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December 29, 2012

Is there really a simple explanation for record-low homicide rate in NYC (or the increase in Chicago)?

CRIME-graphic-articleInlineThe question in the title of this post is prompted by this new piece in today's New York Times headlined "414 Homicides in ’12 Is a Record Low for New York City."  The article includes lots of interesting data and stories concerning homicides in NYC, and here are excerpts:

Murders in New York have dropped to their lowest level in over 40 years, city officials announced on Friday, even as overall crimes increased slightly because of a rise in thefts — a phenomenon based solely on robberies of iPhones and other Apple devices.

There were 414 recorded homicides so far in 2012, compared with 515 for the same period in 2011, city officials said.  That is a striking decline from murder totals in the low-2,000s that were common in the early 1990s, and is also below the record low: 471, set in 2009.  “The essence of civilization is that you can walk down the street without having to look over your shoulder,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said.

Mr. Bloomberg acclaimed the accomplishment during a graduation ceremony for more than 1,000 new police officers at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  He attributed the low murder rate to the department’s controversial practice of “stop, question and frisk,” in which people are stopped on the street and questioned by officers, and aggressive hot-spot policing, in which officers are deployed to areas with crime spikes.  Shootings are also down for the year so far. The number of murders is the lowest since 1963, when improvements in the recording of data were made.

The Police Department said thefts of Apple products had risen by 3,890, which was more than the overall increase in “major crimes.”  In the last two decades, trumpeting declines in crime trends has become an annual end-of-the-year event, even when the numbers inched up.

But figures alone do not tell the whole story, and several homicides this year stood out as particularly disturbing, given the age of the victims and the manner of death.  Detectives described the stabbing deaths of two children at the hands of their nanny inside the bathroom of their Manhattan apartment in October as among the most horrific crimes they could recall. “I think those images get embedded in the minds of detectives more than other crime scenes,” said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, the union that represents detectives, adding, “It certainly makes you rethink the things that you take for granted, which is the safety of children.”

So far this year, the police said, 20 children — ages 9 and younger — were murdered, up from 16 in 2011.  Among the victims was a 4-year-old boy, Lloyd Morgan Jr., who was shot in the head on a Bronx playground during a basketball tournament.  There were also several anomalies in the 2012 homicide tally, including a serial killer who murdered three shopkeepers in Brooklyn....

But overall killings have dropped to such a low level that more New Yorkers now commit suicide than are the victims of homicides. About 475 New Yorkers kill themselves each year, according to the city’s health department.

Mr. Bloomberg praised Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, saying the 19 percent drop in homicides compared with 2011 was achieved despite a shrinking police force and an increasing population.  Mr. Kelly said he believed that relatively new policing strategies, including adding more police officers dedicated to curbing domestic violence, and monitoring social media to thwart gang-related murders, were working. “We’re preventing crimes before someone is killed and before someone else has to go to prison,” the commissioner said.

Of the 414 murders, 14 deaths from previous years were counted as homicides for the first time...  Of the 400 murders in 2012, 223 were .gunshot victims, 84 victims were stabbed to death, 43 died of blunt trauma and 11 died of asphyxiation. 

The majority of the 400 homicides occurred on a Saturday, followed by early Sunday morning. Most occurred at 2 a.m.  People were more likely to be killed outside than in. Nearly 70 percent of the victims had prior criminal arrests, the police said.  Domestic-related homicides dropped to 68, from 94 in 2011.

The likelihood of being killed by a stranger was slight.  The vast majority of the homicides, Mr. Kelly said, grew out of “disputes” between a victim and killer who knew each other.

Though I am sure improved policing practices have played a significant role in the modern crime declines in New York City and elsewhere, I am not confident that this is the whole (or even most) of the story. Police practices in NYC surely did not get even 20% better in 2012 compared to 2011, and reductions in the police force must have diminished a bit the proactive policing potential of the NYC blue line. Consequently, some other (complex?) factors are likely part of the explanatory mix, though I suppose the record-low number may be just a statistical blip in the "usual" homicide numbers.

UPDATE:  Only hours after posting about the record-low number of of homicides in NYC in 2012, I came across this new Chicago Tribune article concerning the inverse homicide trend in Chicago.  The lengthy piece is headlined "In Chicago, killings and questions on the rise: As year's homicides hit 500, causes and solutions still being debated," and it starts this way:

73845493The rising homicide toll — 500 as of Friday, a 17 percent increase in slayings over last year — has been a looming shadow over Chicago, plaguing residents and the city's leadership for much of the year.

