Tag Archives | Crime

Mass Incarceration in the US

Check out this short animation about the problems with American prison policy.

via Youtube

It wasn’t easy to pick this topic, but I believe that America’s 40-year policy of mass incarceration is deeply unethical, not very effective, and promotes the security of the few at the expense of the many.

It’s hard for me, as a person who was born into privilege, to imagine the challenges convicted criminals face, often for crimes that are utterly non-violent.

If you’re feeling like you want to do something about this, I’m mostly just making this video as an informational resource and to encourage people to think of felons not as bad, scary people but just as people.

The people at The Prison Policy Initiative were very helpful in the creation of this video and if you want to learn more about their work and how to get involved go to http://www.prisonpolicy.org

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Woman In Germany Robbed After Being Put Into A Trance

hypnotize Is the key to your mind safe? Via the New York Daily News:

German cops are hunting a pair of hypnotist robbers who put their victims into a deep trance before stealing their valuables.

The two women, believed to be Russian, allegedly targeted a 66-year-old in front of a store in Elmshorn, Schleswig-Holstein. And police believe there have been other victims who may not even know they’ve been hit.

The Hamburger Morgenpost reports that the senior citizen was outside an Aldi superstore when she was approached by the duo. “They told her they’d read her fortune, but next thing she knew she was back home sitting in an armchair and all her jewelry and valuables had vanished,” said police spokeswoman Sandra Mohr. She claims that the pair put her into a trance in order to rob her.

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Scientists Create Mugshots From Perps’ DNA

Elvis_mugshotThis is some next level CSI! New Scientist reports on the DNA-generated mugshots:

A murder has been committed, and all the cops have to go on is a trace of DNA left at the scene. It doesn’t match any profile in databases of known criminals, and the trail goes cold. But what if the police could issue a wanted poster based on a realistic “photofit” likeness built from that DNA?

Not if, but when, claim researchers who have developed a method for determining how our genes influence facial shape. One day, the technique may even allow us to gaze into the faces of extinct human-like species that interbred with our own ancestors.

It’s already possible to make some inferences about the appearance of crime suspects from their DNA alone, including their racial ancestry and some shades of hair colour. And in 2012, a team led by Manfred Kayser of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, identified five genetic variants with detectable effects on facial shape.

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“They” Don’t Want You To Know About Author Kevin Trudeau Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

TrudeauKevin Trudeau, the author of bestselling but highly dubious books like Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You To Know About  has been sentenced to ten years in prison reports CNN:
Kevin Trudeau, the television pitchman and author who amassed a fortune telling consumers his secrets about how to get free money, how to lose weight and how to cure a number of illnesses the natural way, is headed to federal prison. Trudeau, 51, was sentenced to 10 years on Monday for criminal contempt for violating a 2004 federal court order that prohibited him from making misleading infomercials and misrepresenting his weight-loss books. During Monday's sentencing hearing he also got a tongue-lashing from U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago...
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Hell On Earth: Should Life Extension Technology Be Used to Punish Criminals?

Prometheus having his liver eaten by an eagle....

Prometheus having his liver eaten by an eagle. Painting by Jacob Jordaens, c. 1640, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That which is giving can be used to take away. What if life extension is used to punish? Should we punish the most heinous of villains for 100… 200… 300 years? What say you disinfonauts?

via aeon

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Hitler got off easy, given the scope and viciousness of his crimes. We might have moved beyond the Code of Hammurabi and ‘an eye for an eye’, but most of us still feel that a killer of millions deserves something sterner than a quick and painless suicide. But does anyone ever deserve hell?

That used to be a question for theologians, but in the age of human enhancement, a new set of thinkers is taking it up. As biotech companies pour billions into life extension technologies, some have suggested that our cruelest criminals could be kept alive indefinitely, to serve sentences spanning millennia or longer.

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Chicago Police Harassing Non-Criminals Predicted To Commit “Future Crime”

lookingNothing like being threatened and stalked by people with guns – no harm done, right? Cop Block writes:

For 22-year old Robert McDaniel, there was [worry] when a police commander showed up at his house simply to issue a threat that he was being watched by police. McDaniel’s grew up in a gritty neighborhood, but was guilty of no crime, and had no recent interactions with police of any kind. Yet there with this official authority standing there on his porch, issuing a stern warning that he was being watched and there would be severe consequences if he committed a crime.

University professors have teamed up with the Chicago police department to develop a new technology which will allegedly predict violent criminal behavior. A computerized algorithm has now generated a “Heat List” which indexes approximately 400 individuals they see as likely to commit violent crimes in the future. And some of the people on the list are not criminals at all.

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Teen Arrested For Craigslist Honeymoon Thrill Murder Claims She Has Killed 22 People Since Joining A Satanic Cult At Age 13

barbourCould Miranda Barbour be the next iconic serial killer? CNN reports:

19-year-old Barbour told a reporter for the Daily Item in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, that she participated in at least 22 killings in the past six years in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina and California. “When I hit 22, I stopped counting,” Barbour is quoted as saying in a phone interview on Friday night. “I can pinpoint on a map where you can find them.”

A law enforcement source close to the investigation said Miranda Barbour’s new claims could be “the real deal.”

Barbour told the newspaper she had her first experience with killing when she just 13, shortly after she said she joined a satanic cult in Alaska.

Barbour and her husband, Elytte Barbour, 22, are accused of luring Troy LaFerrara, 42, through a “companionship” ad on Craigslist, and stabbing and strangling him to death. The couple, married for only three weeks at the time of the slaying, just wanted to kill someone together, police said.

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Affluenza Teen Again Given Probation For Drunk Driving Slaughter

Photo: WFAA

Photo: WFAA

Disinfonauts may recall with disgust an earlier post “Rich Kid Kills Four Pedestrians While Driving Drunk And Gets Probation Because of ‘Affluenza.’” Now that same rich kid, Ethan Couch, has again been given probation by the same Texas judge who sentenced him last time, instead of the 20 years of jail time called for by prosecutors. Report from AP via NY Daily News:

FORT WORTH, Texas — A judge on Wednesday ordered a Texas teenager who was sentenced to 10 years’ probation in a drunken-driving crash that killed four people to go to a rehabilitation facility paid for by his parents.

Judge Jean Boyd again decided to give no jail time for Ethan Couch, defense attorney Reagan Wynn and prosecutors told reporters after the hearing, which was closed to the public. Prosecutors had asked Boyd to sentence him to 20 years in state custody on charges related to two people who were severely injured.

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Dinesh D’Souza, ‘2016: Obama’s America’ Filmmaker, Indicted For Campaign Finance Violation

Dinesh D'Souza. Photo: Mark Taylor (CC)

Dinesh D’Souza. Photo: Mark Taylor (CC)

No doubt this will make Dinesh D’Souza (director of the breakout documentary 2016 Obama’s America) even more of a hero to a certain Obama-hating segment of the American population, but are the charges really politically motivated? From the Hollywood Reporter:

Dinesh D’Souza is accused of giving too much money to a candidate who sought to replace former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. Producer Gerald Molen tells The Hollywood Reporter the charges are politically motivated.

Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, whose documentary 2016: Obama’s America took a critical look at President Barack Obama and was a surprise hit in 2012, will be arrested in New York on Friday for allegedly violating campaign-finance laws, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Federal authorities accuse D’Souza of donating more than is legal to the campaign of Wendy Long, who ran in 2012 for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton but lost to now-Sen.

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