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Liberal Punishment | Dissent Magazine
"The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America by Naomi Murakawa Oxford University Press, 2014, 260 pp."
book  review  crime  prison  police  law  america  history  20c  liberalism 
may 2015 by tsuomela
The Digital Panopticon | The Global Impact of London Punishments, 1780-1925
"The Digital Panopticon is a collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield, Tasmania, Oxford and Sussex, with funding from the AHRC. Led by an international team of established researchers, it will use digital technologies to bring together existing and new genealogical, biometric and criminal justice datasets held by different organisations in the UK and Australia. It will explore the impact of the different types of penal punishments on the lives of 66,000 people sentenced at The Old Bailey between 1780 and 1875, develop new and transferable methodologies for understanding and exploiting complex bodies of genealogical, biometric, and criminal justice data and create a searchable website."
digital-humanities  project  academic  university  punishment  crime  history 
july 2014 by tsuomela
CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says - The Washington Post
"The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document."
cia  torture  war  crime 
april 2014 by tsuomela
Pew Research death penalty poll: Why whites support capital punishment more than blacks.
"It sounds glib, but if you needed a one-word answer to why whites are so supportive of the death penalty, “racism” isn’t a bad choice."
death-penalty  punishment  crime  america  discrimination  race  history 
march 2014 by tsuomela
America's Real Criminal Element: Lead | Mother Jones
"New research finds Pb is the hidden villain behind violent crime, lower IQs, and even the ADHD epidemic. And fixing the problem is a lot cheaper than doing nothing."
environment  crime  pollution  prison 
january 2013 by tsuomela
DNA analysis: far from an open-and-shut case | Science | The Observer
"The case has become a blot in the history book of forensic science but the lessons extend far beyond the procedures of criminal investigation. If nothing else, the Phantom of Heilbronn demonstrates the amazing psychological power of DNA evidence. The belief that DNA samples mark out individuals like an infallible biological barcode is so powerful that people will begin to hypothesise invincible, transsexual, border-hopping serial killers just to keep the story coherent with the genetic evidence."
crime  evidence  justice  law  science  technology  dna  biology  forensics 
october 2012 by tsuomela
The Cybercrime Wave That Wasn’t -
This is not simply a failure to achieve perfection or a matter of a few percentage points
crime  cyberlaw  online  estimate  economics  statistics  surveys 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Twitter’s Defense Of ‘Occupy’ Protester Could Decide Future Of Information Laws | TPM Idea Lab
"Experts in cyber law told TPM that Twitter’s stance in Harris’ case was undeniably important and could prove to be a landmark one for user privacy and law enforcement’s ability to access user information going forward."
law  cyberlaw  twitter  privacy  crime  court 
may 2012 by tsuomela
The source of American punitiveness | Friends of Justice
"The results of this study indicate that Americans tend to view crime through a racial lens. Because of this, crime is often associated with “others” — usually poor people of color. It is this “other” status that keeps many Americans from identifying with and having empathy for those caught up in the criminal justice system. This lack of “empathic identification” contributes to Americans’ support for punitive criminal justice policies."
crime  law  punishment  american  prison  race  sociology 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Strip Searches | Talking Philosophy
Comments on 2012 supreme court decision authorizing strip searches after any arrest.
supreme-court  law  america  crime  punishment  prison  power 
april 2012 by tsuomela
In lieu of prison, bring back the lash - The Washington Post
"The idea was that penitentiaries would heal the criminally ill just as hospitals cured the physically sick. It didn’t work. Yet despite — or perhaps because of — the failures of the first prisons, states authorized more and larger prisons. With flogging banned and crime not cured, there was simply no alternative. We tried rehabilitation and ended up with supermax. We tried to be humane and ended up with more prisoners than Stalin had at the height of the Soviet Gulag. Somewhere in the process, we lost the concept of justice and punishment in a free society.

Today, the prison-industrial complex has become little more than a massive government-run make-work program that profits from human bondage. To oversimplify — just a bit — we pay poor, unemployed rural whites to guard poor, unemployed urban blacks.

prison  punishment  america  history  crime  drugs  policy  failure 
june 2011 by tsuomela
ahb: Ripper Nerdology
"Ripper books can be either atrocious or endlessly fascinating. There is no in-between. "
history  crime  britain 
may 2011 by tsuomela
The Deadliest Rhetoric - Reason Magazine
"Official government violence against nonviolent Americans and residents, by contrast, occurs daily. And for the last 30 years it has been increasing at an alarming rate. From the early 1980s to the mid-2000s, University of Eastern Kentucky criminologist Peter Kraska conducted an annual survey on the use of SWAT teams in the United States. Until the late 1970s, SWAT teams were generally used in emergency situations to defuse conflicts with people who presented an immediate threat to others, such as hostage takers, bank robbers, or mass shooters. But beginning in the early 1980s, police departments across the country began using SWAT teams to serve drug warrants.

