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Discrepancies in sentencing.

Men receive longer sentences for equivalent crimes. Abstract: 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]
posted by vapidave on Dec 9, 2013 - 54 comments

Prison Architect flash mob

Everyone's favorite prison simulator Prison Architect wins Halloween with an awesome Easter egg.
posted by Artw on Oct 31, 2013 - 44 comments

The Vanishing Art of the Dip

The mark strolls along a city sidewalk, fresh out of the bank, his wallet in his back pocket, blithely unaware that he's stumbled into the clutches of a practiced jug troupe. Slate's Joe Keohane mourns the dying art of picking pockets. [more inside]
posted by steambadger on Feb 25, 2011 - 58 comments

A series of tubes, literally hacked.

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]
posted by nevercalm on Sep 26, 2010 - 38 comments

Here's Howe and Here's Hummel

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]
posted by interplanetjanet on May 1, 2010 - 9 comments

Czech Surgical Castration for Sex Offenders - Good Idea?

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 are outraged, 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.
posted by shivohum on Mar 14, 2009 - 86 comments

The Many Faces of Crime

In one of the largest jewelry heists in history, robbers -- at least two wearing women's wigs and dresses -- relieved a Harry Winston boutique of $108 million worth of diamond rings, necklaces, and watches. Despite criminal investigation teachings that robbers "have better things to do with their money than to buy an array of masks and disguises" and will opt for functional attire, many thieves express themselves creatively and impractically through costumery, dressing as Dracula and Black Father Christmas, a tree, Greek prime ministers, clowns, and ghosts, while others cover their faces with duct tape, cookie dough, drywall, and baking-flour-and-ketchup. Minimalists just wear men's underwear and women's thongs on their heads.
posted by terranova on Dec 6, 2008 - 29 comments

The end of net nuetrality.

FCC to investigate Comcast's traffic-management practices. The AP and the EFF both have confirmed that they do interfere with some certain file sharing technologies. Previously.
posted by Mr_Zero on Jan 8, 2008 - 27 comments

criminals, corpses & crime scenes - a vintage collection

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!
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 3, 2007 - 39 comments

oh what tangled webs we weave....GOP Rep McHenry's roomies, and more

McHenry and his "roommates" -- GOP Rep Patrick McHenry (NC), co-owner of a DC home with Scott G. Stewart, former chair of the College Republican Nat'l Cttee (and bilker of many senior citizens), received a DC home-ownership reduction improperly. McHenry's actual home in North Carolina was apparently also home to quite a collection of young men: (convicted fraudulent voter) Michael Aaron Lay, Neil Everett Capano, Matthew Allen Hamilton, and (multiple violations, including "death by vehicle") Jason Jent Deans. Also, McHenry's 04 consultant Ralph Gonzales was one of the men involved in a recent FL murder/suicide, and links to Robert Drake, the killer (political work in NC and escort service connections), are still being documented. Stay tuned! [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Sep 28, 2007 - 67 comments

...a book fraught with the romance and colour of human lives which, if not always of the most exalted, are certainly among the most vivid.

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.
posted by papakwanz on Feb 2, 2007 - 9 comments

Breaking news

Newsfilter: $75,000 in Bull Semen Is Stolen From Frederick Farm. Oy Vey. (via)
posted by growabrain on Feb 4, 2006 - 23 comments

Lots of lockups

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.
posted by Gyan on Jul 27, 2005 - 42 comments

A place for everything...and the ability to track it.

GPS to the rescue! With all the hoopla over California's proposal to tax consumers by adding GPS trackers to cars, has anyone thought about more useful things like tracking criminals on probation?
What do you think? Is this useful, or just a slippery-slope? (via /.)
posted by mystyk on Feb 16, 2005 - 6 comments

Don't hang up on Texas!

