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Figures on Crime: At Judging Crimes, Joel Jacobsen comments on some differing crime figures from two different divisions of the Department of Justice.  Jacobsen writes that the results National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reported 19.3 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or higher in 2008.  That's 1,930 victimizations per 100,000.  Just twelve days later the FBI released a report stating "there were an estimated 454.5 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2008."  Why the discrepancy? Jacobsen writes that the "chief explanation is that little word 'simple.'"  Apparently, the NCVS classifies about 3,472,590 of its estimated assaults as "simple."  "Simple" assaults require less than 2 days of hospitalization.  Jacobsen continues to expand on why the NCVS and FBI report different rates of vicitimization, and then states "it's almost a given that the NCVS understates the prevalence of crime, because it depends on what respondents are prepared to say when called up."

The NCVS and FBI numbers have always differed because of their different methodologies and scope, as explained in this BJS webpage.The FBI's UCR is crimes known to police, while the NCVS is a phone survey. The NCVS only asks respondents about crimes committed against them personally, so obviously it does not include homicide.

Toobin Comments on President Obama's Judicial Nominations:
  Thanks to Sentencing Law and Policy's Doug Berman we were informed that Jeffrey Toobin has a new New Yorker  piece discussing President Obama's judicial appointment policy.  In "Bench Press," Toobin wonders whether the President's nominations "[a]re really liberals?"  Toobin reports on the nominations of David Hamilton to the Seventh Circuit, on Justice Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, and on the nominations of seven nominees to the circuit courts.  Toobin  reports that while Justice Sotomayor's confirmation process went relatively smoothly,  Judge Hamilton faces threats of Republican filibuster for a ruling striking down the daily invocation at the Indiana legislature and invalidating a part of Indiana's abortion law.  Some Republicans, like Senator Orrin Hatch, blame the President for the delay.  Hatch points to the President's vote against Chief Justice John Roberts, and states "You have to be a partisan ideologue not to support Roberts.  There is a really big push on by partisan Republicans to use the same things that they did against us."  Toobin calls this ironic, "because Obama has long sought to define himself as something other than a traditional legal liberal."  This could be why the President chose to nominate Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, and could by why Toobin believes "at times [during her confirmation] the post-partisan language of the White House sounded a lot like that of traditional judicial conservatism."

And Speaking of Judicial Nominees... 
At Blog of Legal Times, David Ingram tells us that "[b]y a vote of 94 to 3, the Senate confirmed Judge Gerard Lynch for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit."  Ingram wrote earlier today that Judge Lynch, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York since 2000, was almost assured confirmation.  Ingram reports there are still three vacancies left on the Second Circuit, and in other circuits Judge Andre Davis, Judge David Hamilton, and Judge Beverly Martin are still waiting to be confirmed.  (Judge Lynch's questionnaire is available here.)

Disparate Reactions to the Death Penalty:
  Much has been said about the attempted execution of Rommell Broom this Tuesday (our posts can be found here, here and here), and today Ashby Jones nicely combined some of the "disparate reactions" that have emerged as a result.  Some, like the ACLU, called for Ohio to stop all executions indefinitely, and others,  like Cleveland Plain-Dealer columnist Phillip Morris want to create more method-of-execution options.  In an article published in yesterday's Plain-Dealer, Morris wrote:  
"The death penalty was once administered with ropes, guns and electric chairs, not technicians with syringes. What we have now is a gentle form of euthanasia designed to ease the conscience of civil libertarians or those who want to take out the garbage in the most humane way possible. 
We kill with just a bit too much kindness."

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