Kraska found that the number of SWAT deployments in America increased from 3,000 per year in the early 1980s to around 50,000 by the mid-2000s. That’s about 135 SWAT raids per day. The vast majority of those are for drug warrants."
crime  police  terrorism  drugs  war  metaphor  politics  rhetoric  militarism  military-industrial-complex  weapons 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Homicide rates linked to trust in government, sense of belonging, study suggests
"When Americans begin routinely complaining about how they hate their government and don't trust their leaders, it may be time to look warily at the homicide rate."
violence  homicide  murder  crime  sociology  economics  capitalism  neoliberalism  free-markets 
january 2011 by tsuomela
A Tale Of Two Capitalisms: Research Into Homicide Rates And The Link To Political Economies
"Dr Steve Hall and Dr Craig McLean, claim in the latest international journal Theoretical Criminology that homicide rates are significantly higher in nations in neo-liberal politics where free market forces are allowed free rein, such as the USA, but are significantly lower in nations governed by social-democratic policies which still characterise most Western European nations."
violence  homicide  murder  crime  sociology  economics  capitalism  neoliberalism  free-markets 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Taking Stock of Criminal Profiling — Criminal Justice and Behavior
The use of criminal profiling (CP) in criminal investigations has continued to increase despite scant empirical evidence that it is effective. To take stock of the CP field, a narrative review and a 2-part meta-analysis of the published CP literature were conducted. Narrative review results suggest that the CP literature rests largely on commonsense justifications. Results from the 1st meta-analysis indicate that self-labeled profiler/experienced-investigator groups did not outperform comparison groups in predicting offenders' cognitive processes, physical attributes, offense behaviors, or social habits and history, although they were marginally better at predicting overall offender characteristics. Results of the 2nd meta-analysis indicate that self-labeled profilers were not significantly better at predicting offense behaviors, but outperformed comparison groups when predicting overall offender characteristics, cognitive processes, physical attributes, and social history and habits.
crime  punishment  police  profiling  psychology  meta-analysis  failure 
september 2010 by tsuomela
Stumbling and Mumbling: Land of the deluded?
This [American levels of incarceration] raises a question: given this, why do so many Americans think they live in the land of the free?* Low taxes don’t get us far towards an explanation. The OECD recently estimated that the tax burden on the average American worker was higher than that in Switzerland, Australia, Japan and Korea and only slightly less than in Canada.
Could it be that cognitive biases are to blame?
1. Bayesian conservatism
2. Social proof
3. Optimism bias/selection
politics  psychology  crime  america  freedom  liberty  cognition  bias 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America | Radley Balko | Cato Institute: White Paper
Americans have long maintained that a man's home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.
crime  justice  law  america  civil-liberties  freedom  libertarian  privacy  police  militarization  paramilitary 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Electricity: The Global History of a Torture Technology
The spread of electric torture is part and parcel of the spread of democratization. In an age where globalization is linked to abuse and exploitation and democratization is touted as the province of all that’s right, it is striking to see that electric torture is more linked to the latter than to authoritarian regimes. It arises and spreads as police forces reinvent themselves in the face of democratization and international human rights scrutiny and as well-to-do democratic consumers increasingly fear for their security. Let me demonstrate this by sketching a lost history of a torture technology, investigating its invention and diffusion over the course of a century across the globe.
history  torture  electricity  government  punishment  technology  democracy  crime  abuse 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Ending Our Age Of Suffering | The New Republic
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen is the author of Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity, from which this piece is adapted.
genocide  war  military  eliminationism  20c  history  politics  law  international  crime  foreign-policy 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Open Left:: The Cultural Contradictions of Conservatism: Part 1
"Tim Wise-a leading authority on deconstructing white supremacy and white privilege, from the blatant to the subtle-posted a fascinating diary at DKos, Sociopathy on the Right: Ayn Rand and the Triumph of Conservative Cultism, the most shocking aspect of which was the revelation that an early heroic model for Rand was a notorious sociopathic child-kidnapper and killer, William Edward Hickman."
about(AynRand)  sociopathy  conservatism  producerism  ideology  self-sufficiency  crime  psychology  empathy 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Why the press can't get enough of Harvard or Yale murders. - By Jack Shafer - Slate Magazine
If you plan to be murdered and expect decent press coverage, please have the good sense to be a Harvard or Yale student or professor. America's top dailies and the cable networks will rush to the scene of the crime and sniff the vicinity for clues to your demise. They'll scrape your personal history and publish enough information to serve as a foundation for a made-for-TV movie about you.
media  journalism  ivy-league  crime  murder  bias 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Charlie's Diary: Merciless
Charles Stross on crime, health care, and mercy in America.
mercy  crime  politics  justice  america  punishment 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Sex laws: Unjust and ineffective | The Economist
Publicly accessible sex-offender registries are intended to keep people safe. But there is little evidence that they do. A study by Kristen Zgoba of the New Jersey Department of Corrections found that the state’s system for registering sex offenders and warning their neighbours cost millions of dollars and had no discernible effect on the number of sex crimes.
sex  punishment  crime  america  moral-panic 
august 2009 by tsuomela
slacktivist: It must be Job's fault
So when levies break and a city floods and no one with the authority to help comes to the aid of those trapped by the rising waters, we can't bear the idea that something just like that could happen just as suddenly to us. We decide that they, like Job, must have done something to bring this on themselves. We make up stories about violent looting mobs -- opportunists who chose to stay behind and whose fearsome ruthlessness prevents the sending of aid.
law  crime  victim  blame  fundamental-attribution-error  american  psychology  religion 
august 2009 by tsuomela - The cops work for you, or they’re supposed to
Victim blamers are often also telling a story about how they personally will never be raped, or in this case, arrested unfairly for doing something totally legal. To blame Gates for being stupid is to say, ”I would never get arrested for breaking into my house, because I have the sort of self-preservation instincts that this man is clearly missing.” People enjoy the illusion of having more mastery of the world than they do, because it makes them feel safe, but it also contributes to an atmosphere where victim-blaming can flourish, particularly in situations that are loaded with racial or gender politics.
police  law  crime  victim  blame  american  culture  fundamental-attribution-error 
august 2009 by tsuomela
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