Every year, the vast majority of murders in Chicago go unsolved. The city's homicide-clearance rate of 26% (a case is cleared as soon as someone is charged) is less than half the national average. The rate for non-fatal shootings is 10%. Meaning, if you shoot someone in Chicago, you have a pretty good chance of getting away with it. Alex Kotlowitz writes here about how Chicago law enforcement's abysmal homicide-clearance rate may be contributing to violence in the city. (previously)
Badge of Dishonor: Top Oakland Police Department Officials Looked Away as East Bay Cops Sexually Exploited and Trafficked a Teenager [East Bay Express] According to a stunning set of allegations, a teenage human trafficking victim in the Bay Area was coerced into sex by at least 22 officers over a six month period. [more inside]
After more than a decade of decline, Baltimore's homicide rate spikes up. Tonight it just broke the 300 mark. [more inside]
Why are little kids in Japan so independent? - 'If we had a nonviolent society, kids could walk around on their own, unafraid, like they do in Japan'. (via)
Over five decades of economic decline and racial conflict, a Western Pennsylvania mill town has found unity and hope on the football field. "There is no drug dealing at the Pit, and rarely any violence," Walker says. "It really is sacred ground; it's like a miracle. You've got guys that, any other time of the day, they're going to try and rip each other's throats out, but they just walk past each other in the Pit. They're there to watch those kids play."
What Caused the Crime Decline? [Brennan Center for Justice]
"What Caused the Crime Decline? examines one of the nation’s least understood recent phenomena – the dramatic decline in crime nationwide over the past two decades – and analyzes various theories for why it occurred, by reviewing more than 40 years of data from all 50 states and the 50 largest cities. It concludes that over-harsh criminal justice policies, particularly increased incarceration, which rose even more dramatically over the same period, were not the main drivers of the crime decline. In fact, the report finds that increased incarceration has been declining in its effectiveness as a crime control tactic for more than 30 years. Its effect on crime rates since 1990 has been limited, and has been non-existent since 2000."A report by Oliver Roeder, Lauren-Brooke Eisen, and Julia Bowling, with a foreword by Joseph E. Stiglitz and an executive summary by Inimai Chettiar Brennan Center for Justice, NYU Law School, 134 pp. [Foreword] [PDF] [Scribd] [more inside]
Jordan Davis's mother, Lucia McBath, reflects on the guilty verdict in his murderer's trial. by Ta-Nehisi Coates (SLAtlantic) [more inside]
It was just after dark when Michael Martin, 56, was walking back to his home in New Orleans’ Marigny neighborhood, after helping a friend move... That's when he was jumped by a group of 13-year-olds and kicked, punched, and choked unconscious. He's not alone. It turns out that New Orleans middle schoolers are beating the shit out of artists and gays.
California drive-by shooting: 'Son of Hunger Games assistant director' Elliot Rodger suspected of killing six in attack. Rodger embarked on his shooting spree hours after posting an online video detailing his plans for "retribution" for rejection by women. [more inside]
Burt Likko is a lawyer who used to handle litigation arising from bar fights. He's learned a bit about how and why they happen.
Kelli Stapleton kept a candid blog about the struggles of raising Issy, a teenager with autism who suffers frequent violent episodes. A newspaper profile from earlier this spring detailed the family's trouble accessing the professional help Issy requires. Kelli admitted in her most recent blog post on September 3rd: "I have to admit that I’m suffering from a severe case of battle fatigue." Later that day, [Kelli's husband] received a message from Kelli that police described as "despondent". Kelli Stapleton is now under arrest on charges of attempted murder and Issy remains hospitalized after what appears to be a failed murder/suicide. Bloggers from the national autism community have responded.
The UK Peace Index [PDF], a new publication from The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), has produced a startling new headline: against public perceptions of crime, both crime and homicide have fallen significantly. The fall over the last decade has resulted in the UK homicide rate now being roughly equivalent to that of the Western European average, and it is now at its lowest level since 1978. [more inside]
In July 2007, NPR published a two part series (direct links: 1, 2) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf) from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime," NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
In 2005, Florida passed controversial "Stand Your Ground" legislation, allowing homeowners to defend their property with lethal force. While the Trayvon Martin case focused national attention on the law, roughly two hundred cases have used it as a key part of the defense. In a new investigative report, The Tampa Bay Times catalogs the past six years of "Stand your Ground" cases and highlights the law's troubling and unexpected results.
