Criminology and Economic Theory
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Criminology and Economic Theory
In search of viable criminological theory
Curated by Rob Duke
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Update: Mannino found guilty in murder-for-hire case

Update: Mannino found guilty in murder-for-hire case | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Updated 1:55 p.m.: Guy Mannino was found guilty of soliciting murder of two federal agents and a witness. Not guilty of soliciting murder of his lawyer, a third agent. Sentencing
Wyatt Duncan's comment, February 8, 2016 1:16 AM
100 percent think he should be in jail. Makes me wonder if he is possibly a little unstable. Not sure what makes him think he could get away with hiring someone to kill multiple federal agents, and an attorney.
Colita Fiorenzi's comment, February 8, 2016 2:59 AM
So instead of facing the charges for illegal transfer of weapons and concealing bankruptcy assets, he would rather go to jail for (I counted 5) five counts of attempted or conspiracy to attempt murder, 4 of which were agents of the law........ wow!
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Owner of home where Blake Fitzgerald was shot: 'He knew he had reached his end'

Owner of home where Blake Fitzgerald was shot: 'He knew he had reached his end' | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Blake Fitzgerald was killed; Brittany Harper was wounded.
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Friend Recalls Moment She Turned in Alleged 'Road Rage' Killer

Friend Recalls Moment She Turned in Alleged 'Road Rage' Killer | Criminology and Economic Theory |
"The first words out of his mouth [were], 'I got them,'" Khatie Krisztian said.
Amanda Watkins's comment, February 6, 2016 5:03 PM
Honestly, he chose his life style and everything that comes with it. He also sells drugs to individuals that could potentially kill them. Paranoia comes from not living an honest lifestyle and he punished someone else for his choices. So what if it was his neighbor he mistakenly felt was following him when they happen to live in the same area? In his mind it is self defense, but in reality it is the territory of the lifestyle he chose and he should be held accountable for killing an innocent person. I do want to touch base on that if someone is involved in a road rage incident or hit and run that you try to get a good description and license plate number and turn that information over to police. I think driving around following people with a gun is 'asking for trouble', but not deserving of death.
James Peterson's comment, February 8, 2016 1:29 AM
I agree with Amanda in her reaction. The man chose this life style of dealing drugs and it is a life of paranoia. The knowing of dealing drugs is wrong and how others want to take you out because your competition. To live like that can change you. It still is not an excuse to go gun down the person you think was threatening you. Once again deterrence can be shown here to deter others from wanting to live a life style like this. It never ends good for drug dealers.
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Putting a stop to Human Trafficking

Putting a stop to Human Trafficking | Criminology and Economic Theory |
It's modern day slavery that is happening right here in the Central Valley. Details on the Fresno EOC's efforts to help the children and to bring awareness to this huge issue.
Emily Alvey's comment, February 6, 2016 7:19 PM
I love the idea of a conference that allows the public, and draws stories from a number of people in a number of fields with their experience on Human Trafficking to create awareness. This conference, with its slogan of "be free," is also a perfect example of solving a problem in a community using strengths based practice, and allowing people in the community who are passionate about the issue to learn more, and figure out how their individual strengths can be utilized to help fight human trafficking. It is a perfect time to recognize this issue, as one of the highest statistical time of people being kidnapped or forced into human trafficking is large sporting events such as the Superbowl. It is important to debunk the myth that human trafficking only includes trafficking for the purposes of sex. I believe here in Kodiak, there have been cases of human trafficking of people from other countries, for the purposes of sex, but also very much for the purposes of labor. It is a very real, and unfortunately prevalent issue in our society.
Forrest Smoes's comment, February 8, 2016 4:23 AM
Pimps, human traffickers, sexual enslavers, are quite possibly the most evil people on the face of the earth. I mean, even serial killers are usually “kind” enough to just bloody kill you as opposed to keeping you alive and suffering as long as possible. I once read a sickening news story about a girl who’d been kidnapped and sold into prostitution tried to escape by jumping out a 4th-story window. She broke her back and was paralyzed from the waist down. Reason enough for the pimp who owned her to let her go? Not a chance. After she was released from the hospital, he just dumped her on a mattress and continued to send in men to have sex with her. Of course, he couldn’t be bothered with actually taking care of her, and so she was often left lying in her own urine and feces. Thant is what a pimp is like closest thing to an absolutely soul-less human being you will ever find. For law enforcement I can say that taking down human slave traffickers will be one of the things I will look forward to most if I get the opportunity.
Kathy Orourke's curator insight, February 10, 2016 9:01 PM

Glad to see something is finally getting done about this. The unfortunate part is that some of these kids are young, have gone through a lot already, and they don't know who to trust. They have been convinced that police are bad, social workers are bad, etc. This is compounded by laws, rules, and other means, so the kids aren't saved. Some end up in other countries, or across the nation.  On the other hand, the kids that come from bad homes feel safer than they would at home. Someone needs to see all sides of what's going on to help these people.

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Anchorage police: Car thief was listening to scanner when arrested

Anchorage police: Car thief was listening to scanner when arrested | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Joel Gould, 21, was pulled over and arrested for vehicle theft Tuesday morning -- just before the online police scanner he was listening to announced officers' plans to pull over and arrest him.
Rob Duke's insight:

Rational Choice Theory at work?

