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Sexless Males Screw Society

Why Polygamy is Bad for Society "A new study out of the University of British Columbia documents how societies have systematically evolved away from polygamy because of the social problems it causes. The Canadian researchers are really talking about polygyny, which is the term for one man with multiple wives, and which is by far the most common expression of polygamy. Women are usually thought of as the primary victims of polygynous marriages, but as cultural anthropologist Joe Henrich documents, the institution also causes problems for the young, low-status males denied wives by older, wealthy men who have hoarded all the women. And those young men create problems for everybody."
posted by bookman117 on Jul 19, 2012 - 190 comments

Jobs not Jails

"We don’t hire homies to bake bread. We bake bread to hire homies"--Father Gregory Boyle, Jesuit Priest and founder of Homeboy Industries. [more inside]
posted by apricot on Jul 16, 2012 - 23 comments

"The more ghoulish and extreme the show becomes, ...the more accurately it captures the reality of the cartels and their business."

The Uncannily Accurate Depiction of the Meth Trade in “Breaking Bad”
posted by reenum on Jul 16, 2012 - 58 comments

"The justice system is invisible, unable to deter or heal."

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)
posted by zarq on Jul 6, 2012 - 14 comments

“Might just as well say I’m dead.”

Quartavious Davis of Florida, now twenty, has been sentenced to 162 years without parole for his role in several armed robberies during which he discharged a firearm but no one was hurt. He was a teenager at the time of the crimes and had no previous record. The Supreme Court has recently ruled that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment." Davis was 18 and 19 at the time of the crimes, and the sentence was discretionary, so this ruling does not apply.
posted by 256 on Jul 4, 2012 - 195 comments

"During the proceedings, the prosecutor took the time to mention that no other printer in the world could do what Kuhl had done."

Hans-Jurgen Kuhl was able to create "shockingly perfect" copies of the American $100 bill by using his artistic talents to conquer the various security features present in the bill.
posted by reenum on Jul 4, 2012 - 28 comments

Faster and Furiouser

"The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal: A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust." [more inside]
posted by andoatnp on Jun 27, 2012 - 63 comments

Little Rascals

Child mugshots from the 1800s
posted by hermitosis on Jun 22, 2012 - 58 comments

"It is unlikely, I think, that this will generate a lot of media publicity," [Judge] Baer sighed to the jury in his preliminary instructions.

The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia is Matt Taibbi's take on the recent convictions in the municipal bond bid-rigging case of United States v. Dominick P. Carollo, Steven E. Goldberg, and Peter S. Grimm. These three fraudsters are among the fifteen convicted so far with regard to the federal government's investigation into nationwide municipal bond bid-rigging schemes. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Jun 22, 2012 - 45 comments

A Case So Cold It Was Blue

"A Case So Cold It Was Blue" is about Sherri Rasmussen's unsolved murder. [more inside]
posted by Avenger50 on Jun 20, 2012 - 17 comments

More Stand-Your-Ground, More Murder

In addition to removing the duty to retreat when outside the home, Florida's 2005 "Stand Your Ground" law removed the civil liability to offenders who had acted within the law and added a presumption of reasonable belief of imminent harm necessitating a lethal response. These three elements were present in over 20 other state laws similar to Florida's. The following NBER working paper by two Texas A&M economists provides new statistical evidence that these laws caused a 7 to 9 percent increase in homicides and non-negligent manslaughter. Consider this post a companion to this previously, as well as this previously. [more inside]
posted by scunning on Jun 14, 2012 - 40 comments

You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a good fella. He's one of us.

Informant, former wiseguy and goodfella Henry Hill (website, Wikipedia) has been made dead by illness. He was not a schnook.
posted by Artw on Jun 12, 2012 - 33 comments

Who Killed the Family Moore, why and what's the reason for?

The Ax Murderer Who Got Away - Shortly after midnight on June 10, 1912—one hundred years ago this week—a stranger hefting an ax lifted the latch on the back door of a two-story timber house in the little Iowa town of Villisca. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Jun 11, 2012 - 14 comments

Gingerbread House

"There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls. It’s been many years since any child was taken. But still, on nights like these, when the wind comes cold from Tsibeya, mothers hold their daughters tight and warn them not to stray too far from home. “Be back before dark,” they whisper. “The trees are hungry tonight.” Tor.com brings us some short horror/fairy tale fiction from Leigh Bardugo, "The Witch of Duva: A Ravkan Folk Tale."
posted by The Whelk on Jun 8, 2012 - 29 comments

The legacy of Stand Your Ground

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.
posted by verb on Jun 8, 2012 - 152 comments

Makers of All Things

3D printing can now make replacement jaws, thousands of user-designed widgets, electromechanical computers - but also ATM skimmer fronts, handcuff keys and gun parts. But can you own the shape of a thing? (Previously on the Blue.)
posted by Zarkonnen on Jun 1, 2012 - 40 comments

The trick is to rob them in ways that are systematic, impersonal, and almost impossible to trace to individual perpetrators.