Although Chicago had almost twice as many homicides 20 years ago as it did this year, the increase in violent deaths represents a backslide for a city that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said he wants to move forward. And with Chicago's homicide rate exceeding those in some other major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles and New York, Emanuel, ever mindful of the city and his administration's image, has seen the city's violence attract unwanted national attention.

Since taking the helm last year, Emanuel and his hand-picked police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, have made safer streets a top priority, with McCarthy declaring "the murder rate in this city is way too high."

But a particularly bloody winter in early 2012 has kept both men on the defensive, and residents on edge. As homicides climbed, Emanuel and McCarthy repeatedly have had to defend themselves, making it a point to publicly note short periods when the city goes without a murder or to highlight successful violence-reduction efforts in certain neighborhoods. Meanwhile, neighborhood residents decried the gun and gang violence that claimed the vast majority of this year's homicide victims.

Experts warn not to put too fine a point on year-over-year increases in homicides, but Chicago's tally this year is the highest since 2008. Although everyone agrees the increase in violence is deplorable, what's more difficult to discern is exactly why Chicago's homicides have surged. But experts, police and community leaders have offered myriad possible factors [ranging from gang factions to policing patterns to the weather in early 2012].

December 29, 2012 at 01:14 PM | Permalink

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NYC has been gentrifying for years. Wonder how much that has to do with it. Wouldn't explain sharp drop in one year, but probably helps explain long term decline. I lived in NYC during Dinkins years. That was truly out of hand.

Posted by: federalist | Dec 29, 2012 9:58:38 PM

One potential explanation is here:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/751788

Agg assaults have gone up. So violence is not less.

The most important point is embedded in the text, and not the subject of the title. It said 70% of the victims had criminal records. That means there is a busy death penalty for repeat offenders thriving, extra-judicially. That world is as small as that of the lawyer world, and everyone knows what happened to everyone else. So there is no deterrence effect from the murder rate.

That leaves only incapacitation and eradication. There is a high probability of being murdered if won belongs to the world of crime. The police should arrest. The prosecution should try. And the executive branch should kill the other half that has not been murdered, to end all crime.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 30, 2012 12:26:11 AM

Crime drops in L.A. for 10th straight year

The 2% drop comes even as hard economic times continue and many U.S. cities see more crime. Homicides and petty thefts are up slightly.

Posted by: George | Dec 30, 2012 12:34:21 AM

Yes, Advances in Medical Care, delivery and services in NYC!

Posted by: Stanley Feldman | Dec 30, 2012 1:14:43 AM

One of the interesting features of the first bar chart is that it shows a near TREBLING of the murder rate, 1960-1975.

And what did we have during that period?

-- Rehab, not punishment
-- The virtual end of the death penalty
-- Liberal ascendency in education and culture
-- Race riots
-- John Lindsay

And what did we NOT have?

-- Mandatory minimum sentencing
-- Mandatory sentencing guidelines
-- "Incarceration nation"
-- Chief Justice Rehnquist
-- Rudy Giuliani

OK, quick quiz: What works, and what doesn't?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 30, 2012 9:37:44 AM

But save for Rudy, Bill Otis, we had all the stuff you think "works" during the upward NYC homicide spikes of the late 1980s and early 1990s. And consistent in both spikes was a renewed commitment/resources devoted to drug prohibition (Nixon's and then Reagan's focus on the war on drugs).

Put simply, I think the story lacks a simple explanation.

Posted by: Doug B. | Dec 30, 2012 10:55:24 AM

Every local police department claims to the media that their local tactics caused crime to drop, but crime is dropping everywhere, including areas that don't use the cited techniques, be they Compustat, etc.. By contrast, when crime goes up those same departments NEVER think they're at fault. My own belief is that the crime decline has at best a meager relationship to policing strategies and more to do with demographic, cultural and technological changes that have little or nothing to do with police, prisons, etc..

I'm glad you responded to Bill's absurd comment, Doug. You might have also added that New York's incarceration rates are today among the lowest in the country - lowest by far among the large states - and their crime rates have declined more than the rest of the nation. Indeed, NY repealed the mandatory minimums in the Rockefeller drug laws in 2009. So maybe "incarceration nation," as he put it, isn't such a silver bullet solution after all. At least, it utterly fails to explain what's happened to New York's crime rates.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Dec 30, 2012 11:29:24 AM

"I think the story lacks a simple explanation."