Thomas Antal's comment, February 5, 2016 3:05 PM
This guy defiantly put some rational thought into his actions. With that scanner the guy can basically avoid any units before and after he scopes out an area. But the scanner shows the criminal knew what he was doing wrong so it will be harder to claim that it was just a one time deal.
Boan White's comment, February 5, 2016 5:14 PM
I don't understand why the Anchorage police would allow the public free of charge access to there online scanner, the media I can understand, it just seems kinda silly, unnecessary, and contributing to the crime. I do like the idea of using a delay on the online scanner to prevent real time usage for criminals.
Katrina Bishop's comment, February 7, 2016 8:11 PM
There had to be some sort of rational thought going on here, as was said before. If the guy was using a scanner than he had to know he was doing something wrong. That being said, there couldn't have been much of a risk in his mind toward getting caught if he continued to act. I wonder if the police scanner might have made him sloppy, thinking he was unable to be caught because he could hear what was going on, but this thinking possible led him to make a mistake.
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Pussy Riot is back, and taking on corruption this time

Pussy Riot is back, and taking on corruption this time | Criminology and Economic Theory |
For those baffled by the lyrics, they stem from an investigation released in December by the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whom Ms Tolokonnikova calls “my political muse”. In a 45-minute film, Mr Navalny and his anti-corruption foundation implicated Mr Chaika and his sons in a vast web of graft that stretches from an Irkutsk shipyard to a luxury hotel in Greece. While Mr Navalny’s crusades against government officials are nothing new, the case against the Chaikas, if it claims are accurate, would be the most serious yet. Mr Navalny suggests that the prosecutor-general used his position not only to help his offspring build a vast business empire, but also to cover up their links to the Tsapok family, a criminal gang notorious for the mass murder of 12 people, including four children.

The film has penetrated beyond the crowd of supporters Mr Navalny’s investigations typically reach, racking up more than 4m views on YouTube. By late December, some 40% of Russians said they had seen or heard of it, a revealing figure given that the dominant state television networks paid the claims no heed. More revealing still was how little surprise the accusations generated amongst viewers. Nearly 80% found the accusations at least somewhat believable. As Ms Tolokonnikova sings, “I’m devoted to our old Russian business traditions: first the cops will pull you in for questioning, then it’ll look like an accident, you’ll be fed to the fish.”

The Kremlin, predictably, has dismissed Mr Navalny’s claims. Mr Putin’s chief of staff last week called the investigation an unsubstantiated “political statement”. Mr Chaika vehemently denied the charges, suggesting that Mr Navalny was carrying out orders for Bill Browder, an American financier who has become a fierce critic of Mr Putin since being driven out of Russia. Earlier this week, it was announced that Mr Chaika himself would oversee the inquiry into the accusations against him. (“I can’t say I’m surprised,” Mr Navalny responded.) At a meeting last week of Russia’s anti-corruption committee (on which Mr Chaika sits), Mr Putin acknowledged that uprooting graft would not happen “from one day to the next”. Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index did show some improvement for Russia: it rose 17 places to 119 out of 167, sandwiched between Guyana and Sierra Leone.

During Russia’s fat years, many citizens shrugged at officials who plundered the government kitty; there was plenty of money to go around. Now, as oil prices linger below $35 per barrel, Russia looks poised for a second year of recession, and state funds are becoming scarce. Officials are scrambling to close a looming budget gap, after the government’s call for 10% spending cuts. The government has also been eyeing privatisation as a potential source of income. Mr Putin recently summoned the heads of several state-owned companies to the Kremlin for talks. Potentially on the chopping block are Rosneft, Aeroflot, Russian Railways, the state bank VTB, Bashneft, the diamond miner Alrosa and the shipping firm Sovcomflot.

Yet any sales of state companies will be haunted by the memory of the shady deals of the 1990s. Worse, buyers know that it may only be a matter of time before the state asks for its assets back. That happened with Bashneft back in 2014, when the billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov was temporarily arrested and his shares in the company seized. The legal system offered little recourse. Perhaps he should have released a rap video.
Rob Duke's insight:

Some background on Pussy Riot's song....


Those are prosecutor uniforms, by the way....

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Introducing ArcGIS Earth | ArcGIS Blog

Introducing ArcGIS Earth | ArcGIS Blog | Criminology and Economic Theory |

Via Fernando Gil
Rob Duke's insight:

Interesting in Crime Analysis--Learn GIS.

Katrina Bishop's comment, February 7, 2016 8:15 PM
It seems like an interesting program, and it could improve the justice system. I wonder if it would improve anticipation of high crime areas if they were able to see the terrain and layout of the areas being monitored.
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Watch the Premiere of Pussy Riot's New Video 'CHAIKA' | VICE | United States

The anti-Putin, feminist punk rock band has released a video calling out the Russian government for its rampant corruption.
Rob Duke's insight:

Just in time for our class Pussy Riot launches another art attack of the Russian oligarchy and Putin in particular.

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Most Dangerous States in the United States in 2015 according to the FBI

Most Dangerous States in the United States in 2015 according to the FBI | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Alaska has replaced Tennessee as the most dangerous state in the United States in 2015. Last year, Tennessee held the dubious title. Obviously, Alaska is one of the least densely populated places on the planet, let alone in the United States. Yet, according to the FBI statistics, it has a rate of 750 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Additionally, it is noted that all 50 states have been compared to make the list of the Most Dangerous States in the United States while not including the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Washington D.C. was not ranked because its population density and status as a district make it incomparable to the 50 states. It is reported that Washington D.C.’s violent crime rate would be significantly higher than all the states. Of the nation’s capital, it was noted in the report that Washington D.C.’s violent crime rate is not unusual for its size.

