Friday, May 04, 2007

News and Blogs Together, Friday, May 4, 2007

  • William Ford at Empirical Legal Studies has an interesting post up actually looking that the association over time between total state institutionalization (mental health and prisons) and homicide rates from 1934 to 2001. An inverse relationship is very apparent. He should be wary of his conclusions at this point though until he finds out whether the study distinguishes between who was in the mental health institutions and who in prison and how/whether they changed. You're not talking about the same profile. Doesn't completely whack the comparison but does say it needs a lot more analysis and explanation.
  • CrimProf Blog notes that the OH Sup Crt struck down a portion of state law that let DAs fully control whether defendants got the DNA testing they requested. I was a bit gobsmacked. They were letting the kids who misgraded the tests decide if challenges to the grading were wrong? Overturned on grounds of making prosecutors judicial, but should have been overturned on being nonsense.
  • Prevention Works reminds us that, amidst all the anti-immigrant talk we're hearing, the research says clearly that the immigrants aren't causing criminal trouble and in fact may be lowering it. A very good reminder right now.
  • When I told a fellow sentencing type of long-standing of CA's recent punting of its overcrowding problem to building prisons to house a small city after he admitted not keeping up lately, I could see his law drop through the telephone. The gov is claiming brilliance, but see if you can read this summary article and have "brilliance" form as the first word in your head. Speaking of brilliant states, NV is facing a very similar situation as CA and going for the same remedy.
  • In other states, MI is only going to release a bit over 60% of the parole-eligible inmates it has said it needs to release to address its prison problems. Complex, you see. While, in OK, the gov has announced no eligible parole releases for bedspace remedies there either.
  • Finally, we are not advocating anything here, just pointing out how doctors are telling patients using medical marijuana that vaporized pot doesn't have the same bad effect on the lungs as the usual smoke, which can do numbers like tobacco. Those using but not sick, please ignore. And grow up.

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