Health

Population shift resulting in fewer homicides

The international homicide rate has dropped 20 percent since 1990 and a new study concludes it's likely not due to changes in domestic policies or current events.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Air pollution linked to increases in violent criminal behavior

Exposure to high levels of air pollution is known to cause asthma attacks, cardiovascular disease and other health problems in people. New research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Colorado State ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Evidence contradicts common stereotypes about mass shooters

When 22 people were killed in El Paso, Texas, and nine more were killed in Dayton, Ohio, roughly 12 hours later, responses to the tragedy included many of the same myths and stereotypes Americans have grown used to hearing ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Neighborhood environment and health

It is well understood that urban black males are at a disproportionately high risk of poor health outcomes. But little is known about how the neighborhood environments where these men live contribute to their health.

Genetics

First US murder trial using DNA, family tree evidence

A truck driver implicated by his DNA and family tree in a double murder more than 30 years after the crime will face trial this week in the first case using a revolutionary investigative technique.

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Crime

Societies define crime as the breach of one or more rules or laws for which some governing authority via police power may ultimately prescribe a conviction. While every crime is a violation of the law, not every violation of the law is a crime, for example, breaches of contract and other civil law are offences or infraction.

When society deems informal relationships and sanctions, insufficient to establish and maintain a desired social order, there may result compulsory systems of social control imposed by a government, or by a sovereign state. With institutional and legal machinery at their disposal, agents of the State can compel populations to conform to codes, and can opt to punish or reform those who do not conform.

Authorities employ various mechanisms to regulate prohibited conduct, including rules codified into laws, policing people to ensure they comply with those laws, and other policies and practices designed to prevent crime. In addition, authorities provide remedies and sanctions, and collectively these constitute a criminal justice system. While incarceration may be of temporary character and therefore aimed at reforming the convict, in some jurisdictions penal codes are written to inflict a permanent harsh punishment either in the form of capital punishment or life without parole.

The label of "crime" and the accompanying social stigma normally confine their scope to those activities seen as injurious to the general population or to the State, including some that cause serious loss or damage to individuals. The labellers intend to assert the hegemony of a dominant population, or to reflect a consensus of condemnation for the identified behavior and to justify a punishment inflicted by the State (in the event that standard processing tries and convicts an accused person of a crime). Usually, the perpetrator of the crime is a natural person, but crimes may also be committed by legal persons.

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