Somewhat disturbingly, there are some cities in some states that are not included in the data once again. Chicago, for example, has been excluded from the data as the FBI has determined that the city underreported its data. Therefore, it is not possible to rank Chicago to any other city. In the past, Chicago and other large cities have been excluded from reports due to the cities not turning in their report data in a timely fashion. Regarding Chicago, the FBI also determined that the city’s data collection methodology for the offense of rape (which is one of the violent crimes according to the FBI) does not comply with national Uniform Crime Report guidelines.
Ryan Conner's comment, February 5, 2016 5:16 AM
The fact they admit to not counting some of the major cities like Chicago or DC due to the inaccurate information provided and or that it doesn’t compare correctly, makes this list not 100% accurate to me. I don’t discount that places like Alaska have these high violent crime rates, but to leave out other major cities because it doesn’t compare correctly and or slow to provide information is misleading. I would find it more interesting to see what were the most dangerous cities within the US, mainly because I believe there aren’t the same amounts of cities per state to have an accurate representation of the State’s they represent.
Mary Grubbs's comment, February 9, 2016 12:05 AM
This really surprised me. I never think of Alaska as being a dangerous state. I know crime in Anchorage and Wasilla have really increased especially with the rise of meth and heroine that is becoming epidemic. Living in Fairbanks may have issues, but if I remember right it is not that bad when it comes to crime compared to other Alaskan places.
Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, April 5, 2016 4:24 PM

Certain States are excluded , is that not how to get the results some want revealed leave out that which tgey choose not to be counted.

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Deep in the woods

Deep in the woods | Criminology and Economic Theory |

IT WORRIES the volunteer patroller at one of the entrances to Aokigahara forest that the white car with the Osaka number plates has now been there, empty, for five days. This forest of moss-clad trees covers 30 square kilometres (12 square miles) of a lava plateau near the foot of Mount Fuji. As a place to commit suicide, it is said to be second in popularity only to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The car’s owner, the patroller says, is probably already dead somewhere deep inside the forest. His job is to try to spot and turn back those who may be contemplating suicide.

Folklore holds that the forest was once a site for ubasute, the (possibly apocryphal) practice of carrying the old or infirm to a remote place and leaving them to die, so that they would not be a burden to their families. A 1960 novel by Seicho Matsumoto popularised Aokigahara as a site for suicides, after the heroine took her own life there. When suicides in Japan rose steeply as the country’s financial bubble burst after 1989, several dozen people a year were killing themselves in Aokigahara, mainly by hanging. Signs stand next to the paths, telling passers-by that their lives are precious, a gift from their parents. The number of a suicide hotline is displayed below. Yet much internet chatter talks of the forest as a site for suicides, and its vastness is a lure to many contemplating death. Mobile-phone reception is poor. The volcanic deposits also wreak havoc with compasses; those with second thoughts might struggle to retrace their steps.

Last year over 23,000 people ended their own lives in Japan. The good news is that the number has fallen for six years in a row—a trend elsewhere, too (see chart). Part of the reason for the decline of Japanese suicides is economic: with business and personal insolvencies at a relative low, fewer people are losing their jobs or going bankrupt—a common motivation for Japanese suicides, along with worries about health. But prevention has also improved. Nearly a decade ago the government adopted policies to stop suicides. They include classes at schools, extra municipal staff trained in suicide-prevention, and better training in mental health among medical staff. Those expressing suicidal urges are now more likely to receive attention—though mental illness still has a powerful stigma attached to it in Japan.

Most preventive measures are directed at middle-aged men, who are most at risk. Yet the rate at which younger adults kill themselves has not fallen by as much as for older folk—indeed, suicide is the leading cause of death for 15- to 40-year-olds. It is harder to deal with a pervading dejection about the future that prompts many young Japanese to kill themselves than with the practical issues—eg, financial straits—that can push middle-aged people over the edge, says Yasuyuki Shimizu of Life Link, an NGO.

Meanwhile, Aokigahara continues to swallow its victims. That takes a mental toll on locals too. Recently, the same patrolman wrestled a young man to the ground to stop him vanishing inside. Such incidents haunt him, and he wants talk about them. But the police have told him not to, for fear of bringing more people looking for a stillness deeper even than the silence of the forest.

Rob Duke's insight:

Comparative Criminology: See also the idea of ubasute: taking old people out to the wilds to die.

Rob Duke's comment, February 3, 2016 3:48 AM
It must be something tied in with the culture. Durkheim's classic study on suicides in Europe revealed that it was in upheaval periods of "normlessness" that suicide rates increased. That may be a causal factor here, also.
clarence kalistook's comment, February 3, 2016 7:25 PM
This is a devastating topic for Alaska which has the highest rates of suicide in the United States, with Alaska Native males at the highest risk. This "ubasute" concept may have been used by Alaska Native tribes who were nomadic people. The very old just could not keep up and this natural consequence resulted. But today elders are respected for their knowledge of the past and survival methods. Today in remote rural villages, young males commit suicide at alarming rates and the events often cluster, resulting in 2-3 deaths at a time. I believe this complex problem is caused by the effects of historical trauma, alcohol abuse, poverty, a poor educational system, and the availability of firearms. Bringing the suicide rate down in times of State financial troubles means that these remote communities need to develop their own actions and solutions.
Emily Alvey's comment, February 6, 2016 7:48 PM
Suicide statistics never cease to shock. That being said the concept of ubaute, which quite literally means "to abandon an old woman" is particularly interesting in it's roots. It is believed that if it was practiced, it was most commonly practiced in times of great struggle and famine. Stories of it include women who seemingly willingly gave up their lives, as their sons carried them into the woods, for the sake of the family members, who were at risk of starving. The fact that it is usually mothers carried into the wilderness by their sons, speaks to the willingness of a mother to sacrifice for her children and grandchildren. It also speaks to often what is the root behind suicidal thoughts, that "everyone would be better off without me." This is a belief held by many who attempt or commit suicide. These days, rarely is it true, and most do not understand that kind of thinking. That being said, if your death could keep your children and grandchildren from starving to death, perhaps it is less difficult to understand that type of thinking. Perhaps that thought is rooted far deeper into our history and existence than we even realize.
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Slain teen Nicole Lovell was stabbed, prosecutors say

