Monday, July 02, 2007

News of the Day, Monday, July 2, 2007

  • Immigrants—The New Crime Control Alternative. The new possible explanation for why some cities have seen violence go up and others have stable or dropping violence—immigration. And, unlike what you get on the cable news, the immigrants are said to have a moderating effect. According to one researcher, "Cities that have heavily concentrated and segregated African-American poverty are the places that have increases in homicide," Sherman said. "The places that have lots of immigration tend not to have nearly as much segregation and isolation" of poor blacks. (h/t Governing Through Crime)
  • Got to Admit This Is a Novel One. Effort to prevent execution of child rapist-murderer on grounds that he should be kept around “to study” for future prevention efforts. Not betting the house on this appeal. (Is the URL for this story a tad ironic or not?)
  • How to Make Cigarettes Illegal. Increase taxes on them to the level at which bootlegging untaxed cigarettes becomes profitable. I frequently rant here about the legality of cigarettes and nicotine when other, less harmful drugs get people lifetimes in prison, but that’s not necessarily a call to make cigs illegal, just to handle drugs of equal toxicity and harm equally. If tobacco is legal, then all drugs of equal or less danger should be legal, with our efforts oriented exactly the way we’ve done with tobacco, containment, taxation, and remediation for its victims. Making cigarettes illegal, either directly or indirectly as above, will only exacerbate our corr sent problems. We have a history of good balance with cigarettes that can serve as a model for how to handle other equal or lesser drugs. I hope we’re not on the verge of screwing that up.
  • Speaking of pot, would you have believed the second harshest state for punishment is DE? Must have to do with that I-90 corridor running straight through up to the big cities from DC.
  • Update on the faith-based prison program in IA that had been shut down for First Amendment reasons. It’s back on but can only be funded with donations and has to follow state civil rights laws. We’ll see if that works.

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