Proposition Review of Sense and Nonsense About Crime and Drugs

Topics: Crime, Criminal law, Insanity defense Pages: 2 (609 words) Published: March 8, 2011
Proposition 27: Special prosecution units do not produce either higher conviction rates or lower crime rates

According to the data that Walker has cited, special prosecution units have not produced different results from regular prosecution teams. The data that Walker cited came from a San Diego, CA prosecutorial office. However, in an article published by the National Institute of Justice in the Office of Justice Programs, the data leads to a different conclusion. In Cook County, Illinois (Chicago) the conviction rate increased from 50% to 71% when using a special prosecution team. In Milwaukee, the conviction rate increases five times over when a domestic violence prosecution team was put in place. The key factor however, that was mentioned in this article was that the team must be adequately staffed. In Walkers claims, there was no mention of whether the team in San Diego was adequately staffed. Additionally, the conviction rates were already pushing 90%. In order for the results to even remotely come close to statistically significant, the conviction rate would have to push close to 100%. Citation:

Proposition 28: Abolishing or limiting the insanity defense with have no impact on serious crime

Walker asserts that politicians and other lawmakers have attacked the insanity defense as a loophole in the criminal prosecution chain. He states that it directly attacks the mens rea requirement. Hence if a criminal was to plead NGRI (Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity) they have thereby eliminated the possibility that they could have had the mental capacity to commit the crime. However, in an article written by Kenneth B. Chiacchia for Psychology Encyclopedia, it is noted that less than 1 out of every 100 defendants plead NGRI. The actual statistic is .85%. Additionally, the statistics state that nearly 70% of...
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