Probably correct. Most large phenomena are multi-factorial. For example, video addiction, and childhood obesity are factors. Fashion. It is just uncool to work so hard to remove radios from cars, and too much work to have them work elsewhere. More marijuana, less alcohol means less violence. I linked to a review of trauma care progress from Iraq war. Having the police show up in 2 minutes, and not 2 hours as in other cities. Defeat in the War on drugs. No need to kill competitors. The supply is overwhelming, and prices are too low to bother. Our blacks who are really mostly white trash genetically, are being replaced in NYC by very dark skinned real blacks from Jamaica and Africa. They are immigrants with good family values, and low rates of bastardy, low rates of school failure, high IQ's.

So the factors listed by Bill are probably correct, but not sufficient.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 30, 2012 11:56:58 AM

Grits, incarceration does work. When you have a run of the mill criminal (robber, burglar etc.), that's often what they for a living, and when you take them out of circulation, you prevent a lot of crime.

There is little doubt that Giuliani's policies reduced crime in NYC.

Posted by: federalist | Dec 30, 2012 12:03:34 PM

Doug --

I didn't say the story had a simple explanation. I listed five things that we had during the murder rate spike of 1960-1975, and five things we did not have. I note that you don't dispute anything on either list.

Some of your readers seem to be under the impression that there is little or no relationship between (1) our getting serious about crime and (2) how much crime gets committed. This is demonstrable nonsense, as federalist has correctly noted, and as I have demonstrated (and even Grits admitted) in long-ago threads. My earlier comment is an adjunct to pointing out how nonsensical it is.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 30, 2012 3:31:51 PM

Bill wrote: "There is little doubt that Giuliani's policies reduced crime in NYC. "

And yet, Giuliani's policies coincided with an enormous reduction in NYC's incarceration rate, contradicting all your other claims. You're talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Dec 30, 2012 8:16:05 PM

Grits, it was I who wrote that, and no, genius, I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth. People were amazed that Giuliani's policies actually resulted in a lower incarceration rate. The point is that if punishment is sure, then deterrence will naturally reduce the rate of incarceration.

I really wasn't talking about that though--I just made the unremarkable point that where you incarcerate people who are criminals, you will reduce crime because you prevent the crime that people who commit crime for a living would have committed. This, of course, presupposes that you incarcerate the right people and focus on violent crime.

By the way, Grits, you shouldn't be accusing anyone of dishonesty given the wide gulf between a videotape and a tall tale you spun.

Posted by: federalist | Dec 30, 2012 8:49:22 PM

Grits --

May I assume you'll apologize for claiming that I said X when I didn't?

Of course you're not about to apologize, because you did it for a purpose. The purpose was to claim that I "was talking out of both sides of my mouth," and that claim falls flat with anything I actually said. So you just made it up. Nice work. Typical work, too.

While we're at it, would you care to answer federalist's comment?

I really can't decide what's the most prominent feature of your writing -- that you lie so much (particularly about what other people say), that you refuse to apologize or show even a modicum of humility or manners when caught at it, or that you're an impenetrable anti-American.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 30, 2012 10:34:17 PM

Bill, the only thing I "claimed" you said was in quote marks and in fact is exactly what you said. No apology needed and certainly not forthcoming.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Dec 31, 2012 5:29:36 PM

Grits --

I knew you were a liar and that you wouldn't apologize, but I didn't know until now that you would also, when convenient, pretend not to be able to read.

Let's follow the action.

At Posted by: federalist | Dec 30, 2012 12:03:34 PM, federalist wrote, as his last line, "There is little doubt that Giuliani's policies reduced crime in NYC."

**********************

You then wrote (and I'll give your entire comment verbatim):

Bill wrote: "There is little doubt that Giuliani's policies reduced crime in NYC."

And yet, Giuliani's policies coincided with an enormous reduction in NYC's incarceration rate, contradicting all your other claims. You're talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Dec 30, 2012 8:16:05 PM

**********************

In the very next post, federalist wrote, correctly (and I again quote verbatim): "Grits, it was I who wrote that, and no, genius, I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth."

Now if you think that's not really from federalist, look about four inches down your screen, where you'll see: "Posted by: federalist | Dec 30, 2012 8:49:22 PM"

***************

Now you insist, and again I quote: "Bill, the only thing I 'claimed' you said was in quote marks and in fact is exactly what you said."

***************

Grits, you are a total piece of work. I really don't think I've ever run across anyone who is so aggressively a point-blank liar. And on this blog, that covers a great deal of territory.

