Crime And Law Enforcement
Monday, December 12, 2011
Frank Zimring, professor of law and criminal justice at UC-Berkeley and the author of The City that Became Safe: New York's Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control, studied New York City's drop in crime for lessons about policing and drug enforcement for other cities.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Every day, nearly 7,000 people in America die. And when the deaths are unexpected, sudden or suspicious, it’s presumed that a thorough investigation will take place.
Though you might expect a thorgough and high-level investigation from TV shows like CSI, the reality is quite different. In over 1,300 counties across the United States, elected coroners are in charge of death investigations — many with no medical or scientific background. To run for coroner in most counties, all you need is a high school diploma.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
What if you found yourself accused of a crime you didn’t commit? What if the only thing standing between you and freedom was your word against the word of the victim? What if the court ruled against you? Craig Watkins feels that scenario happens far too often in our country, and since he was elected district attorney of Dallas, Texas, he’s done everything he can to correct those mistakes.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Douglas Starr, codirector of the Center for Science and Medical Journalism, recounts the birth of the field of modern forensics in his book, The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Modern Forensics. It gives an account of serial murderer Joseph Vacher, known as the killer of "little shepherds," and the desperate search by police in France to stop his terrifying killing spree.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
President Obama stirred some controversy recently by calling Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to commend him for giving Michael Vick a second chance, after Vick was released from prison for his involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring. Some were far on the other side of the Vick story, like pundit Tucker Carlson, who suggested that Vick should have been executed for his crimes. Outside of the public debate, many who work with formerly incarcerated Americans say that Vick is very lucky — and that second chances are rare.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Police believe there is a serial killer on the loose in the vicinity of Flint, Michigan. Law enforcement officials say they believe the killer to be responsible for the deaths of five men as well as attacks on more than a dozen others. All but two of the attacker's victims were black, but authorities in Michigan are not saying the motives of the killer are racial. The attacker may also be involved in a spate of recent attacks in Virginia and Ohio.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Last week, a California serial killer was caught after his son was convicted of a felony weapons charge. A DNA lab was able to discover a genetic link between the son's DNA and evidence from old crime scenes, which led them to investigate Lonnie D. Franklin, Jr. Franklin has allegedly killed at least 10 people in California over the last 25 years. The police made the connection through the state’s familial search program, which allows police to take DNA from a crime scene and compare it to millions of DNA samples in a database. If there is even a partial match, police can get leads to the criminal by way of a family member.
The search has also raised ethical questions. Critics say it could lead to a form of racial profiling, because a higher proporation of inmates are African American, and linking their DNA to their family members could wrongly lead to suspicions of others in the black community.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Today our partner WGBH Radio begins an investigative series about the growing national and international criminal enterprise of human and sexual trafficking, and examines how nail salons in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are being used to hide and legitimize illegal activities. Women are being trafficked to work in salons during the day and then pulled into prostitution at night, and because a salon is a cash-based business, it is a perfect place to launder the money brought in through prostitution.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tension is growing along the American border with Mexico after a U.S. border agent shot and killed a 15-year-old Mexican boy on Monday evening. The incident, which took place near the El Paso border crossing, is complicated by the fact that U.S. authorities, Mexican authorities and eyewitnesses all tell different accounts of the incident. The U.S. says the teen was with a group of youths who threw rocks at border agents while they were trying to arrest two illegal migrants. Mexican authorities have condemned the shooting, calling it excessive use of force.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
A former nurse appears in court in Minnesota this morning charged with two counts of aiding suicide. His weapon? Words. For years, William Melchert-Dinkel, 47, allegedly spent hours in online chat rooms with suicide themes, posing as a young female nurse and befriending vulnerable people contemplating suicide. He encouraged them to end their own lives, gave them tips on how to do it, and entered into suicide pacts with some - pacts police say he never intended to keep. At least two of the people he advised took their own lives – a 32-year-old British man in 2005, and an 18-year-old college student in Canada in 2008. Now Melchert-Dinkel is being charged with their deaths.
Monday, April 19, 2010
On Friday the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a civil suit against Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, after uncovering what the SEC calls significant evidence of fraud during the run-up to the current financial crisis.
Friday, February 12, 2010
For most Americans, human trafficking is a horrific practice that nearly always seems to happen overseas and far away. However, a recent report by the Ohio Trafficking in Persons Study Commission says about 1,000 American-born children are forced into the sex trade every year in Ohio alone.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The FBI is reporting that crime fell nationally in the first six months of 2009, when compared to the same time last year. The decline happening in the midst of a terrible recession and high unemployment. With those factors, people usually expect crime to increase... So what's going on? To help answer that is New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. And while crime went down nationally it also rose someplace you might not expect it to – Seattle, WA. Jonah Spangenthal-Lee from SeattleCrime.com looks at why Seattle's crime is rising.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The rate of federal prosecutions is at an all-time high, showing an increase of nine percent since last year. According to a new study by Syracuse University's TRAC project, this increase is primarily related to an increase in arrests of immigration violators. We talk with John Schwartz of The New York Times and Valeria Fernández of the Feet in 2 Worlds Program about the increase, and what it signifies for the Obama administration's stance towards immigration reform.
Read John Schwartz's article in The New York Times.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Hard to believe, but it's been one year since Ponzi scheme 'mastermind' Bernie Madoff was arrested for scamming over $50 billion from investors. We thought it'd be the perfect time to check in and see how Madoff's victims and associates are doing, one year after his arrest. Aaron Lucchetti is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal whose latest article says the Madoff sons are having an incredibly hard time finding themsleves new jobs. Cynthia Crane was one of Madoff's many victims; she decided to adapt her story for the theatre in a show titled, "John Denver, Bernie Madoff, and Me."
Thursday, December 10, 2009
This week Facebook announced the formation of a new Safety Advisory Board to monitor online crimes, such as cyber-bullying and stalking. That announcement got us thinking about the people most likely to use those sites, and the most vulnerable to those crimes: teenagers.
The issue becomes even more serious when you consider the statistics. According to a new survey conducted by MTV and the Associated Press, almost half of sexually active young people report being involved in sexting, or sending nude photos of themselves or their sexual partners via cell phone.
Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist at The Pew Research Center’s The Internet and American Life Project and Bryan Taylor, Unit Chief for Crimes Against Persons in the Canyon County Prosecutors Office, say that these digital-world problems are on the rise and educating kids about them is the only way to prepare them.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has been convicted of one count of embezzlement. Dixon was found guilty of stealing around $630 worth of gift cards intended for needy families in Baltimore, then using the cards at stores like Target and Old Navy. Though the charge was only a misdemeanor, Dixon could be forced from office. We're joined by Marc Steiner, host of The Marc Steiner show on WEAA. He's a long-time Baltimore resident and he's been taking the pulse of a city that has, at times, been deeply divided over the mayor's trial.