Slain teen Nicole Lovell was stabbed, prosecutors say | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Blacksburg authorities have charged two Virginia Tech students in connection with Nicole Lovell’s death.
Rob Duke's insight:

More as info develops....

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How shadow banking works

How shadow banking works | Criminology and Economic Theory |
ON JANUARY 5th, in a campaign speech in New York, American senator Bernie Sanders pledged to break up banks that were deemed “too big to fail” and vowed to put a leash on their shadowy cousins. Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve’s chair, has admitted that shadow banks pose “a huge challenge” to the world economy. In an editorial for the New York Times in December, Hillary Clinton called for tough measures to contain the global bogeyman. Politicians and economists who often have little in common, unanimously agree that shadow banking, left to its own devices, has the potential to trigger another financial collapse. What are shadow banks and why is there such a fuss about them them?

The term “shadow bank” was coined in 2007 by Paul McCulley of PIMCO, a big bond fund to describe risky off-balance-sheet vehicles hatched by banks to sell loans repackaged as bonds. Today, the term is used more loosely to cover all financial intermediaries that perform bank-like activity but are not regulated as one. These include mobile payment systems, pawnshops, peer-to-peer lending websites, hedge funds and bond-trading platforms set up by technology firms. Among the biggest are asset management companies. In 2013 investment funds that make such loans raised a whopping $97 billion worldwide. Companies looking for cash also lean on bond markets that offer extraordinarily low interest rates. Globally, between 2007 and 2012, firms thus raised $1.7 trillion by issuing corporate bonds. Money-market funds that invest in short term securities like US treasury bills have taken off too. In China alone, they grew six times to 2.2 trillion yuan ($341 billion) between mid-2013 and December 2015. In December they hit a sweet spot when Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the first time in nearly ten years. The Financial Stability Board, an international watchdog estimates that globally, the informal lending sector serviced assets worth $80 trillion in 2014 up from $26 trillion more than a decade earlier.

Shadow banks have flourished in part because the traditional ones, battered by losses incurred during the financial slump, are under pressure. Tighter capital requirements and fear of heavy penalties have kept them grounded. In China, where banks are discouraged from lending to certain industries and are mandated to offer frustratingly low interest rates on deposits, non-banks fill the gap. About two-thirds of all lending in the country by shadow banks are in fact “bank loans in disguise”, reckons the Brookings institution, a think tank. Critics worry that unlike banks, which lend against deposits from customers, non-banks loan money using investor’s cash and rotating lines of credit. This is especially risky when skittish investors who bet on short term gains withdraw their money at once. But non-bank financing need not always be a bad thing. It offers an additional source of credit to individuals and businesses in countries where formal banking is either expensive or absent. It also takes some burden off banks which have big “maturity mismatches” (the difference between the amount of time a depositor's money is parked in the bank minus the time that it is loaned out).

And belatedly, regulators, too, are waking up to the new financial order. Banks must now declare structured investment vehicles on their balance sheets. Authorities have considered imposing leverage limits on various forms of shadow banks in America and Europe. In January last year, America’s Federal Housing Finance Agency proposed new rules that would require all non-banks to have a minimum net worth of $2.5m plus a quarter percentage point of the outstanding loan stock that they service. Only then would they be able to sell their loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy American mortgages from banks, bundle them into securities and resell them to investors with a guarantee. The move aims to protect the two government-backed housing giants against under-capitalised lenders. It is a small start to rein in an industry that accounts for a quarter of the global financial system.
Rob Duke's insight:

We'll touch on this topic again when we get to white collar crime....

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Kris Jenner on How She Felt About Ex-Husband Defending O.J. Simpson

Kris Jenner is revealing how "hard" it was to have ex-husband Robert Kardashian on the defense team for the O.J. Simpson trial.

Simpson was charged with the murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson in 1994 and was acquitted of criminal charges.

Jenner, who was close friends with Brown Simpson, revealed that she was present at the trial as often as she could be, and explained to People magazine why watching her ex-husband defend Simpson was difficult.

"They were trying to save O.J. from going to jail. It was very hard," Jenner said.

Jenner, 60, also discussed the most "stressful" parts about the trial, noting that she "just wanted it to be over so that we could all try to pick up the pieces."

"It was excruciating to see how painful it was for the families to hear them go over and over all the details of what had happened," Jenner said. "It went on for so long. It was very stressful."
Rob Duke's insight:

How pop culture and justice in America are inter-related...

