Report: States With Stand Your Ground Laws Have More Homicides
If you’re interested in reducing violent crime, homicides, or racial bias, you should repeal Stand Your Ground laws, according to new recommendations from an American Bar Association Task Force. In a diplomatic fashion, the 62-page preliminary report hedges from calling for the outright repeal of the controversial “shoot first” provisions, but instead suggests that the laws are a “solution searching for a problem,” that they are associated with increased homicide rates and reinforce racial bias, and that any state concerned with these problems should probably do something about it.

Disaster Sociologists Study How Hurricane Sandy Changed Life In New York
Hurricane Sandy has ushered in big changes all over the New York metropolitan region, from seawalls to city ordinances. It may have also changed things in the Ivory Tower.

Supported by New York University and its Institute for Public Knowledge, a young cadre of social scientists calling themselves the Superstorm Research Lab is quietly rethinking business as usual in academia. Though their work fits squarely in the established field of disaster sociology, the Research Lab is deeply invested in pushing the boundaries between scholarly research and efforts to make real change.

Read the white paper:  A Tale of Two Sandys

Sex Offender Laws Have Gone Too Far
"Our draconian policies about sex offenses reflect our ignorance of them."

"Is the American approach to sex registration working? Who goes on the registries, for how long, and for what kinds of crimes? Do the answers suggest that they are helping to keep kids safe—or sweeping in too many people and stoking irrational fears?"

Author of "Broken Windows" Policing Defends His Theory
In 1982, after another year of record lawlessness in New York City, two college professors advanced — or, more accurately, rekindled — a plausibly uncomplicated theory that would revolutionize law enforcement in the city: Maintaining public order also helps prevent crime.

European Court Finds CIA Interrogation Techniques "Amounted To Torture"
The European Court of Human Rights concludes that so-called enhanced interrogation techniques - specifically approved by John Yoo and Jay Bybee for use by the CIA on Abu Zubaydah at a Polish black site - amounted to torture.

The Draw Of the Undertow:  Extremity, Otherness And Emergent Harm In Gaming And Pornography

"My own interest in the cultural and social impact of video games probably began with morally conflicted feelings while playing Grand Theft Auto III for the first time. I remember experiencing a real sense of surprise at the possibility of running over pedestrians and perhaps more so, a sense of worry at what other, younger, players might take from the game. The game felt like an incredibly violent space, a bleak vision of a city without moral codes or goodness, a space most of all where we were being goaded to bring out our more callous side, running over the homeless in tunnels, sniping at the unsuspecting or beating and stabbing to advance, or just for the sheer hell of it."


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