Men receive longer sentences for equivalent crimes.
This paper assesses gender disparities in federal criminal cases. It finds large gender gaps favoring women throughout the sentence length distribution (averaging over 60%), conditional on arrest offense, criminal history, and other pre-charge observables. Female arrestees are also significantly likelier to avoid charges and convictions entirely, and twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted. Prior studies have reported much smaller sentence gaps because they have ignored the role of charging, plea-bargaining, and sentencing fact-finding in producing sentences. Most studies control for endogenous severity measures that result from these earlier discretionary processes and use samples that have been winnowed by them. I avoid these problems by using a linked dataset tracing cases from arrest through sentencing. Using decomposition methods, I show that most sentence disparity arises from decisions at the earlier stages, and use the rich data to investigate causal theories for these gender gaps. [more inside]
Everyone's favorite prison simulator Prison Architect
wins Halloween with an awesome Easter egg
A gang of thieves dubbed "the vacuum burglars"
has struck for the fifteenth time in France, drilling a hole in the pneumatic tube that siphons money from the checkout to the strong-room. They then sucked rolls of cash totalling £60,000 from the safe without even having to break its lock. A classic exploitation of a vulnerability in a system. But is it worth it to fix? via, via [more inside]
New York city in the 19th century was famous for it's corruption, criminals and "Gangs of New York."
All of them knew exactly who to call when they were in trouble, the law firm of Howe and Hummel
. [more inside]
The Czech Republic offers surgical castration
as a "voluntary" option to sex offenders, whose rate of recidivism in some studies then drops precipitously. Officials at the Council of Europe
, calling the punishment "invasive, irreversible and mutilating." Atul Gawande noted 10 years ago
that, despite his reservations, castration works - at least against a subclass of offenders: the pedophiles and sadists.
Crime and punishment
- a curiously compelling and quirky collection of historic crime photos, including unusual mugshots, corpses & crime scenes. A few favorite characters: idle and disorderly persons
; "something amazing" about Harry
; a cocky quartet
; an illicit drug trader
who "drives his own motor car and dresses well"; a subject who refused to open his eyes
; charged with conspiring to procure a miscarriage
; and guilty of unlawfully possessing cocaine
This is just one of many marvelous vintage image sets
from a historical consultant from Amsterdam - a mammoth treasure trove!
The Newgate Calendar.
"THE deeds of ancient robber outlaws and of highway-men -- what a treasure-house pierced with windows for the imagination!" Read about the lives of notorious criminals of days past, such as Sawyney Beane
, murderer and cannibal; Daniel Dawson
, race-horse poisoner; John Tayler and Thomas Martin
, body snatchers; or the infamous Mary Frith
, also known as Moll Cutpurse
, a cross-dressing, pistol-wearing, tobacco-smoking rogue and the real life inspiration for Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders
The Prison Policy Initiative
conducts research and advocacy on incarceration policy. Some interesting data include the proliferation
of prisons in the US over the last century, disenfranchisement
of potential black voters, global incarceration rates
and percentage of US population under control
of the criminal justice system.
Galvanic Experiments on the Dead Body of a Criminal
: The macabre electrical reanimation of Matthew Clydesdale`s hung body
. Excerpts from The Young Man's Book of Amusement
(1854). Just one of the fascinating "weird science" entries at Lateral Science
- the history of organized crime in New York City. A growing database of photos, biographies, newspaper clippings and family trees from 1890 on. And for the godfather trackers among us, there's also Boston Mafia
, which includes the history of a notorious contemporary fugitive
, lately in the news via testimony from his brother, Billy Bulger
Robert Meeropol, the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, writes about his parents.
I'm suprised nobody else posted about this yesterday--June 19th was the 50th anniversary of their execution for espionage
The executions at Sing Sing on June 19, 1953, ended a sensational Cold War case that still symbolizes the years when McCarthyism held sway and the government's word was accepted more readily than today. It was the first execution of civilians for espionage in U.S. history and it reverberated into the issues of dissent, anti-Semitism and capital punishment.
Pete Seeger and others comment here
; the Guardian here
. The Committee to Reopen the Rosenberg Trial
(which features representations of the couple by Picasso, among others) notes that:
In August of 1993, members of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation re-enacted the 1951 trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. A moot trial was conducted with expertise and meticulous concern for accuracy. The unanimous verdict of the twelve jurors was "Not Guilty." This "trial" and its dramatic outcome was widely reported by the media - for one day only.
What About Three-Strikes-and-You're-Out for Corporate Criminals?
California State Senator Gloria Romero recently introduced a bill that would hold California's law-breaking corporations to the same standard to which the state holds its law-breaking citizens. Three strikes and you're out. (original link from Robotwisdom)
Boneheads of the Year
- The year may only be just shy of two months old, but these two Massachusetts men have already wrapped up the award for 2003. Really, how dumb can TWO people be?
Teenage vampire found guilty of murder.
Last November a Welsh 17-year old stabbed a neighbour to death, removed her heart & drank her blood in a bid for immortality. He was sentenced to life imprisonment today.
"Four years after father's dragging death, Ross Byrd speaks about his change of heart over executions."
James Byrd Jr., was tied to the back of a pickup with logging chain, then dragged along a Texas country road until his body fell apart. White supremacist John W. King was one of two men sentenced to death for Byrd's murder. "On Wednesday, Ross Byrd traveled to the state prison in Huntsville to lead a 24-hour fast and prayer vigil on King's behalf. 'When I heard King had exhausted his appeals, I began thinking, `How can this help me or solve my pain?' and I realized it couldn't,' Byrd said."
So much for retribution. Instead of yet another senseless execution (this next to be performed with 18-gauge intravenous needle in lieu of logging chain), ponder a possible healing...a rebirth...crystallizing from the son of a murdered black man saving the life of his father's racist killer.
Killer to be executed
even though victim's mother requested a commuted sentence to life imprisonment. Shouldn't family members of the victim have some sort of say in whether a convicted killer should be executed or not? Especially when they are against
the execution of the perpetrator?
Just an add-on toThe Texas Conveyor Belt of Death
thread from yesterday.
Naughty Children to Be Registered as Potential Criminals in the UK
UK police are to set up a secret database of children as young as three who they fear might grow up to become criminals. What next, DNA testing on embryos to find out if they have a genetic leaning towards criminal behaviour? Link courtesy of Backwash.
"My son is not a bad boy"
has become a cliche. But what's the right thing to do when a loved one does something wrong? What about something VERY wrong
? What is a parent's proper response?
isn't about drugs at all. It's a site that collects information about pro athletes and their run-ins with various law enforcement agencies. They have an All-Cracksmoker team, Cracksmoker Survivor, and databases divided by sport (and yes, Florida State football has its own database).
Strathclyde Police, Scotland,
given the right to take DNA samples from anyone arrested. Previously DNA samples were taken only from those suspected of murders, sex attacks or serious assaults.
Sir John Orr, Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, denied that compulsory testing would infringe people's human rights. He said: "The tests are not invasive, not intrusive and not against civil liberties. The vast majority of people will be asked only to give a simple mouth swab, which can be done in seconds. This is a magnificent tool which will help detect crime and the public should be very pleased."
Read: you have nothing to fear if you're innocent...
"Naming and shaming" needs to stop
is being claimed by groups who are meeting with News of the World
executives. These groups claim that releasing information about pedophiles to communities is degrading and sparks more violence than good. They beleive making jail sentences longer will become a better alternative to hilighting offenders, and help to reform them to the point where the information is not needed by those around them.