News Stories relating to "crime"
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Can criminals really be convicted of crimes that they 'might' commit, but haven't actually perpetrated? This sounds like a scenario snatched straight from science-fiction; certainly when Philip K. Dick wrote "The Minority Report" back in 1956 the concept seemed fanciful, but advances in technology and data analysis are turning this...
Friday, April 5, 2013
A researcher gave 96 male prisoners fMRI brain scans just before their release (he could have given them a spit test
). Their brains were scanned during computer tasks during which they had to make quick decisions and control their impulses.
Four years later, Kent Kiehl found that...
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
It's sometimes hard to determine the REAL cost of things
The United States has the world's highest rate of jail incarceration, perhaps because the private the private prisons springing up across the country provide local jobs. But if the prison population shrank...
Thursday, August 16, 2012
After the recent Colorado massacre
, we ALL want to reduce violence, but we're divided about how to do it. Sociologists think that "greening" vacant lots may be associated with reductions in certain gun crimes (and it's certainly easier...
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Justice is different
in different countries. In Mexico, they don't feed you in prison--if your family doesn't bring you food, you'll starve. US prison conditions vary, but our sentences are long compared to prison sentences in Europe or Scandinavia. We may not be...
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
On TV cop shows, victims almost always identify the perpetrators correctly, but real life doesn't work that way: DNA testing has revealed that witnesses often pick out the wrong person, while detectives, in the background, keep telling the person to "take your time." But new studies show that these witnesses should go with their...
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Congress is passing more laws than ever, and some of them are downright dangerous
. For instance, a new study finds that the number of guns that were subsequently linked to crime sold by a single store--a Milwaukee-area gun shop called Badger Guns &...
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Police have discovered a way to cut crime: Play bird songs
Crime has gone down in Lancaster, California ever since the mayor started playing nature sounds--bird chirps, the sound of running water--in the streets. Mayor R. Rex Parris...
Friday, November 11, 2011
If we could do this, we would be faced with the necessity of arresting and incarcerating technically "innocent" people, which would upend our entire constitution and body of laws, in the same way that torturing suspects at Guantanamo has.
This may be a possibility...
Monday, August 22, 2011
A major criminal
can still listen to this show) has been hunted by the FBI for 40 years. He is "D.B. Cooper," who, in November of 1971, boarded a plane in Portland that was...
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Forensic scientists are discovering that DNA and "genetic markers" can predict who will--or will--turn to a life of crime. If this is true, it portends a frightening future where we give infants DNA swabs, then decide whether to watch them (or even incarcerate them) for the rest of their lives. Since more black men are jailed in the US...
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
The latest neuroscience research is shows evidence that the brains of certain kinds of criminals
are different from those of the rest of us. This raises the main moral question of our future: If we discover someone with a "criminal brain," should we incarcerate...
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Scotland Yard is fighting the release of 123-year-old secret files which experts believe could finally provide the identity of Jack the Ripper. These four thick notebooks, containing 36,000 entries compiled by Special Branch officers over 100 years ago, have been kept under lock and key since the "Jack the Ripper" murders in 1888. If...
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Scientists have moved from promoting concrete, provable facts to researching instincts--and they think we should always pay attention to them
. Instances this happen all the time: A woman walking down a street sees a stranger and feels an instant aversion to him. The next day,...
Monday, October 4, 2010
BEFORE they occur - In the 2002 film "Minority Report," Tom Cruise plays a detective in the future who is able to solve crimes BEFORE they occurred. As scientists learn about the personality types of sociopaths, psychopaths, and other people who commit crimes, we may face a future where we have the touch choice of deciding...
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The recent fatal shootings of four Washington state police officers again brings up the recurring problem of mass murder in the United States. What motivates these men to go on a shooting rampage?
Friday, December 11, 2009
This is a truth that's hidden in plain sight: It's not poverty, drugs, lack of gun control or even downright meanness. The reason there is so much homicide in America has to do with politics!
When Americans begin routinely complaining about how they hate their government and don't trust their leaders, it may be time to look warily at the...
Monday, November 9, 2009
Can we fight crime with radio waves? (They work against mosquitoes). They're safer than guns. What would be really effective would be to read criminals' text messages so cops can catch them planning their next heist (as long the police don't keep their phone in the wrong pocket!)
A wireless network of radio transmitters can track...
Monday, July 21, 2008
...and others are not - Many inmates spend decades on death row?how are the ones who are finally actually executed chosen? For instance, only around 50 of the over 3,200 inmates on death row were executed in 2006. A statistical analysis reveals the common traits of those who were given the needle?and they're not what you...
Thursday, May 22, 2008
During a political season like this one, some candidates claim that immigration leads to high crime rates, but a new study shows that immigrant neighborhoods actually experience LESS violence.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
A new study shows that giving city squares a makeover could offer a surprising benefit: reduced crime rates. A significant proportion of crimes are committed by adolescents, so don't we do more to stop juvenile crime? It turns out we're too intimidated by them to intervene when we see a crime being committed or to even report their offenses.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Prison is often a death sentence?and not for the reasons you might think. Prisoners who have been recently released from jail have a much high death rate, especially in the first two weeks after release.
Researchers Ingrid Binswanger and Marc Stern analyzed data from over 30,000 inmates released from prison between 1999 and 2003 in...
Friday, May 4, 2007
We've already learned that eyes can keep you honest?even when they don't belong to a real person! Holding eye contact, or "gaze," with hysterical citizens is one of the most effective methods police officers can use to calm them down.
Friday, February 9, 2007
It's not just police who are trying to figure out how to stop crime--scientists struggle with this problem as well. Now accountants are getting into the act, because one of the big questions today is whether or not it will cost less in the long run to try to prevent crimes before they happen, even if it means creating costly social programs in...
Monday, January 15, 2007
Firearms are used to kill two out of every three homicide victims in America.. Researchers have found that homicide rates among children, and among women and men of all ages, are higher in states where more households have guns. And in Australia, a big gun "buyback" lowered homicide?and suicide?rates considerably.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
If we can ever identify the genetic and psychological traits that make people criminals?especially killers?we may be able to lock them away BEFORE they kill. This theme was explored several years ago in the film Minority Report. Now it's becoming reality.
Thursday, July 7, 2005
Newswise - ?Not in airplanes, but in the kitchen! Physicians say that long pointed kitchen knives should be banned to reduce deaths from stabbing. This will make certain kitchen chores harder for those of us who want to use the knives for cutting, not crime, but British doctors say that kitchen knives are used in half the...
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
We're constantly hearing that hiring more policemen reducescrime, but is this really true? Law professor JonathanKlick says it is, and not by just a little bit either. Hefound a 15% reduction in crime in the police district wherethe White House and National Mall are located whenadditional officers were put on duty during high terroralert days....