Christa Lynch's comment, February 4, 2016 4:55 PM
This article was ridiculous. It almost seems that she is making it about herself, i know they are asking how it impacted her but it gave me the creeps. It seems like she was backing OJ then memorializing Nicole Brown and their friendship. Also remaining neutral and acknowledging her X husbands role. Weird.
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'Affluenza' Teen Ethan Couch Moved to Adult Jail

'Affluenza' Teen Ethan Couch Moved to Adult Jail | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Couch, now 18, killed four in a drunken-driving crash but was spared jail after his lawyers said he was so spoiled he couldn't tell right from wrong.
Stephani Fallis's comment, February 9, 2016 5:01 PM
Sometimes I don’t know how defense counsels sleep at night. This kid deserves to pay for his crimes; probation is a joke for killing 4 people. I don’t believe for one second that this kid didn’t know drinking and driving was wrong, regardless of how “spoiled” he is. How can we expect our children to grow up into responsible adults if we make ridiculous excuses for them like “oh no, he shouldn’t go to jail because he’s too spoiled to know right from wrong.”
William Estrin's comment, February 9, 2016 6:04 PM
I hate this kid! Sorry, I may be a little biased. As someone who has had it rough, I cannot stand spoiled little rich kids that are so stuck up and ignorant that they think the world is at their disposal and they are free to do whatever they want without consequence. If he was so spoiled that he couldn't tell right from wrong as his lawyers say, than throw his butt in prison. This kid needs a dose of reality and sometimes there is no better way to do that than spending some time on the streets or in prison. When I was a rebellious teenager and my parents finally had enough and threw me out on the streets for a few days, it was the biggest wake up call I had ever gotten and I learned some very hard, important lessons. That's all it took for me and I was forever rehabilitated. Getting this kid off or buying his way out of trouble does a disservice to him and the community. This kid needs to sit in a prison cell and get a dose of reality. Forget medication, counseling, and therapy, doing some time in prison would be by far the best treatment for this kid!
Allison Sartori's comment, March 1, 2016 10:36 PM
I think this shows that creative lawyers can come up with anything to get people off from taking responsibility for their actions. At 16 years of age he knows what is right and what is wrong and should be held responsible for his actions.
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Prosecutor: Va. Tech freshman said she was ‘excited to be part of something secretive’

Prosecutor: Va. Tech freshman said she was ‘excited to be part of something secretive’ | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Natalie Keepers is accused of helping a classmate plan the slaying of Nicole Lovell, 13, and dump the body.
Colita Fiorenzi's comment, February 8, 2016 3:02 AM
She was "excited to be a part of something secretive"?!?!?! Psycho... go down to your local community center and play a nice game of telephone or "guess which hand"... I find it hard to believe that with everything availablle now, that teenagers would be this desperate for things to do...
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Doctor convicted of murder for patients' drug overdoses gets 30 years to life in prison

Doctor convicted of murder for patients' drug overdoses gets 30 years to life in prison | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A judge on Friday sentenced a Rowland Heights doctor to 30 years to life in prison for the murders of three of her patients who fatally overdosed, ending a landmark case that some medical experts say could reshape how doctors nationwide handle prescriptions.
The sentence came after a Los Angeles...
Wyatt Duncan's comment, February 8, 2016 1:23 AM
Im sure it will open the door for many more cases, and charges to be filed. It only takes one person to mess up in a profession, especially one that is so highly educated, to make everyone question all of there actions. Especially a doctor, which are experts in a field, most of the population has no idea about.
Stephani Fallis's comment, February 9, 2016 5:21 PM
Here we go again blaming one person for the misconduct of another. Ridiculous. Was she a piss-poor doctor? Sounds like it. Did she murder those people? No. How dare these families hold her responsible when really it was the patients’ own addiction that caused their death. Unless this doctor was prescribing a bottle of whiskey with each Xanax and oxycodone script…
Ryan Conner's comment, February 19, 2016 1:44 AM
I really see a lot of good coming out of this story. Not for the fact that people lost their lives, but the fact that someone is being held responsible for their negative actions. If a doctor is acting within their scope of practice then they should have nothing to worry about. Another is the fact that this goes to show that criminal activity comes from all types and all aspects of people. The fact that she was over prescribing so she could be paid more is sad and now she has been convicted is a good thing and a good message to those who may be seeking to gain from people addiction’s much the same as she was.
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What It’s Like Being Blackmailed Over a Webcam Sex Video | VICE | United States

Did you ever report it to the police?
No, because I just knew that if they're out of the country, there's nothing they can do about it. When I read your previous article about it, I thought it was good that other people were reporting it. I was glad when I found out I wasn't the only person it happened to because it felt pretty silly. I couldn't imagine if it happened to guys who were married or had kids—that's when they probably pay.
Austyn Hewitt's comment, February 5, 2016 4:50 PM
I have two opinions on this article. First, this guy is so not smart for getting naked in front of a stranger on Skype. Why would you get naked on the Internet for someone whom you met on the internet? I do not get it. Personally, I think if you act like that you deserve for a little backlash. I know that's a strong opinion but I believe that it is 100% preventable. Second, he should have filed a report with the police. They might have not been able to help that much but they could have looked into he females account. I think stuff like this happens all the time and no one reports it because they are embarrassed. I hope the guy learned his lesson to not Skype naked again.
Rob Duke's comment, February 5, 2016 5:02 PM
This is also that kind of "don't throw me in the Briar Patch" behavior we see from offenders as they plead how they don't have the capacity to pay fines, etc.
William Estrin's comment, February 7, 2016 8:14 PM
This is terrible. The Internet is full of scam artists that prey upon people’s vulnerabilities. I just had a recent experience like this where I believe I was being scammed. I responded to a housing ad off craigslist recently and texted the number. I got a response, claiming it was a female looking for a friends with benefit situation and a place to stay. Then here’s the kicker – she says she’s 17 and asks if I’m okay with that. And I tell her, hell no that’s not okay and I’m not a pedophile. But she continues to beg and talk explicit to me. I reject her advances and then she changes her story and tell me she’s 18. I still tell her I’m not interested. Then I get a text from that number, claiming it’s the father and that he’s calling the cops and pressing charges against me for trying to get with his underage daughter. I don’t take his bullying and intimidation and texted him back and encouraged him to call the cops. I made it clear I wasn’t interested and you cannot post to Craigslist unless you’re at least 18. So if he’s going to call the cops, she’ll be the one in trouble not me. But I have my doubts. I’ve heard of scams in which a number will text you, claiming to be a girl and flirt with you and provoke you into saying sexually explicit things. Then you’ll get a text from that number, claiming the girl is underage and this is her father and he’s going to call the cops and have you arrested and press charges. Then he offers to “settle” with you for like $500 or $1,000 in exchange for not pressing charges, in order to scare you. But in reality, there is no underage daughter or concerned dad; just another scam artist trying to steal your hard earned money. Bottom line is the Internet is full of cold-hearted, manipulative scam artists. Be extremely cautious!
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10 Most Corrupt Police Forces in The World

