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September 1, 2017

Two interesting and critical takes on AG Jeff Sessions' repeated statements about rising crime

These two recent commentaries take apart and generally take down statements by Attorney General Jeff Sessions about rising crime rates in the United States:

September 1, 2017 at 01:24 PM | Permalink

Comments

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_rate_fallacy

Posted by: Daniel | Sep 1, 2017 1:36:50 PM

Prof. Berman,

I cannot speak to national crime rates but in California we have seen a substantial rise in the violent crime rate over the past two years in the tarnished Golden State.
Per our AG's office, the violent crime rate per 100,000 population increased from the previous year:
2016: 4.1%
2015: 8.4%

While it is certainly correct that the numbers are still lower than the horror of the 80's & early 90's (which I am old enough to remember all too well), these increases should be cause of worry to anyone who hasn't been blinded by their biases.

The fact remains that the many Tough on Crime measures that were the direct result of the violent crime wave back then at least appeared to cause the amazing drop in violent crime that occurred from 1992 until recently. One can certainly argue the fiscal and human cost of those measures, but to my mind and the minds of most of law enforcement, they worked.

We are now in the midst of a vast social experiment being conducted by our Governor and his supporters. Many programs, which occurred both in public view as well as behind the scenes, have resulted in a neutering of most of the previous measures and a huge drop (roughly 1/3) in the state prison population.

Perhaps Prop. 57 and all these other "reforms" will cause criminals to seek rehabilitation and see the error of their ways. Perhaps the human spirit can change (as hoped by the Secretary of our prison system). But the early results are not good and everyone should remember that mere statistics never tell the real cost in human lives taken or damaged by these violent crimes.

Posted by: Cal. Prosecutor | Sep 1, 2017 2:42:58 PM

Cal. There are now as many internet crimes as there are FBI Index felonies (common law crimes). The criminals have modernized, but not the left wing part of the lawyer profession. These are not being counted. Each internet crime nets $5000, or $1000 more than an armed robbery of a bank. Today's kids are too fat and lazy to get off the couch to rob a bank, or to mug someone.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 1, 2017 3:23:51 PM

All decarcerated felons are to go to houses surrounding the homes of the decarceration advocates, legislators, and appellate court judges. Dump these toxic people onto lawyer neighborhoods, not onto poor neighborhoods. All decarceration advocates must provide their home addresses. My lawyer neighborhood will handle them. The police arrives in 2 minutes. They are blasting. The death penalty is at the scene, so these neighborhoods are the best suited for this plague of violent crime.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 1, 2017 3:47:54 PM

Jeff Sessions misrepresenting facts! I'm schocked.

Posted by: English major | Sep 1, 2017 4:19:00 PM

The sky is falling, more rampant crime fantasies, start spending the wasted taxpayer money used to militarize law enforcement and spend it on reforming the prison system to provide rehabilitation opportunities for those incarcerated with skills they can use when they get out. Instead of building a system that does little more than mimic a zoo for animals and ever increasingly provides lifetime job security for those in the justice system, prisons and local law enforcement.

Posted by: dave | Sep 1, 2017 5:52:52 PM

Dave. Rehabilitation is quackery, a welfare program for social workers and English teachers. All reform has already taken place. Those ending in prison have failed to respond to all reform efforts. They have a 50% chance of being murdered, and continue their violent crime careers. They cannot be deterred. They cannot be changed. They can only be contained. If you point out the poets, and the newspaper editors in prison, their success can only happen in the structured setting of prison. Releasing them is like stopping the successful treatment of diabetes by insulin.

Aside from their fixed and immutable characters, the rewards of crime are ridiculously high, thanks to the coddling by pro-criminal lawyer profession. Straight jobs are ridiculous and irrational for the ordinary person.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 1, 2017 8:19:52 PM

Ok, Calif, Chicago, Dallas, La, Kansas city, Philly, Pittsburgh etc. All very large complex cities, but in Smallville, USA, our crime is just from the section 8 housing dudes migrating here.

Hm, one would think the feds could solve the problems they create, look at the crew in Washington. My point is, what might be needed in large cities, certainly isnt in small and rural areas in Ameruca. Feds over kill things to a naysecious state, enough said.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Sep 1, 2017 10:03:51 PM

Cal. I hope you follow this story, and keep us updated. Victim attacked viciously is a prosecutor.

I am going to bet 10 cents. Whether the attacker is related to her case or is coincidental, the attacker will not make it to arrest, and certainly not to trial. I am betting the attacker passes away long before.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/08/31/deputy-da-violently-beaten/

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 1, 2017 11:46:28 PM

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