P.S. When people have a good case, they don't need to lie.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 31, 2012 6:18:54 PM

federalist --

Do you believe this guy? He's pathological to the point that he lies about what everyone can see on the exact same page in front of their face.

Amazing.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 31, 2012 6:21:46 PM

Joe --

You once defended Grits after he effectively called Doug a coward, using slightly different language. You said you wouldn't believe that's what Grits meant to say unless he used the specific word.

Given Grits's established record of lying and attempting to cover it up, see http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/police-video-contradicts-bloggers-account-of-taser/nRkZg/ , and now his direct and just repeated lie about what I am supposed to have said, I wonder if you still think he deserves a presumption of good faith.

I also wonder whether you can hypthosize any reason that he persists in lying when anyone who can read can see what he's doing. Since he refuses to give a reason, and indeed just digs deeper into denial, I was wondering if you could come up with one for him, having previously come to his defense.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 31, 2012 6:34:19 PM

Bill, I'm sorry I confused your comments with federalist's. Unlike you, I don't spend hours each day trolling this blog obsessing over every remark. It was not a "lie" but an "error" made because a) your and federalist's comments and views are similar and b) I focus less about personalities than the issues. However, looking back at the string, it WAS you who cited Giuliani along with the rest of your list, so unless you disagree with federalist, it seems like a moot point.

Otherwise, I understand why you'd prefer to talk about my alleged "record of lying and attempting to cover it up" instead of actually responding to the arguments laid out. That's pretty typical of you - when you're losing an argument on these strings, you inevitably change the subject and try to attack the messenger, etc.. The alleged "lying" you refer to was three words out of a three thousand word essay that I corrected as soon as the error was pointed out to me. I never attempted to cover it up and in fact issued a public correction several days BEFORE the police chief held his press conference that generated the news story you cited.

Bottom line, as I pointed out above, though you never responded to it, New York's experience shows you're wrong about the benefits of mandatory minimums, "incarceration nation," etc.. All the things you say are the only things that work were abandoned in NY and their crime dropped more than anyone else's. Attacking me personally won't change that.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Dec 31, 2012 7:05:29 PM

Grits --

The board can now see for itself what happens when you're cornered at the end of the chase: More evasion and not even the ghost of actual contrition.

1. "Bill, I'm sorry I confused your comments with federalist's."

It might possibly have been "confusion" the first time, although I doubt it. It couldn't possibly have been confusion the second time, after federalist and I both corrected you, yet you AGAIN, and quite pointedly, falsely attributed the words to me.

2. "Unlike you, I don't spend hours each day trolling this blog obsessing over every remark."

This is just exactly your style. You spend one snippy sentence on a forced non-correction correction, then immediately go on offense with standard-issue insults -- which, not at all surprisingly, are ALSO false.

I hardly spend hours each day trolling the blog and obsessing over every remark. That's just BS. It's not hours, it's not each day, it's not trolling, it's not obesessing and it's not every remark.

Here's the truth (you have some vague idea of what that is, don't you?): On a very few days, I will spend more than hour on this blog. I try to at least look at it (and three other blogs) each day, although many times I don't get to all of them. "Trolling" is just ad hominem tripe -- why don't you grow up. Two or three comments about your mud-slinging is hardly obsessing, although admittedly it took some concentration finally to get you, however grudgingly, to come off your fabrications. Nor do I respond to "every remark." I respond to a tiny fraction of the overall comments made on this blog.

It's perfectly obvious what you're doing. You're throwing it against the wall, angry that you've been outed about your obsessive lying. Go be angry. That's about what you've got.

3. "I never attempted to cover it [your false story about the police supposedly attacking you with weapons] up and in fact issued a public correction several days BEFORE the police chief held his press conference that generated the news story you cited."

You just don't stop, do you? You issued a public correction after it dawned on you that the cops had a tape proving your story was concocted -- the timing of the cops' subsequent press conference is irrelevant (and therefore, as you intend, misleading).

4. "Bottom line, as I pointed out above, though you never responded to it, New York's experience shows you're wrong about the benefits of mandatory minimums, "incarceration nation," etc."

Nice try using one state out of fifty. But I'll use the experience of the whole country rather than cherry pick. (Using the much larger rather than the much smaller sample size is what honest people do).

