Friday, December 18, 2015

How Judicial Elections Impact Criminal Cases
"Over the past 15 years, judicial races have become expensive affairs. Television advertising, much of it from outside interest groups that are more likely to run negative ads, plays a critical role in these high-cost contests. The pressures of upcoming re-election campaigns affect judicial decision-making in criminal cases, making judges more likely to impose longer sentences, affirm death sentences, and even override sentences of life imprisonment to impose the death penalty."

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Judges' Perception on Causes of Criminality and Justifications for Crime
"Judicial decision-making has been long studied, particularly sentencing, from a number of perspectives. Many researches have focused on the factors affecting the decision-making process, analysing from judges' personal characteristics to court context. This article addresses lay theories of crime as viewed by judges. Forty-nine judges participated in this study, answering a questionnaire about causes of criminality and justifications for crime. Results show a large variety of answer with judges positioned in both sides of the scale. Drug abuse is especially relevant when judges assess causes of criminality and justifications for crime. Regarding causes of criminality, the results suggest that judges' rationale is based on a complex set of social environment characteristics, opposing the dichotomy internal characteristics versus external situational causes, identified in previous studies. Justifications for crime were organized into three major groups: drugs, uncontrolled behaviour and survival. Age and political orientation affected these assessments, but gender was found irrelevant."

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NYC  Study Finds Decline in Misdemeanor Arrests Following Changes in Policing Strategy
"A survey tracking enforcement rates in New York City found a significant decline in misdemeanor arrests and summonses in what authors suggested was a result of significant changes in NYPD policing strategy, such as a reduction in the use of stop-and-frisk tactics by officers. According to the study, prepared by Prof. Preeti Chaudhan of John Jay College and five other authors, there were 'approximately 800,000 fewer enforcement activities' between 2011 and 2014.

The study by the Misdemeanor Justice Project at John Jay College of Criminal Justice showed that the level of arrests of African-Americans in particular had significantly dropped during that time period. NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton’s strategy of allowing 'police resources to be redeployed to better use' as part of his so-called 'Peace Dividend' from the plummeting crime rates in New York. was a direct  inspiration for the new strategy, which gives police greater discretion in exercising authority, and reduce(s) the number of negative interactions with the public, said the study, entitled 'Tracking Enforcement Rates in New York City, 2003-2014.'"

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U.S. Police Leaders, Visiting Scotland, get Lessons on Avoiding Deadly Force
"The United States and Britain are bound by a common language and a shared history, and their law enforcement agencies have been close partners for generations.
But a difference long curious to Americans stands out: Most British police officers are unarmed, a distinction particularly pronounced here in Scotland, where 98 percent of the country’s officers do not carry guns. For them, calming a situation through talk, rather than escalating it with weapons, is an essential policing tool, and one that brought a delegation of top American police officials to this town 30 miles northeast of Glasgow."

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Federal Sentencing Disparity: 2005-2012
"Federal Sentencing Disparity, 2005-2012, examines patterns of federal sentencing disparity among white and black offenders, by sentence received, and looks at judicial variation in sentencing since Booker vs. United States, regardless of race.  It summarizes U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, discusses how approaches of other researchers to the study of sentencing practices differ from this approach, defines disparity as used in this study, and explains the methodology."

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Global Status Report on Violence Prevention 2014
"The Global status report on violence prevention 2014, which reflects data from 133 countries, is the first report of its kind to assess national efforts to address interpersonal violence, namely child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner and sexual violence, and elder abuse.

Jointly published by WHO, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the report reviews the current status of violence prevention efforts in countries, and calls for a scaling up of violence prevention programmes; stronger legislation and enforcement of laws relevant for violence prevention; and enhanced services for victims of violence."

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Race and the Criminal Justice System: 2014 (U.K.)
"This publication compiles statistics from data sources across the Criminal Justice System (CJS), to provide a combined perspective on the typical experiences of different ethnic groups. No causative links can be drawn from these summary statistics, and no controls have been applied to account for differences in circumstances between groups (e.g. average income or age); differences observed may indicate areas worth further investigation, but should not be taken as evidence of bias or as direct effects of ethnicity.

In general, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups appear to be over-represented at most stages throughout the CJS, compared to the White ethnic group, though this is not universal and does not appear to worsen as they progress through the system. Among BAME groups, Black and Mixed individuals were often the most over-represented. Trends over time for each ethnic group have tended to mirror overall trends, with little change in relative positions between ethnic groups."

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