Violent crime recently has been increasing in the United States. Although data from the Uniform Crime Reports are complete only though 2020, local data that now are available suggest that in many areas of the country, violent crime increases have continued into 2022. There also have been several recent mass shootings, defined by four or more deaths from a single shooting incident. Mass shootings account for a tiny fraction of all homicides but add dramatically to the visibility of gun violence.
On Saturday night, June 4th, 15 people were shot while enjoying a night out on the 200 block of South Street in Philadelphia. Restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues had drawn large crowds when a fight broke out, and shots were fired. Eleven people were wounded. Three were killed. Because of the large number of revelers and an earlier incident, many police officers already had been patrolling near by. As the shooting began, some bystanders drew their handguns. It is not clear whether they fired any shots.
Current Russian drug policy is punitive toward people who use drugs. Moreover, criminal justice in Russia is driven by strong organizational incentives to increase performance indicators of police such as clearance rate. Taken together, these might lead to the use of extrajudicial and illegal police practices, as documented by several qualitative studies. In this article, we explore quantitative evidence of such practices, namely, weight anomalies of the seized heroin that result from minimum threshold amounts established by the law.
In the past few years, the topic of police reform, and the role of legal interventions by the courts has been discussed by politicians and covered extensively in the media. One of the more intrusive forms of court interventions is the use of a consent decree – a settlement agreement filed in federal court between plaintiffs and the local government agency in charge of the police. Typically consent decrees are overseen by a judge, who can legally enforce provisions in the agreement.
The several television programs under the CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) brand are crime dramas depicting how sophisticated forensic tools are used to solve cases. Because such tools are based on science, they are only as good as the science on which they rest. How good is the science? As the references listed below make plain, much of the forensics depicted in television programs is at best fanciful, and real-life forensics are too often not much better.
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