Category Archives: crime and punishment

Armed robbers apprehended at the U of C after a chase and a crash; school paper publishes photo of one suspect; students use the incident to criticize our armed cops

We had a bit of excitement here on Monday when, sitting at my desk, I got three successive email alerts from the campus authorities that there were criminal suspects loose on campus. The final one was that they were apprehended. But the first ones, like this, were a bit scary: Shelter in place! That sounds […]

El Chapo convicted

And he’ll undoubtedly get life in prison (he’s 61), as he was found guilty of all ten counts of the indictment, including conspiracy to murder, money laundering, and, of course, running a criminal enterprise. In this case life in prison is the mandatory sentence Kudos to the prosecution for amassing and presenting a mountain of […]

Michael Egnor gives a religionist’s view of free will and its implications for criminal justice

I really don’t like linking to Michael Egnor’s posts—or anybody’s posts—on Evolution News, the flaccid organ of the Discovery Institute. This is because, in the absence of evidence for intelligent design, the site has taken to ad hominem argumentation, ignoring evolution and simply attacking the evolutionary messengers. Egnor in particular has it in for me, […]

Two nuns embezzle half a million dollars to gamble in Las Vegas, face NO charges

Posting may be light today as I’m writing for real (i.e., not on this site, and for dosh) with two deadlines. Like Maru, I do my best. Please enjoy—if that’s the right word—this short BBC article that’s at once funny and irritating (click on the screenshot): The funny part is, of course, the idea of […]

The shooting in Pittsburgh

I’ve been asked by several people why I haven’t responded to the horrible news of 11 people shot to death in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. It happened on Squirrel Hill, a Jewish area of the city in which, it so happens, most of my relatives used to live. I’m not sure whether any of them […]

A misguided execution of a cognitively disabled prisoner

This report, from the science journal Nature (click on screenshot) shows what happens when punishment is purely retributive. The story: Vernon Madison killed a police officer in Alabama in 1985. He was sentenced to death.  In the ensuing 33 years on death row, Madison has had multiple strokes that have left him without any memory […]

Did the Kavanaugh hearings help Trump?

As I’ve written before, my feeling, based on what I know and the testimony I heard, is that Brett Kavanaugh was guilty of sexual assault or malfeasance. Now I think he’s guilty not just of lying about that, but lying about many things, and that is perjury and disqualifies him from the Supreme Court. But […]

American professor: “White crime dramas” are a sign of racism. So are black and Hispanic crime dramas

I really should stop looking at HuffPo, as it’s simply the Left’s version of Breitbart: a tendentious and often ridiculously slanted look at politics. Both sites anger me. If you know what subject a HuffPo article is about, you already know what it’s going to say. Or, at least, you know what line they’re going to […]

Errors in forensic DNA testing are still pervasive: false matches and wonky statistics

About twenty years ago I spent a good deal of my time testifying for the defense in criminal cases involving DNA evidence. These were trials in which the prosecution claimed that the defendant’s DNA profile had been found to match crime-scene samples (these involve blood or sperm analysis), and in which the prosecution presented “match […]

“Nazi puncher” gets a $1 fine, no jail time

I’m cooling my heels in the SFO airport with a big cup of Peet’s coffee, but will be in Chicago this evening. I hope my ducks are there when I return tomorrow. According to Vice (and other sources), Jason Kessler, the guy who organized the white supremacist “Unite the Right” Rally in Charlottesville—a rally in […]