Just the Facts Ma’am

Dragnet's Joe Friday may have never uttered those words, but he would be impressed nonetheless by the facts on crime. There was a fascinating piece by Erik Eckholm in yesterday’s New York Times on the dramatic reductions in crime over the past several decades. Overall, crime peaked in 1991 and has fallen steadily since then.   … Continue reading Just the Facts Ma’am

Marijuana: The Political Class vs. Everybody Else

Marc blogged the other day about the New York Times editorial board's endorsement of repealing federal marijuana prohibition, just months after having rejected that step. Now, this isn't quite the same as endorsing marijuana legalization - just returning it to the states - but it is a significant step nonetheless. Still, they are well behind … Continue reading Marijuana: The Political Class vs. Everybody Else

The Spoils of War [Surplus]

The New York Times had a wonderful piece earlier this week on the disposal of war surplus to state and local law enforcement agencies under the Department of Defense Excess Property Program (1033 Program). Since 2006, the Department of Defense has sold or given away (at minimum): 432 MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles) 435 other armored … Continue reading The Spoils of War [Surplus]

A Living Death

The Economist has a painful piece about mandatory life sentences in the United States, much of which is drawn from a new report by the ACLU entitled “A Living Death.” A few interesting points: At least 3,278 people are serving life sentences without parole for non-violent crimes. “Around 79% of them were convicted of drug … Continue reading A Living Death

Capital Punishment’s Deterrent Effect (update)

Update: added missing caption to figure Next year, the New Hampshire House will take up a bill to abolish the death penalty. Several libertarian legislators have signed on as co-sponsors, and observers think the bill has a good chance. What should libertarians think about the death penalty? In general, hardcore civil libertarians have opposed it, … Continue reading Capital Punishment’s Deterrent Effect (update)