzz in Colorado? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Communities are pushing back against recreational marijuana.
Rob Duke's insight:
And Charles Tiebot, the late planner, would agree that it's good to have some communities be more conservative...this creates diverse towns from which citizens can choose where to live and under what conditions....
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