With a tough economy and less money to go around, gang members in New York City are resorting to sharing guns hidden in easily accessible places.
David Grann of the New Yorker writes about the power of the Aryan Brotherhood inside America's federal prisons.
"In my next conscious moment, I was dimly aware that I was facedown on the pavement. There was blood in my mouth."
"A Mugging on Lake Street" : John Conroy -- author and former staff writer of the Chicago Reader best known for his articles on police torture finds himself a victim of a "senseless" crime and is forced by circumstance to examine his own opinions about race, hate crimes, and violence. (last link is referenced in original article)
Culture Of Fear. An interesting look at the security concerns National Football League players harbour in the wake of the death of Sean Taylor, who was robbed and shot within his own home. Previously. [more inside]
The Case of Cory Maye. A cop is dead, an innocent man may be on death row, and drug warriors keep knocking down doors.
Crime and violence are everyday happenings in Cambodia. The Cambodian media thrives on it. But is it just everyday violence or something deeper?
Racial profiling to end Toronto gun violence? Michael Thompson, a black city councillor, says police should be allowed to "target" young black men at random as part of a crackdown on guns. The mayor, police, and public collectively go, "Whaaaa!?"
"It has always been as if I carry chaos with me the way others carry typhoid. My purpose in writing is to transcend my existence by illuminating it." Crime novelist Edward Bunker, who died last Tuesday at age 71 (LATimes obit), became at 17 the youngest inmate at San Quentin after he stabbed a prison guard at a youth detention facility. It was during his 18 years of incarceration for robbery, check forgery and other crimes that Bunker learned to write. In 1973, while still in prison, he made his literary debut with "No Beast So Fierce", a novel about a paroled thief James Ellroy called "quite simply one of the great crime novels of the past 30 years" and that was made into the movie "Straight Time" starring Dustin Hoffman. Also a screenwriter ("Runaway Train"), Bunker appeared as an actor in nearly two dozen roles, most notably as Mr. Blue in "Reservoir Dogs." (more inside)
Crothersville, Indiana. John Neace forces himself to pass by the run-down apartment buildings every day. Inside, the police say, Mr. Neace's 10-year-old daughter stumbled on someone with methamphetamine last month. Her drowned body was found five days later at a nearby creek, small hands tied tightly behind her back.
Pick A Lock, Any Lock: Why do Selfdefenseproducts.com's products seem so ill-related to self-defense and so suited to, er, crime and violence? Got your PayPal ready? File under "Only in America". (Via Bifurcated Rivets.)
Court Grants Blacks Special Sentencing Sentences for black offenders can be reduced or tailored to reflect the systemic racism that has historically plagued their community, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled. The 3-0 judgment came in a case involving Quinn Borde, a black gunman from Toronto's seedy Regent Park area. The 18-year-old admitted to firing a gun repeatedly into the air while being chased by a gang and pistol-whipping a rival later.
"nearly 20" kids beat man to brain death with bats, shovels and boards Brutal stuff. One of the kids in custody is only 10 years old. The victim had "confronted them for throwing an egg at him and punched one teen in the mouth". They went and organized a mob, and returned, according to the Milwaukee Police. What do you do with a 10 year old murderer, anyway?
"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?
A frustrated housewife stabs a 7 year old. After her arrest, the assailant blamed it on her bad mood.
U.S. reports steepest annual violent crime drop Incidents of violent crime plummeted nearly 15 percent in 2000, the steepest one-year drop since the federal government began keeping track in 1973. Last year's data continue a trend that began early in the last decade. From 1993 through 2000, rapes dropped 60 percent, aggravated assaults fell 52.5 percent and motor vehicle theft dropped 52.4 percent.
texas death row inmate severs chaplain's arm with razor: "A Texas death row inmate Friday grabbed the arm of a volunteer chaplain, tied it with a sheet to a toilet and nearly sawed it off with a razor blade. "It was just hanging by some threads," said a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.