How Corporations and Local Governments Use the Poor As Piggy Banks. Barbara Ehrenreich (previously) talks about how the cycle of poverty is perpetuated by wage theft, municipal/criminal fines, and debtors prisons.
posted by desjardins on May 20, 2012 - 85 comments

Governments Can Stop Prison Rape

In other positive criminal justice news, the US Department of Justice has issued long overdue rules for combating sexual assault of prisoners in federal, state, and local penitentiaries. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on May 18, 2012 - 31 comments

A Tale of Two Carlos

Los Tocayos Carlos - a comprehensive investigation by Columbia Law School Professor James Liebman and a team of students which uncovers evidence that Carlos DeLuna, a poor Hispanic man with childlike intelligence who was executed in Texas in 1989, was innocent. The issue of The Columbia Human Rights Law Review, entirely dedicated to this investigation, is available at this website.
posted by Gyan on May 14, 2012 - 42 comments

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try again.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try again: black Mississippi man tried six times for the same crime.
posted by Evilspork on May 10, 2012 - 33 comments

Uncatchable

George Wright, America's most elusive fugitive, ran for forty years. He ran from the cops after escaping from prison. He ran from the feds after the most brazen hijacking in history. He ran from the authorities on three continents, hiding out and blending in wherever he went. It was a historic run—and now that it's over, he might just pull off the greatest escape of all.
posted by vidur on May 3, 2012 - 75 comments

Agent Zero Is Dead

Finally, Gilbert Arenas reveals the whole story behind the infamous Washington Wizards guns in the locker room incident.
posted by reenum on Apr 14, 2012 - 37 comments

Executive Compensation

The Incentive Bubble (ungated pdf) - "The fraying of the compact of American capitalism by rising income inequality and repeated governance crises is disturbing. But misallocations of financial, real, and human capital arising from the financial-incentive bubble are much more worrisome to those concerned with the competitiveness of the American economy." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 3, 2012 - 54 comments

[LOUD MALE SCREAMING]

@Sheboyganscan attempts to transcribe everything that comes over the Sheboygan, Wisconsin police scanner. The fine folks at Something Awful have cherry picked a few gems.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 30, 2012 - 55 comments

The News Corporation scandals

Murdoch's Scandal - Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider) has investigated News Corporation for PBS Frontline [transcript]. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air [transcript]. But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK and Australia. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 28, 2012 - 58 comments

Michael Mann's "Thief"

Michael Mann's "Thief" is a film of style, substance, and violently felt emotion, all wrapped up in one of the most intelligent thrillers I've seen. - Roger Ebert [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 23, 2012 - 52 comments

It's a Dirty Job

The nation is awash with a new black market commodity... Across the country, retailers are finding massive amounts of this product missing. In West St. Paul, Minnesota, one enterprising individual has taken $25,000 dollars of this chemical that some Police Departments are calling liquid gold: Tide Detergent
posted by symbioid on Mar 13, 2012 - 100 comments

Mark every death. Remember every victim. Follow every case.

"Homicide Watch is a community-driven reporting project covering every murder in the District of Columbia. Using original reporting, court documents, social media, and the help of victims’ and suspects’ friends, family, neighbors and others, we cover every homicide from crime to conviction." [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on Mar 13, 2012 - 8 comments

Weak Interactions

Weak Interactions is a blog that looks at the science in Breaking Bad and the non-science in Fringe.
posted by reenum on Mar 12, 2012 - 59 comments

Crash the Justice System

Go to Trial: Crash the Justice System. Michelle Alexander argues that ubiquitous plea bargains have allowed America's politicians and judicial system to short-circuit constitutional due process and ignore the mechanics of mass incarceration. If everyone charged with crimes suddenly exercised his constitutional rights, there would not be enough judges, lawyers or prison cells to deal with the ensuing tsunami of litigation.
posted by the mad poster! on Mar 11, 2012 - 84 comments

"As with other online businesses, the site promised convenience and efficiency."

Need a spouse or uncooperative business associate taken care of? Have no fear! HitmanForHire.net is here.
posted by reenum on Mar 11, 2012 - 26 comments

Harry Redknapp, Rube of the Year

Despite evidence of extensive misconduct, English football coach Harry Redknapp remains beloved in the hearts and minds of football fans.
posted by reenum on Mar 4, 2012 - 41 comments

"...whatever job you take, you're going to spend a lot of time there. You should try to make it fun."

In 2007, the Madison (WI) Police Department hired their first civilian Public Information Officer: former reporter Joel DeSpain. Over the last five years, Mr. DeSpain has reportedly combined "humor, a flair for the dramatic and sense of the absurd", and turned the mundane Madison Police Blotter into an "art form and a thing of joy." So Why Has Madison Wisconsin Has Become the Weird News Capitol of the Midwest? Meet the United States’ most whimsical police reporter. (Last one's a gawker link. If you dislike their site / interface, have no fear: all reports in that article (plus four extras) can be found after the jump.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 28, 2012 - 19 comments

Surveillance state located

FBI General Counsel reveals that around 3,000 warrantless GPS trackers were removed after the ruling in U.S v. Jones clarified their illegality (judgement PDF) (previous FPP). The ruling that a mosaic of surveillance technologies may form an issue when considered individually and the FBI's view of likely future judgements on the matter is particularly interesting in the light of the forthcoming cert/standing findings regarding warrantless eavesdropping.
posted by jaduncan on Feb 26, 2012 - 20 comments

In a Mailbox: A Shared Gun, Just for the Asking

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.
posted by reenum on Feb 18, 2012 - 53 comments

"We thought we would empty death row, not triple its population."