Have a good day Ms. Beyer! "Before you are rude to another telemarketer, you should keep in mind that he or she has your phone number and your address." Texas Telemarketer sends a threatening letter to a hanger-upper.
posted by wfrgms on Dec 7, 2004 - 39 comments

Correctional Evolution

New Behaviour Correction - The North American penal systems are outdated. If we look to the UK, evidence of specific punishment points to a new method of behavior correction. The current NA system seems incredibly unspecific when we punish a host of crimes by sending people to the same cage.
posted by lightweight on Sep 3, 2004 - 11 comments

Twisted Reality 0.1 Beta

Policing Virtual Reality. Wired reports on Sociolotron(NSFW). A MMORPG that allows gamers to rob, rape, and kill other players. Being a gamer, I understand that actions in an MMORPG aren't "real" but how far can you take it?

"Lord Foucault is an admitted rapist. He does it on impulse -- for the thrill of it and for the feeling of control he has over his female victims." Is this any different than running around and killing dwarves?
posted by jopreacher on Jun 29, 2004 - 50 comments

Down boy! I said, DOWN!

The Son of Sam has a blog. Most recent entries are here.
posted by CunningLinguist on Jun 11, 2004 - 76 comments

DuPoint stolen coin collection.

For 36 years, Harold Gray has been on an extraordinary mission -- to recover what may be the most famous stolen coin collection in the United States. Since October 1967, when five hooded gunmen invaded the Coconut Grove estate of chemical empire heir Willis Harrington duPont, binding the family with silk neckties and stealing the valuable coin collection from duPont's safe, Gray has been on the case. ''We remain,'' he says today, ``in hot pursuit.''
posted by stbalbach on Apr 5, 2004 - 4 comments

Lateral Science

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.
posted by crunchland on Sep 25, 2003 - 9 comments

Rap Not Music to Whitey's Ears

Rap Not Music to Whitey's Ears A group of alleged white extremists facing treason charges in South Africa has complained about being forced to listen to "black" music while on remand in prison.
posted by turbanhead on Aug 19, 2003 - 14 comments

sentence pun here

Man sentenced to read "To Kill A Mockingbird." For spitting at a cop and disorderly conduct, a PA man is jailed and required to read and write a report on Harper Lee's classic. What other books might be fit punishment for certain crimes? (via Obscurestore)
posted by serafinapekkala on Jul 16, 2003 - 52 comments

Hold off those wedding bells, Einstein.

Geniuses and criminals 'fade' after marriage. Men are most creative and competitive before they settle down, resulting in a drop in both academic output and criminal records after tying the knot.
posted by spazzm on Jul 9, 2003 - 59 comments

GangRule - organized crime in NYC and in Boston

GangRule - 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.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 24, 2003 - 8 comments

50 year anniversary of the Rosenberg's execution

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.
posted by jokeefe on Jun 20, 2003 - 20 comments

Go To Jail

Sixth-grader goes to jail for stomping in a mud puddle. Police called it a proper arrest.
posted by Ron on Apr 15, 2003 - 25 comments

Great French Prison Escapes.

Another great French prison escape. Two members of an international drug smuggling ring hijack a helicopter, abseil into the prison exercise yard, and resuce a third man. Also, “last month, a commando-style gang used plastic explosives and a rocket launcher to blow its way into a prison near Paris and free a convict serving a sentence for organized crime. In a separate attack, men brandishing what turned out to be a fake rocket launcher freed another crime kingpin from a prison in Borgo on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.” In August, a man secretly replaced his brother, a Basque separatist leader, in prison.
posted by Mo Nickels on Apr 14, 2003 - 7 comments

3 strikes your out

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)
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 8, 2003 - 37 comments

Stupid criminals

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?
posted by MediaMan on Feb 26, 2003 - 12 comments

Belleville housing inspections

The Overcrowding Police

Belleville inspectors and armed police officers show up without search warrants to check for occupancy code violations, and ticket people who don't let them in -- a practice experts say is unconstitutional.
.....
Invite friends over, babysit your grandchildren or allow relatives to spend the night in Belleville and you risk an armed police officer turning up at your door to search your home and give you a ticket. Enforcement teams consisting of a housing inspector and a police officer do not obtain search warrants before showing up to check for occupancy code violations, a Belleville News-Democrat investigation found.
posted by nofundy on Dec 13, 2002 - 14 comments

Neighbour jailed for branding pedophile's genitals.

