In the News

Actually, research shows that guns do kill people

Franklin Zimring cited in Daily Commercial, August 29, 2015

Almost two decades ago, Franklin Zimring, a longtime researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and a colleague, Gordon Hawkins, showed that the U.S. doesn’t have an especially high crime rate relative to other developed nations. But the U.S. is far more violent. Every conflict, from the mundane to the serious — not just domestic disputes and robberies, but traffic altercations and bar fights — is more deadly in the U.S. because of the presence of guns.

Worried biotech advocates swarm to prenatal testing fight

Peter Menell cited in The Recorder (registration required), August 27, 2015

“There is serious risk that failure to engage this issue at this juncture could set the patent system on a dire course,” say UC-Berkeley Law professor Peter Menell and UC-Hastings’ Jeffrey Lefstin in an amicus curiae brief filed Thursday.

Police to institute sexual violence unit

Kim Thuy Seelinger quoted in New Vision, August 26, 2015

“Most gender desks in police stations are manned by unqualified personnel who in most cases are reassigned to other duties, leaving gender violence cases unattended.” she said.

Local support key to achieving justice in sexual violence cases, claim researchers

Kim Thuy Seelinger quoted in The Guardian, August 26, 2015

“There is so much focus on what the international criminal court (ICC) is or is not doing about sexual violence committed as a war crime, crime against humanity, or act of genocide,” said Kim Thuy Seelinger, director of the sexual violence programme. “But it’s the nurse at the county clinic or the rural police officer who can actually play a central role in the pursuit of justice, even when the crime violates international law.”

China cuts interest rates as ripple effects of “Black Monday” continue

Alan Auerbach interviewed on KQED-FM, August 26, 2015

“The government of China is in a funny position. On the one hand, China has a very rapidly growing economy, and in many respects, a very capitalist economy, and yet it has a government trying to maintain control as the old Communist government did.… And sometimes that comes in conflict with a normal working of an economy.”

Professors sharply divided on birthright citizenship

John Yoo quoted in The College Fix, August 25, 2015

“The constitutional text flatly states that children born in the U.S. are citizens, without reference to whether their parents are aliens or not.”

UC Berkeley’s Policy Advocacy Clinic aims to tackle issues concerning community

Jeffrey Selbin and Stephanie Campos-Bui in The Daily Californian, August 24, 2015

Faculty director Jeffrey Selbin wanted to address larger, systemic issues that trickle down to many of the clinic’s clients by providing students with opportunities to research and advocate for marginalized communities.

“A lot of people or families with youth involved in the juvenile justice system are more often than not people of color or living in poverty,” Campos-Bui said. “So handing bills over to kids and their parents (make them) stuck with a huge amount of debt.”

Court says the FTC can slap companies for getting hacked

Christopher Hoofnagle quoted in Wired, August 24, 2015

“The law has always imposed responsibility on companies for the care of their customers. When you’re in the restaurant you have to be protected against slips and falls or food-borne illness,” says Hoofnagle. “Data is just something new that companies have to protect if they want to bear the benefits of collecting it.”

On citizenship, the ‘birthers’ are right

John Yoo writes for National Review, August 22, 2015

The text, structure, and history of the Constitution all show that the 14th Amendment recognizes the citizenship of any child born on American territory.

California bill aims to warn consumers about recording TVs

Jim Dempsey quoted in The Washington Post, August 20, 2015

Potential uses for the information could go “way above and beyond advertising,” said Jim Dempsey.… The information collected could still be used to make psychological or cultural assessments of people for insurance or customer relations companies, he said…. “It could determine what kind of offers you get made.”

Lessons from Tianjin

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2015

Because the disaster occurred in one of China’s largest cities, with a population of 15 million, it should provoke a necessary deeper consideration of subpar worker safety conditions throughout Chinese industry.

AT&T making it even harder for you to protect your privacy

Deirdre Mulligan quoted in Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2015

“There’s a desire among these companies to protect as much opportunity as they have to market to people,” she said. “They know that how complicated a privacy policy is, how it’s presented, can create barriers to opting out.”

Exclusion of blacks from juries raises renewed scrutiny

Elisabeth A. Semel quoted in The New York Times, August 16, 2015

“If you repeatedly see all-white juries convict African-Americans, what does that do to public confidence in the criminal justice system?” asked Elisabeth A. Semel.

Jerome Miller, revolutionized juvenile justice, dies

Barry Krisberg interviewed for The Washington Post, August 15, 2015

“I would rate Jerry Miller the most influential juvenile justice and criminal justice reformer of the past 50 years,” Barry Krisberg … said in an interview. “His approach to juvenile justice is today the national norm.”

The strange history of marriage as court-ordered punishment

Melissa Murray writes for, August 14, 2015

Today, the crime of seduction no longer exists in most American jurisdictions. Nevertheless, the residue of the history of marriage as punishment survives in certain forms.

For a safer America, curtail traffic stops

Christopher Kutz writes for Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2015

“Curtailing traffic stops wouldn’t solve the problem of police violence against blacks and Latinos, but it would reduce exposure to ‘driving while black’ harassment and the collateral harms of the legal process. … And all citizens could enjoy more freedom from overzealous and unproductive policing.”

Walker and Rubio are taking the GOP presidential contest to historic extremes on abortion

Kristin Luker quoted in Business Insider, August 12, 2015

It wasn’t until around 1980, Luker said, that “abortion really became a litmus test” for the GOP. In part because of civil rights and in part because of abortion, she noted, “well-off intellectuals began migrating to the Democratic party,” creating a feedback loop that drove Republicans further to the right on reproductive issues.

The crimes of children

Franklin Zimring cited in The Atlantic, August 10, 2015

Research by criminologist and Berkeley law professor Franklin Zimring found that juveniles with five or more non-sex-related arrests on their record are twice as likely to be arrested for sex crimes in adulthood as juveniles who did commit sex offenses but had fewer than five total arrests for any crime.

America placed whites above blacks—and built a whole society around it

john a. powell quoted on Raw Story, August 10, 2015

“Through our practices, through our culture, and certainly through our policing, we send a message every day that black lives don’t matter,” he said. In the way we call white neighborhoods “good” areas and black neighborhoods “bad,” powell said that “we have institutionalized fear of the racial other and arranged society around it.”

Response to Berkeley robbery leads to questions regarding police militarization

Justin McCrary quoted in The Daily Californian, August 3, 2015

“For myself and probably for most people, I don’t really care whether you’re wearing military fatigues or black pants,” McCrary said. “What I really care about is whether police are trying to take care of the community and help people get along with their lives.”