"Each of us remains a staunch Republican conservative, but our perspectives on the death penalty have changed.... Each of us, independently, has concluded that the death penalty isn't working for California." The authors of California's Death Penalty Act of 1978, which expanded use of the death penalty in the state, have publicly endorsed the SAFE Initiative to abolish capital punishment in California. (Previously)
posted by scody on Feb 12, 2012 - 26 comments

Raise the Crime Rate

Raise the crime rate: an argument for the abolition of prison.
posted by latkes on Feb 10, 2012 - 62 comments

Tearoom: Too busy sucking on a ding-dong

In 1962, the Mansfield (Ohio) Police Department stationed officers armed with a movie camera behind a two-way mirror in a public restroom known for its "cruisy" atmosphere. With the help of the footage shot, dozens of men were arrested, prosecuted, and convicted on sodomy charges, which at the time carried mandatory minimum sentences of a year in prison. In 2007, the original surveillance footage was obtained by filmmaker William E. Jones. He's screened the unedited 56 minute film as Tearoom at festivals and museums the world over, providing a clandestine look at the scrutiny small-town Midwestern gay men faced in the 1960's. [warning: explicit, NSFW material lies beyond most links] [more inside]
posted by item on Feb 9, 2012 - 82 comments

Market Ouvert

Normally, when you buy stolen goods, you don't legally own them. The person they were stolen from still does. Unless: Until 1995, if you bought them in Bermondsey Market, London, between the hours of sunrise and sunset, they would then belong to you, even if clearly stolen.
posted by Zarkonnen on Feb 8, 2012 - 32 comments

of Spivs, Cosh boys & Creepers

Flick Knives, Dance Music and Edwardian Suits: Teddy Boys, Christmas Humphreys and the murder of John Beckley on Clapham Common in 1953.
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 30, 2012 - 15 comments

ReWired

After the Wire, actress Sonja Sohn couldn’t leave Baltimore’s troubled streets behind.
posted by modernnomad on Jan 27, 2012 - 18 comments

PDF-ed

A UK man who downloaded recipes on how to make explosive devices has been jailed under the controversial Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 which makes it a crime to be "in possession of records of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism". [more inside]
posted by unSane on Jan 27, 2012 - 81 comments

Hanging the machine guns on the wall was a bad idea.

If you like real-life crime drama, Burgled in Philly, by John Davidson, will keep you occupied for a few minutes. [more inside]
posted by gilrain on Jan 26, 2012 - 40 comments

The Caging of America

The scale and the brutality of our prisons are the moral scandal of American life. Every day, at least fifty thousand men—a full house at Yankee Stadium—wake in solitary confinement, often in “supermax” prisons or prison wings, in which men are locked in small cells, where they see no one, cannot freely read and write, and are allowed out just once a day for an hour’s solo “exercise.” (Lock yourself in your bathroom and then imagine you have to stay there for the next ten years, and you will have some sense of the experience.)
posted by Trurl on Jan 24, 2012 - 102 comments

A California City Is Into Tweeting—Chirping, Actually—in a Big Way

Lancaster, CA employs an innovative method of crime fighting: bird noises.
posted by reenum on Jan 24, 2012 - 20 comments

Rise of the Glock

How the Glock Became America's Weapon of Choice The Glock was created in 1982 by a curtain rod manufacturer named Gaston Glock. Glock didn't like the handguns available on the market and decided to manufacture a new gun from scratch. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jan 24, 2012 - 123 comments

The Brand

David Grann of the New Yorker writes about the power of the Aryan Brotherhood inside America's federal prisons.
posted by reenum on Jan 23, 2012 - 20 comments

West Memphis 3 Continued

New witnesses surface on the infamous West Memphis 3 case based on Peter Jackson's upcoming documentary which will premiere as one piece at the 2012 Sundance. Here's the trailer. [more inside]
posted by straight_razor on Jan 20, 2012 - 40 comments

What's My Name Again?

Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona was arrested today in the Dominican Republic and charged with using a false identity. [more inside]
posted by SisterHavana on Jan 19, 2012 - 26 comments

Those without the capital get the punishment

All this brings me to an Indian I want you to know better than his jury did—Douglas Ray Stankewitz, the longest tenured inmate on California’s death row. Like most Indians who find themselves in a group of non-Indians, he is currently known as Chief, but unlike many Indians, he is proud of the nickname. The government wants to kill Chief because Theresa Greybeal was shot dead in the course of a robbery by a group of people high on heroin, and there is no question that Chief was one of them. There is a serious question about who pulled the trigger, and juries are reluctant to kill individuals who did not pull the trigger. But as far as his jury knew, Douglas Stankewitz pulled the trigger. And he might have, but we will never know, based on his trial.
posted by latkes on Jan 15, 2012 - 31 comments

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