Neighbour jailed for branding pedophile's genitals. A man attacks his two young nephews and his neighbours find out and burn him with a hot spatula as punishment. The neighbour is then imprisoned. I realise this is vigilante justice and on an intellectual level, it's wrong, but emotionally I'm finding it hard to muster much sympathy for people who attack kids and face a backlash like this. What are your reactions?
posted by Jubey on Aug 29, 2002 - 45 comments

Teenage vampire found guilty of murder.

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.
posted by i_cola on Aug 2, 2002 - 32 comments

A tale of two dumb-dumbs.

A tale of two dumb-dumbs. This car enthusiast forum story really has me wondering who the dumb one is in this situation: the guy who got his car stolen, or the guy who stole the car.

Guy befriends another guy on the forum, starts talking, gives out his VIN, information on when he drives his car to work, and his address only to have the other forum-goer steal his car. Then, the brilliant car thief posts up parts from said stolen car on the EXACT SAME forum under a new name, then makes the mistake of logging in under his old name and posting a message in his sale thread.

An amusing read to say the least.
posted by PWA_BadBoy on Jul 11, 2002 - 10 comments

"Four years after father's dragging death, Ross Byrd speaks about his change of heart over executions."

"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.
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Jul 5, 2002 - 57 comments

John Gotti, the former head of New York's Gambino crime family, died in a prison hospital today at age 61.

John Gotti, the former head of New York's Gambino crime family, died in a prison hospital today at age 61. He was serving a life sentence after 1992 convictions for racketeering and six killings. "Sammy Bull" Gravano must be breathing easier today.
posted by tranquileye on Jun 10, 2002 - 13 comments

NewYorkTimesFilter: Study Shows Building Prisons Did Not Prevent Repeat Crimes

Study Shows Building Prisons Did Not Prevent Repeat Crimes
(New York Times link--you know the drill)
The rate at which inmates released from state prisons commit new crimes rose from 1983 to 1994, a time when the number of people behind bars doubled, according to a Justice Department study released yesterday.
The report found that 67 percent of inmates released from state prisons in 1994 committed at least one serious new crime within three years. That is 5 percent higher than among inmates released in 1983.
Criminologists generally agree that the prison-building binge of the last 25 years, in which the number of Americans incarcerated quadrupled to almost two million, has helped reduce the crime rate simply by keeping criminals off the streets. There has been more debate about whether longer sentences and the increase in the number of prisoners have also helped to deter people from committing crimes. The new report, some crime experts say, suggests that the answer is no. (More inside)
posted by y2karl on Jun 2, 2002 - 22 comments

Killer to be executed

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.
posted by da5id on May 21, 2002 - 18 comments

"The Texas conveyor belt of death rolls on.

"The Texas conveyor belt of death rolls on. Against international law, three Texas inmates face imminent execution for murders committed when they were children. Since 1998, Texas has killed five child offenders - people who were under 18 at the time of the crimes. If Napoleon Beazley, TJ Jones and Toronto Patterson are put to death on 28 May, 8 August, and 28 August respectively, Texas will have executed as many child offenders in a four-month period as Iran, the next worst perpetrator outside the USA, has carried out in the whole of the past decade."

Ha! Yet another area where them loser Axis of Evil® fellas ain't up to the standards of the good ol' U.$. of A.
posted by fold_and_mutilate on May 20, 2002 - 124 comments

Interview with an Ol Dirty Bastard.

Interview with an Ol Dirty Bastard. This is the first interview with ODB I have seen since he was thrown in the slammer. ODB's first two releases were crazy brilliant and full of life. Now he sits in one of the worst prisons around, depressed and unmedicated, for parole violation. Reading this, do you think the court succeeded in breaking his spirit? Is he doomed to flame out when he gets out? Is it wrong that his new cd seems made without his input, and is weak compared to his amazing first two? Would you want to get out of prison and find someone made a book out of your throw off writings? Finally, do you like ODB?
posted by zenhues on Mar 28, 2002 - 28 comments

Profile of Henderson County, TX.

