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Oklahoma Selected for Intensive Criminal Justice Study:  Oklahoma state leaders announced yesterday that the state's criminal justice system will be the subject of an extensive study, reports Sean Murphy of The Oklahoman.  The Justice Reinvestment Initiative, funded in part by the federal Department of Justice, is aimed at improving public safety and reducing prison overcrowding and costs.  Most states have seen a dramatic drop in violent crime rates over the past decade, but Oklahoma's violent crime rate has increased slightly and ranks 11th in the nation. 

Abandoned Houses Breed Crime in Chicago:  Chicago Tribune reporters Dahleen Glanton, Antonio Olivo, and William Mullen have this piece on the effect the foreclosure crisis in the Englewood section of Chicago has had on crime.  The foreclosure crisis, which one researcher referred to as the city's "tsunami," has resulted in an increasing number of abandoned houses and stories like that of Karen Edwards, who was pulled into a vacant and boarded-up home in 2005 after walking her children to school and raped by three men.

Death Penalty for Leader of Irish Mob?:  Laurel J. Sweet reports in the Boston Herald that while capital punishment "will not be an option" in prosecuting James "Whitey" Bulger in a Massachusetts federal court for 19 homicides, he could later face death sentences in Oklahoma and Florida for murders in those states.  Bulger, 81, and his girlfriend Catherine Greig, 60, were arrested Wednesday night outside their Santa Monica apartment after 16 years on the run. 

California Parolee Accused of Burglary the Day After GPS Tracker Removed:  California parolee and gang member Lawrence Lamar Jackio, 20, is accused of participating in a bloody home burglary the day after his GPS tracker was removed, reports Sam Stanton of The Sacramento Bee.  California began GPS monitoring of gang member parolees last year, but began removing the tracking devices from more than half of the offenders to cut costs by July 1.  In Sacramento County alone, 40 of the 60 who were bring monitored already have had their tracking devices removed.

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