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Arkansas Conducts First Execution In Years After U.S. Supreme Court Clears Path

I don't understand the controversy. In 2016, roughly 2.65 million Americans died due to wide variety of factors. Traffic lights sometimes malfunction and tie rods sometimes fail while driving on expressways but we don't require Supreme Court approval to install a traffic light or buy a car. We do take common sense steps to ensure circuit breakers in traffic lights and quality control at automobile factories but we don't get ourselves into years of needless delays. In cases of wrongful death, we give estates the ability to receive financial compensation. Governments should be bonded against wrongful executions to discourage bad court proceedings and protect families but as long as protections exist, I don't think their should be unnecessary delays.

The challenge of maintaining a “normal” rate of crime

"Emile Durkheim upset a lot of people, back in the late 19th century, by claiming that there was a “normal” rate of crime, which society seeks to maintain. He argued that the apprehension and punishment of criminals served a social function, by reaffirming everyone else’s commitment to the social order. In the same way that public rituals serve as a reaffirmation of faith for members of certain religion communities, the punishment of criminals plays the same role for members of society more generally. We find it easier to do our part in maintaining the social order when we have visible evidence that those who fail to do so are being appropriately sanctioned."

"This is why the general public takes such a keen interest in the punishment of criminals, and much less in, say, road maintenance, even though with the division of labour, there are agents of the state whose job it is to make sure that each is done expeditiously. But in order for this reaffirmation of the social order to take place, there must first be a sufficient number of criminals. This is where the “normal” rate of crime comes in – this is the level that is functionally required to maintain social solidarity. Durkheim argued that the crime rate cannot really drop much below this normal level, because if it does, society will respond by criminalizing new forms of behaviour, in order to bring the rate back up."

Race of those Arrested for Crimes (2015)

African Americans are arrested more then Whites for certain crimes. The crime African Americans are arrested for in the greatest proportion is illegal gambling, followed by suspicion of a crime (when combined with Native Americans), Robbery and Murder and non-negligent manslaughter.

Whites in contrast are most frequently arrested to crimes relating to alcohol -- DWI, Liquor Law violations, Public Drunkenness, and a non-alcohol related crime, arson.

Data Source: Table 43, Crime in the United States.

Murders by NY County, 1990-2015

In 2015 there were 2,889 murders in New York State. In contrast, twenty five years earlier in 1990, there were 4,957 murders in New York State. As they say, crime isn't what it once was in New York. The biggest drop in murder occurred between 1993 and 1997, when total yearly murders dropped from 4,393 to 3,211.

Data Source:

Albany County Index Crimes

In the past 25 years the number of crimes reported by law enforcement agencies in Albany County has been reduced by nearly half. Crime, especially in the urban areas, is not the problem it once was in earlier decades. The bulk of crimes reported in the county comes from reporting by the Albany City Police, along with Colonie Police.

Data Source:

Google Maps: Highest Crime Neighborhoods In America

"Even the most dangerous cities in America can have relatively safe neighborhoods, as there is more variation in crime within most cities than between cities. But using exclusive data developed by NeighborhoodScout, and based on FBI data from all local law enforcement agencies in America, we here report those specific neighborhoods in America that have the highest predicted rates of violent crime per 1,000 neighborhood residents of all. Violent crimes include murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault. These neighborhoods are the epicenters of violence in America, where social issues are likely to ignite into violence and spread."