Profile of Henderson County, TX. Seems that everyone is smoking dope and beating their families. If you have run into trouble with the law in Cattarragus County, NY you may be on this list. Or it could be that you know a current resident of this facility. If your picture is shown here then you probably better steer clear of Illinois.
posted by Stretch on Mar 28, 2002 - 0 comments

Shoplifters Of The World, Unite And Take Over!

Shoplifters Of The World, Unite And Take Over! An interesting NYT article(reg.req.)says stealing from restaurants is increasing. But it's still only 3% of tableware costs and allegedly doesn't contribute to higher prices. I confess I often lift the odd item from hotel rooms. Not just as "souvenirs" - that would be hypocritical. As booty. So, what ethical constraints and liberties do MetaFilterians think should be taken into consideration when stealing? Does it matter whom you're stealing from and how much money you've previously spent on them? And, for the more immoral fellow members, what are the best strategies for liberating certain objects?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 28, 2002 - 259 comments

In California, it's now legal for criminals to profit from the sale of stories related to their crimes.

In California, it's now legal for criminals to profit from the sale of stories related to their crimes. Yesterday the CA Supreme Court unanimously struck down the 16 year-old Son of Sam law. The test case involved the movie rights to the story of the man who kidnapped Frank Sinatra, Jr. Victims are angry, but others say that the law represented a direct conflict with free speech, and could have been used to suppress anti-government voices. (more inside)
posted by bingo on Feb 22, 2002 - 15 comments

Why

Why are some police sketch artists so BAD? Images from a fascinating set of sketches at sharpeworld.com.
posted by machaus on Feb 17, 2002 - 24 comments

Wow, talk about your bad luck.

Wow, talk about your bad luck. Or perhaps proof that heavy pot use(or hot-tubbing) can addle your thinking processes.
posted by jonmc on Feb 6, 2002 - 11 comments

Porn and pizza

Porn and pizza keep inmates happy over New Year's. Typically New Year's Eve is a somewhat rowdy event at this prison with inmates starting fires and refusing to go back to their cells. So this year, some employees struck a deal with the inmates to show porn and have pizza at New Year's provided they don't cause any trouble.

Now that word has got out to higher authorities and an investigation is in place. And heads will roll...
posted by PWA_BadBoy on Jan 17, 2002 - 23 comments

In what seems to be a major turnaround for the state, Texas may not be seeking the death penatly against Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children in a bathtub. They're bargaining for a guilty plea; should she take the deal? Or, does she actually deserve death?
posted by Yelling At Nothing on Jan 8, 2002 - 90 comments

Naughty Children to Be Registered as Potential Criminals in the UK

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.
posted by Jubey on Nov 26, 2001 - 14 comments

"My son is not a bad boy"

"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?
posted by marknau on Aug 30, 2001 - 31 comments

German satanic couple held after ritual murder

German satanic couple held after ritual murder Nothing better to create hits than this.
It has: devil-worshipping, satanic killing, with 66 machete and hammer wounds, "The victim was no longer recognisable", DNA analysis to discover his identity, black oak coffin, upturned crosses, Nazi SS rune stones, Count Dracula's castle, walls were covered in black cloths, "When Satan Lives", July 6, a date supposedly chosen for the satanic symbolism of number six, The shaven-headed, body-pierced Daniel and his pink-haired, leather-clad bride Manuela, occult chat-line....

I'll stop now, but there's more....
posted by nonharmful on Jul 26, 2001 - 11 comments

Let your three pit bulls maul a young child, hide them,

Let your three pit bulls maul a young child, hide them, go to jail. This would be a lot less appalling if the SF Chron had not chosen to run it underneath the story about "poodle boy".
posted by swell on Jun 20, 2001 - 12 comments

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