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FBI: Violent Crime Down:  The FBI announced today that violent crime dropped six percent last year, making 2010 the fourth year in a row violent crime has declined.  Property crime was also down for the eighth year in a row, dropping 2.7 percent.  Criminologists attribute the lower crime rates to an aging population, better policing, and continued high rates of imprisonment.  Criminal justice research professor John Eck of the University of Cincinnati adds that an important factor is improved policing practices that focus on high-crime locations in which "you are denying the criminal the ability to attack targets.  Virtually every large city is doing something."  Pete Yost of the AP has this story.

11th Circuit Tosses Lenient Sentence for Convicted Terrorist:  The AP reports the 11th Circuit today vacated the sentence of convicted terrorist plotter Jose Padilla, finding that his 17-year sentence was far too lenient in light of his extensive criminal history and future dangerousness due to his al-Qaeda training.  Padilla and two other co-defendants were convicted in 2007 of several terrorism-related charges.  He was held as an enemy combatant for more than three years without being charged, a fact that the sentencing judge considered when reducing Padilla's sentence by 12 years.  "Although some downward variance is allowed in this circumstance, the district court abused its discretion," said the ruling written by the 11th Circuit Chief Judge Joel F. Dubina.

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