10 Most Corrupt Police Forces in The World | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Here are the 10 most corrupt police forces in the world. All around the world, police forces have been plagued by deep-rooted corruption & criminal activity
Thomas Antal's comment, February 5, 2016 3:09 PM
I can’t say I’m surprised that many of these corrupt police forces are in third world countries. These nations are in desperate need for basic infrastructure both economically and politically. But with a broken system there isn’t anyone going around and checking their practices. Many of these officers can be easily swayed by the dollar because their families need to be taken care of. Financially they don’t make much so turning to corruption brings in the extra cast to ensure their families are taken care of.
Forrest Smoes's comment, February 8, 2016 4:29 AM
It makes me so sad to see that for so many people in so many countries this is a reality. These people, law enforcement, are supposed to be the people you can look up to, trust, and feel safe around. You think about your thoughts of police officers when you are a kid is that they are upright, just, community protecting people. But then you grow up and hear about these things, these countries where police forces have actually harmed the people of the country more than helped. It disgusts me to read about all the drug trafficking, brutality, and bribery that happens not to mention breaking every law they are supposed to enforce. I guess I can see this as motivation to help be the change you want to see in the world.
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Who killed the death penalty?

Who killed the death penalty? | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The proof is overwhelming: capital punishment is dying. Statistically and politically, it is already mortally wounded, even as it staggers through an indeterminate—but probably brief—swansong. Fairly soon, someone will be the last person to be executed in America. The reasons for this decline themselves form a suspenseful tale of locked-room intrigue, unexpected twists and unusual suspects. So, whodunnit? Who killed the death penalty?

Twelve less angry men
Where politicians follow, voters often lead. Capital punishment is no longer a litmus test of political machismo because public enthusiasm for it is waning. Most Americans still favour retaining it, but that majority is narrowing. And one critical constituency—the mystery’s first prime suspect—is especially sceptical: juries.
Amanda Watkins's comment, February 6, 2016 5:23 PM
I believe wrongful convictions have a lot to do with the decrease popularity towards capital punishment. If we are quick to jump to the death penalty without time to investigate further and consider new information in the case an innocent person can be killed. I personally believe in capital punishment depending on the crime committed and the amount of evidence against that individual. Capital punishment can also be a strong topic for a presidential candidate to use to further reach out to certain groups of people since capital punishment is one of those "hot topics".
Rachel O'Hagin Aleman's comment, February 7, 2016 11:10 PM
I found this article very interesting and extremely informative. Ultimately my view on the death penalty and it's usefulness have seemed to diminish quite a bit. When I was a lot younger I felt that capital punishment was a great deterrent of crime; however, that does not seem to be the case. This article has proved to me as to why it has failed to act as the deterrent that it was initially enacted to be. As a matter of fact public shaming and humiliation maybe in fact a better crime deterrent than capital punishment. Even though in some cases capital punishment maybe legitimate, it does not mean that it is always right. I agree with the article on most of it's points as to how the death penalty has slowly killed itself. It's lack of deterrence in most cases, its expansiveness and the pressure to solve the cases which lead to wrongful convictions are all reasons as to why the death penalty (over the years) has become less effective.
Forrest Smoes's comment, February 8, 2016 4:02 AM
I think punishment should go back to Hammurabi's Code and if that includes capital punishment then by all means. Having a consistent and documented, although harsh, set of rules stabilized their society. People had guidelines for behavior and could plan their lives a little better. The were probably fewer private feuds and vendettas and injustices as a result for this codification.

Furthermore there was a quantification (valuation) of quality maybe the first ever. Rich people who harmed poor people made restitution in money or goods, which help the poor economically. Poor people who harmed rich people paid in flesh or servitude, which saved them what few goods they had. Some of this seems cruel or unfair today with our relative affluence but back then even a small economic fine could cause a poor person and their family to starve. Hammurabi's Code was the model for many civilizations law codifications throughout the Millenium.
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Chinese company Ezubao accused of being $7.6 billion Ponzi scheme

Chinese company Ezubao accused of being $7.6 billion Ponzi scheme | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Chinese police arrested 21 employees at China's largest online finance business on suspicion of fleecing 900,000 investors for $7.6 billion, in what could be the biggest financial fraud in Chinese history.