The experience of the whole country, which at one time you were honest enough to admit, is that the significant growth of incarceration into what is now known in some quarters as "incarceration nation" accounted for roughly one quarter of the drop in the rate of serious crime.

http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittUnderstandingWhyCrime2004.pdf

Believing that locking up the people who commit crime doesn't significantly help to reduce crime is nonsense on its face. It shouldn't take a study to show it, but there it is anyway.

I've plowed this ground enough with you. Enough is enough. Supremacy Claus is better educated, more honest and less rude.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 1, 2013 2:41:32 AM

Nice work, Bill. My guess is that Grits likes Radley Balko, and as Balko is wont to say, "But for videotape . . . ."

Grits, it seems to me, is one of those annoying libs who thinks that by repeating BS with an air of self-assured enlightenment he can convince the rest of us.

The whole thing is simple--incarceration, in and of itself, doesn't really stop crime. Incarceration of the right people does. And swift and sure punishment deters people so that they don't cause the need for incarceration in the first place.

This isn't difficult.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 1, 2013 11:26:29 AM

federalist --

Thanks. Happy New Year, too.

You really have to wonder what's up with Grits. His claim that he "confused" whether you or I was the author of the remark about Giuliani could not possibly be true, and isn't. A five year-old can tell whose comment is which on this blog, and certainly a veteran user like Grits can.

He says, in typically self-serving and diversionary fashion, that he was "confused" because, "I focus less about personalities than the issues." What complete tripe. The question wasn't about either personalities OR issues. It was simply about who wrote a particular sentence. The idea that he couldn't figure this out is beyond absurd. (This is not to mention that he often sneeringly discusses personalities).

So he's lying, as he has lied before here and, as you know, elsewhere. The question is why he does this when it's so obvious.

I don't know for sure, but a have a pretty good idea: He doesn't care about what anyone thinks of him beyond his cirlcle of pro-criminal, anti-police, "Amerika Stinks" buddies.

He strikes me as a particular type of Leftist I have, unfortunately, seen before. He views those in disagreement, people like you and me, as worthy only of contempt, because if we were As Wonderful As He Is, we would share his acid view of law, authority and the United States. Since we actually like the United States, we are worthless, and in particular not worth getting the truth from him. Indeed we fully deserve the contempt that being insulted and lied to betokens -- and that's what we get.

This explains, in addition to his present transparent lying, his earlier preposterous lie that I approve of all state killing as "inherently good in all circumstances." (Yup, he actually said that).

It also explains why his specialty is lying about his opponents' positions and words. Burlesquing the opposition is a form of Leftist street theater, and it's a close as he can come in this setting.

I've tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't give a straight answer so I gave up. When a guy views lying as, not merely acceptable, but as a nifty form of verbal warfare against Evil Soldiers of the Capitalist Machine, it's no use.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 1, 2013 6:44:29 PM

Well, we'll see if Grits debates on the merits now. My guess is that he won't.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 1, 2013 9:05:10 PM

Bill Otis, federalist --

Get a room, you two.

Posted by: Brian G. | Jan 2, 2013 6:55:35 PM

Brian G. --

Care to defend Grits's lying? His lame mumbling about "confusion" is preposterous. He can't tell who writes which comments? After two people tell him? You really think that could be true?

I'm happy to be a friend of federalist and have had the good fortune to meet him. If you're a friend of Grits, my condolences.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 2, 2013 11:33:24 PM

Bill --

I don't speak for anyone but myself. I don't care about whether Grits lied or was confused or mistaken, etc. I just wish this thread would get back around to the topic. I don't know if you're aware of this, but this thread was about the low homicide rate in NYC, not about Grits or federalist, and certainly not about you.

If you don't have anything productive to add to this particular thread, then please consider moving on to another one.

Posted by: Brian G. | Jan 3, 2013 12:11:44 AM

And relax Bill, I'm not "calling for [your] banishment," as you so often claim EVERYONE under the sun does. I just wish you would stop bullying your way around this blog.

Posted by: Brian G. | Jan 3, 2013 12:22:06 AM

Brian G. --

"I don't speak for anyone but myself. I don't care about whether Grits lied or was confused or mistaken, etc. I just wish this thread would get back around to the topic."

Federalist invited Grits to do just that, and what we have is silence. I also cited a University of Chicago study, which neither you nor Grits has refuted or even mentioned.

"I don't know if you're aware of this, but this thread was about the low homicide rate in NYC, not about Grits or federalist, and certainly not about you."

You seemed to think otherwise when you wrote six hours ago that federalist and I should get a room.

"If you don't have anything productive to add to this particular thread, then please consider moving on to another one."

