Friday, June 17, 2011

Libertarian Links

Marco Rubio speech about opportunity.

Carter on pot decriminalization (back in the day): "That first happened when Jimmy Carter was seeking the Oval Office. Here's a quote of his you've likely forgotten or never heard before: "I do favor the decriminalization of marijuana." Under his never enacted plan, an American could've possessed up to an ounce without running afoul of federal law."

Great article about sex crimes: After the law took effect, the number of sex offenders whose whereabouts were unknown more than doubled. The prosecutors reported that “the residency restriction is causing offenders to become homeless, to change residences without notifying authorities of their new locations, to register false addresses or to simply disappear.” [...]A 2003 Justice Department study of 9,700 sex offenders found that 5 percent were arrested for new sex crimes within three years of being released from prison. (By comparison, 23 percent of burglars were arrested for new burglaries, and 22 percent of people who had served time for nonsexual assault were arrested for new assaults.) Studies that cover longer periods find higher recidivism rates for sex offenders, but still nothing like those claimed by panic-promoting politicians. [...]A study of 4,700 sex offenders, published by Public Safety Canada in 2004, found that 24 percent were charged with a new sex crime over a period of 15 years. [...]Seto, Hanson, and Babchishin performed meta-analyses of 24 studies that looked at the criminal histories of “online offenders” (mainly consumers of child pornography) and eight studies that calculated their recidivism rates. They found that one in eight had an official record of committing a contact offense. [...]Between 1997 and 2007, the number of people sent to federal prison for possessing, receiving, or distributing (but not producing) child pornography quintupled, from 238 to 1,170, while the average sentence more than quadrupled, from 21 to 91 months. Among the baffling results of these policies: A defendant with no prior criminal record and no history of abusing children would qualify for a sentence of 15 to 20 years based on a small collection of child pornography and one photo swap, while a 50-year-old man who encountered a 13-year-old girl online and lured her into a sexual relationship would get no more than four years. The absurdity has not gone unnoticed by the judiciary. In a 2010 survey by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, 70 percent of federal judges said the recommended penalties for possessing or receiving child pornography are unreasonable. [...]The Washington state study found that committing a sex offender cost an average of $97,000 annually, compared to $26,000 for a year of prison, a gap that a 2007 investigation by The New York Times attributed to “higher costs for programs, treatment and supervised freedoms.”

Homophobic men most aroused by gay sex: When viewing lesbian sex and straight sex, both the homophobic and the non-homophobic men showed increased penis circumference. For gay male sex, however, only the homophobic men showed heightened penis arousal.

Is prison safer for black men than being on the street?

The hidden cost of the new health insurance law:  A recent employer survey by McKinsey & Co. found that more than half of all American companies are likely to “dump” their workers into the government-run exchanges. If half of the 180 million workers who enjoy employer-provided care wind up in the exchanges, the annual cost of Obamacare would increase by $400 billion by 2021.

Private crime labs?: The lab was closed in 2008 after another investigation revealed habitually sloppy analysis among the lab's workers, and an error rate as high as 10 percent, a jaw-dropping figure considering that those analysts' testimony can send someone to prison. [...]The initial investigation found at least 230 cases [in NC] in which crime lab workers failed to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence, including three cases that resulted in the defendant's execution.

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