Via SustainOurEarth
Nichole Bathe's comment, February 4, 2016 4:21 PM
This is very interesting, China as a government is very interesting to start with. So I'm very interested to follow this story and see if these people are punished and if so what type of punishment they receive. We have been talking about how different countries deal with crime and how they punish crime, so I think this could be a good tell of how China's government deals with big companies ponzi schemes and comparing it to how the U.S would deal with it.
William Estrin's comment, February 7, 2016 8:12 PM
A headline of a Ponzi scheme being the biggest financial fraud in history seems an awful lot familiar to the Bernie Madoff case here in the United States. It seems like Ponzi schemes are the oldest and most copied financial scam in history. They were around even before they were officially named after Charles Ponzi and the infamous postage stamps scam of the 1920’s. Being able to dupe investors into fictitious investments and then paying off the initial investors with the investments of later investors, rather than any actual profits earned from the alleged investments seems like it’s a fine art to some people. But just like pyramid schemes, they always seem to inevitably collapse. You would think wise, money savvy investors would be smart enough not to fall for those. But I guess the con artists are one step ahead of them.
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Bill Cosby Could Dodge Sexual Assault Charges on a Weird Technicality | VICE | United States

Former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. told a judge Tuesday that he effectively gave Cosby immunity from criminal charges back then in order to compel him to testify in a civil suit instead.

"I decided that we would not prosecute Mr. Cosby and that would set a chain of events that would get some justice for Andrea Constand," the former district attorney said, suggesting that getting her money was "the best he could do." The civil suit was settled in 2006.
Rob Duke's insight:

All systems of justice produce the mitigated truth.  Would an Inquisitorial system have produced better justice in this case?

Rob Duke's comment, February 5, 2016 5:07 PM
In the F2F class, we watch the movie Polisse. It's a documentary style movie that shows life in a Paris Police vice unit. In it, there's one vignette of a child molester who has molested his daughter, but due to his political connections, it's unclear if he will be held accountable.
Rob Duke's comment, February 5, 2016 5:13 PM
I highly recommend watching this moving: it's available on Netflix and on Amazon Prime. I recommend watching it to better understand the French system, but be aware that it's built along the same tragic lines as a Steinbeck novel--there are no happy endings. I also recommend viewing "A Separation"--about the Iranian civil and criminal law system. (available on Amazon Prime). Both are dramas and subtitled.
William Estrin's comment, February 7, 2016 8:20 PM
I sure hope this doesn’t hold true. If it does, it will once again send the message out that those with money and power are above the law. I don’t care how much money you have, how famous you are, or how much power you hold, a rapist is a rapist. Bottom line is, if he was a poor black man accused of these crimes, we all know he would have the book thrown at him. He shouldn’t be allowed to get away just because of his status. Let him sit in prison with sexually starved convicts and get a taste of his own medicine. This has similarities to the Jared Fogle case. I am glad he is serving time in prison and won’t be eligible for parole for a bit, but still believe he would be doing more time if he wasn’t famous. I liked the New York Post’s headline that announced this that said, “Enjoy a foot long in jail.”
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National briefs: Slain girl said she would sneak to see "boyfriend," neighbor says

National briefs: Slain girl said she would sneak to see "boyfriend," neighbor says | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The 13-year-old girl who allegedly was stabbed to death by a Virginia Tech student told friends she would sneak out to meet her “boyfriend” David, an 18-year-old she met online, a neighbor said.

Seventh-grader Nicole Madison Lovell was killed Wednesday, the same day she vanished from her bedroom, by David Eisenhauer, a freshman at Virginia Tech now jailed on charges of kidnapping and murder, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt said Tuesday.

The neighbor said that before she vanished, Nicole showed her daughters Mr. Eisenhauer’s picture along with a thread of texts they had shared, and said she would be sneaking out that night to meet him.
Barbara Michael's comment, February 4, 2016 1:21 PM
My best friend's son was just victimized by a child predator that used Kik, Google Hangouts, Snapchat and Instagram to get ahold of her son. Texting is so yesterday and these other applications are difficult for parents to keep on and to follow since there is virtually no trail. This is frightening as a parent to say the least. And the company's say that they have security in place, but that didn't keep my friend's son from brutal sexual assault that lasted over a period of seven months. Something must change with online access to our children.
Stephani Fallis's comment, February 4, 2016 8:08 PM
…I have three daughters, and if any of them pulled this crap the crazy boy they met on the internet would be the least of their worries.
Austyn Hewitt's comment, February 5, 2016 5:08 PM
This article makes me so nervous because I have a young daughter. Young kids have no idea the danger of meeting people on the Internet. I know there can be investigations after the incident happens but I think it would be more beneficial for kids to know what happens before bad things like this happens. It is so sad and 100% preventable.
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Ravens Can Imagine Being Watched : DNews

Ravens Can Imagine Being Watched : DNews | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Ravens can imagine being spied upon by a hidden competitor, showing a capacity for abstraction once thought to be exclusively human, according to a study released Tuesday.

In a clever set of experiments, scientists showed that the famously intelligent birds take extra care to hide food if they suspect their movements are being monitored by another raven, even when the second bird is not really there.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggest that ravens — without recourse to direct observation — are able to understand what might be going on in the mind of another individual.
Rob Duke's insight:

This is interesting because it gives us some insight about what might be genetically influenced (naturally occurring behavior) and what might be socially learned in humans.