You are not the judge of what is "productive," but if you thought your "room together" remark was either productive or relevant to the subject of the thread, I'd love to hear why. Could you tell us?

"And relax Bill, I'm not 'calling for [your] banishment,' as you so often claim EVERYONE under the sun does."

That statement about what I "so often claim" has the same amount of truth to it as Grits's statement that I think all state killing is inherently good in all circumstances.

"I just wish you would stop bullying your way around this blog."

If responding to another commenters lies about what I say is "bullying," guilty as charged. It isn't of course, but you already knew that.

P.S. Doug makes the rules here. You don't.


Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 3, 2013 12:45:43 AM

It's no use to ask these folks to get over themselves. The regular ranters here get off on subjecting everyone to their tired & played-out soap operas in thread after thread. Every thread presents a new opportunity to have the same exact loathsome conversation with each other. The same hackneyed barbs, the same virtual high-fives.I've learned my lesson that threads with high numbers of comments are never because there is an interesting discussion taking place but instead because the same people are having the same gripe-fest with each other. It's amazing that they've yet to become bored with themselves, but here we are. It'd be nice if they'd just exchange private messages but I guess that would take away all their fun.

To the topic,however! Here is an article on some intriguing research that folks still willing to wade into the cesspool of this thread might find interesting to consider:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

Posted by: call me crazy | Jan 3, 2013 11:38:50 AM

Aww shucks Bill, thanks for setting me straight.

Posted by: Brian G. | Jan 3, 2013 11:57:47 AM

Brian G. --

You called for me and others to quit being off topic and discuss the subject of Doug's post, to wit, changes in the murder rate. Yet in your four comments, you have said not a single word about that topic. Why not? Are you being a hypocrite?

But I'll be happy to give you a chance to start at least getting close to topic. I cited a study showing that the growth of "incarceration nation" has cut the rate of serious crime, including murder, by a quarter.

Do you disagree with that? If so, why? If not, do you think going back to the relatively low incarceration figures of a generation ago risks creating more crime and, thus, more crime victims? Would you agree that that would be a bad thing?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 3, 2013 12:38:57 PM

well, i'll just say that in the article i posted, it seems as if some research is showing that the decrease in violent crime might be better attributed to the switch from leaded to unleaded gas.

Posted by: call me crazy | Jan 3, 2013 1:21:46 PM

call me crazy --

When Poster A on this blog misrepresents the views and words of Poster B, and then does it again after being corrected, Poster B has the right to pursue the matter, also on this blog. To say otherwise is to issue cart blanche for posters to lie about their opponents' positions. A serious, substantive discussion cannot survive free-floating deceit like that, nor should anyone have to put up with it.

This is true whether Poster B is you, me or anyone else.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 3, 2013 1:26:12 PM

Bill:

I commented about a year and a half ago about your POS UoC study. If I remember correctly, one of the leading causes for the decrease in crime was that human beings who would turn to a life of crime are now being aborted.

As I said before, if that is your study, you are still an apologist for the government.

Everyone knows that the government is honest, caring, just, pure and has only the peoples interest at heart.

That didn't work at Nuremberg and it doesn't work today.

If you would recommend meaningful changes, instead of defending the myopic platitudes, you might carry more weight. Heck, you could even run for president.

Posted by: albeed | Jan 3, 2013 1:37:33 PM

call me crazy --

"well, i'll just say that in the article i posted, it seems as if some research is showing that the decrease in violent crime might be better attributed to the switch from leaded to unleaded gas."

There is no single cause for 100% of the drop in crime. It may be that the switch from leaded to unleaded gas contributed. But the University of Chicago study I cited shows that increased incarceration also contributed, and significantly so.

Do you have a basis for doubting the Chicago study? If so, what is it?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 3, 2013 1:40:55 PM

oh dear, more about your need to personally defend yourself, endlessly and ad nauseam. do you not even find yourself tedious at this point? whenever a comment section exceeds ten comments, none of us need even open the thread to know exactly how the discussion has played out. you and your cohorts on both sides are so predictable. unless and until there is some direction that comments here be substantive and remain on topic, these threads will continue to remain useless as the playground for your and your sparring partners' pettiness. with that, i'm done engaging you.

Posted by: call me crazy | Jan 3, 2013 1:44:49 PM

call me crazy --

So posters are required to remain silent in the face of their positions being intentionally misrepresented?!

That's just so far out!

Go back to Mother Jones. It's the right publication for you.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 3, 2013 1:54:49 PM

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