Ryan Conner's comment, February 5, 2016 5:16 AM
This is amazing, however when I thinking about it, you can see this kind of stuff happing with other animals. I have noticed this happing with dogs on occasion, maybe not to the extent the ravens displayed, but I have see a dog hold onto a treat or toy just to keep it away from another dog if they are showing interest in it. Or it could be a learned trait from being around humans for such a long time that they pick up the habits and techniques as a result of their environment. I can remember watching Shark Week and the same species of shark would hunt differently because of their environment. This can be the same for humans as well they adapt to their surroundings based on their environment.
Katrina Bishop's comment, February 7, 2016 8:20 PM
I agree that quite a lot of different species seem to show signs of this kind of thought process. It's interesting to see how actual studies are picking up on the concept and exploring how animals might rationalize actions. I think we might see this in different ways depending on the animal. A predator animal might act like the raven in taking extra care in hiding food, but I wonder how we might see this in animals that are more often prey. If they think they are being watched, might that influence how or where they hide?
Rachel O'Hagin Aleman's comment, February 7, 2016 11:29 PM
Definitely found this article very interesting! I could see a lot of parallels between learned traits (learned behavior) and genetic traits (genetic behavior) and how we can connect that with how humans may or may not engage in criminal activity. These birds where placed in a situation in which they felt the need to preserve their food in order for them to survive in a sense. The same can be said when people commit crimes out of need because they are trying to preserve their own livelihood. I'm not saying that this is right; however, that is a connection that can be made in regards to this study.
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Woodinville may end police surveillance camera program

Woodinville may end police surveillance camera program | Criminology and Economic Theory |
According to a city report written by Woodinville Police Chief Katie Larson, the cameras were designed to "deter, prevent or reduce crime."  But three public records requests filed after the installation raised concerns about the technology's usefulness.

"The cameras have site line limitations," Chief Larson wrote. "We are unable to discern much from the video."

Notably, license plate numbers cannot be read in daylight or darkness.  Furthermore, the chief indicates, the department "does not have the resources to dedicate to maintain the system."

Fixing the cameras could cost up to $400,000.
Rob Duke's insight:

For rural departments, USDA funds were available for these systems.  My guess is that this was a lowest bidder problem, or an ownership problem (truly embracing the program at its home agency), because other cities are having good success with optics.


Imagine if you can cover all the travel routes, how much would that reduce crime?

Boyd Thomas Branch's comment, February 3, 2016 12:58 AM
Interesting way to try help maintain control of people. If these cameras worked it could really help in the deterrence theory because many crimes would be caught on tape which would up the certainty of being caught.
Boan White's comment, February 5, 2016 5:19 PM
It depends of whether Federal signal kept quit about problem because it was a design flaw or simple a glitch in the batch of cameras that Woodinville, Illinois received. If it was simple malfunction in that batch of cameras then it was just bad luck on the part of Woodinville. If it was a design flaw then the chief financial officer of the Illinois-based Federal Signal, Brian Cooper, should have known about the The cameras site line limitations before having them installed much less claim that the surveillance camera would be really effective, work very well, have high resolution. After all Federal Signal should have done numerous test and simulations and therefore seen the design flaw and fixed them. Another question is how Federal Signal could claim that they have herd nothing but satisfaction from the product works and the customer when the law enforcement agency and the mayor are clearly not satisfied. Though I have to say that the I like the idea of using surveillance cameras to catch the culprit committing the crime and deter crime.
mlsoden's comment, February 11, 2016 1:00 PM
Camera systems offer an excellent way to gather evidence and to deter crime. Unfortunately the cost of some systems makes them difficult to afford. The types of camera used by Woodinville, based on the photos posted, include Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras and I imagine higher end recording devices, which are expensive. For City's and larger businesses this may be financially affordable to install, but maintenance costs are difficult. For homeowners and small business owners there are many less expensive alternatives that offer high quality images. In these days of social media and the ease of getting images out to a large audience the ability to have images is of great value. Having the public participate in identifying those individuals that are victimizing them helps everyone to feel like they are part of the solution.
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Virginia Tech Students Get Lawyers As Police Probe Teen's Death

Virginia Tech Students Get Lawyers As Police Probe Teen's Death | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Those who know two former Howard County students charged in connection with the murder of a middle schooler are breaking their silence. There’s new information as both appear in court. Two promising Virginia Tech stduents from Howard County face a judge after being accused in the killing of a 13-year-old girl in Virginia. The multi-state murder investigation is growing with new questions about the motive.
Miranda Kay Grieser's comment, February 2, 2016 2:26 AM
I think it is crazy that the people we least expect to do something like this are usually the ones to do it. I was disappointed reading this article though because I was hoping to find the motive behind this guy killing the 13-year old girl. They do say in the article that he claimed “the truth will set him free”. But what does that even mean? They also said that the girl wasn’t killed with a gun, so how was she killed? There are a lot of holes in the story, and leaves me wanting to learn more about what happened.
Rob Duke's comment, February 2, 2016 2:30 AM
We may not find out much until trial since they've opted to have attorneys very early. This is quite a contrast with the French system, continental civil law, hybrid systems (Japan), and sacred law, and socialist systems where defense attorneys have a limited role in defending the accused.
Christa Lynch's comment, February 4, 2016 3:54 PM
I found his original statement "the truth shall set me free" a little bizarre. There is obviously some major issues in this case that haven't been revealed. So because this was a multi-state murder, does that mean they could be tried in both states. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts because if one states fumbles the other could pick up the case under the Dual Sovereignty Doctrine. It seems that they are making it clear there is multiple states that have a vested interest in this case.