In the News


Franklin Zimring in the news:



California gives lifeline to death penalty, approves reform

Franklin Zimring quoted by The Washington Post, Nov. 23, 2016

“The irony is that Prop. 66 was supposed to simplify and speed things up,” Zimring said. “The smart money would bet that it has made things more complex, increased the set of issues to be litigated and if anything could slow down the path to execution in California from its glacial pace previously, it is this.”


Opponents fight California gun measure, count on Trump

Franklin Zimring quoted by Associated Press, Nov. 13, 2016

Gun ownership in states like California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York is already so heavily regulated that when proponents seek to further restrict ownership, they often are limited to making marginal changes like those included in Proposition 63, he said.


As more Americans turn on death penalty, some states weigh harder stance

Franklin Zimring quoted by NBC News, Oct. 17, 2016

“What you have are attempts here not to mount any kind of revival of the death penalty, but to stop the bleeding,” said Franklin Zimring.


Violent crime is rising. But that’s not the most provocative finding the FBI’s big new report.

Franklin Zimring quoted by The Washington Post, Sept. 26, 2016

“People who are talking about Ferguson effects — why do you find it in homicide and not burglary?” asked Franklin Zimring, a criminologist at the University of California, Berkeley in an interview earlier this year. “That’s just not very good logic, and it’s not consistent.”


Data on police shootings is improving but challenges remain

Franklin Zimring interviewed by KPCC-FM, Sept. 26, 2016

“You have a lot of statistics, and they’re all wrong. … slightly less than half of police killings were reported in any of the national statistical structures. … We now know numbers, but we don’t know circumstances, and we can’t audit.”


Death penalty is dying across America. Will California save it?

Franklin Zimring quoted by The Sacramento Bee, Sept. 25, 2016

While courts and legislatures around the nation are abolishing capital punishment, when it goes to a public vote the hard line tends to have the advantage, said Franklin Zimring. … “The question is what do you do with the worst criminals you have?” Zimring said. “And if that ever becomes a question of sentiment the answer is boil them in oil.”


Death penalty is dying across America. Will California save it?

Franklin Zimring quoted by The Sacramento Bee, Sept. 25, 2016

While courts and legislatures around the nation are abolishing capital punishment, when it goes to a public vote the hard line tends to have the advantage, said Franklin Zimring. … “The question is what do you do with the worst criminals you have?” Zimring said. “And if that ever becomes a question of sentiment the answer is boil them in oil.”


Death-penalty justice depends on where we live

Franklin Zimring quoted by Bakersfield.com, Sept. 20, 2016

As University of California Berkeley law professor Franklin Zimring observes, the determining factor for seeking the death penalty is not homicide rates or demographics, but “Who is the district attorney?” One elected official in each county is effectively the “decider” as to who faces the death penalty.


California wants to make it easier to prosecute old rape cases. But how much would a new law really help?

Franklin Zimring quoted by Los Angeles Times, Sept. 5, 2016

Although prosecutors generally do not file charges without enough evidence to prove them, other factors might come into play, Zimring said. “The prosecutor might take cases which have an enormous amount of publicity or an enormously attractive victim or an enormously vulnerable and important defendant.”


Institute of Governmental Studies releases poll data on death penalty, bilingual education

Franklin Zimring quoted by The Daily Californian, August 29, 2016

“Executions are the third leading cause of death on death row (in California),” Zimring said, the first two being natural causes and suicide. But Zimring says that if Proposition 66 were to pass, it would mean such a large change in the death penalty procedures that the state would be tied up in litigation for years, leading to even more delays in executions.


What the data says about whether Bill Bratton, New York’s outgoing top cop, made the city safer

Franklin Zimring quoted by The Washington Post, August 3, 2016

Franklin Zimring … has argued that Bratton and his lieutenants contributed to making New York City’s streets safer — and that what Zimring calls the “New York model” helped reduce crime in other cities, too.


When cops kill, and when cops die

Franklin Zimring quoted in Chicago Tribune, July 8, 2016

American police kill civilians at rates five times higher than police in Canada, 40 times higher than in Germany and 140 times higher than in England and Wales. Is that because we have so much more violent crime, including gun crime? Partly, says Zimring, but “the U.S. rate of killings by police is 10 times as great as the difference in homicides generally.”


Oakland 8-year-old’s shooting death could yield first county death penalty in years

Franklin Zimring quoted in The Mercury News, May 18, 2016

Frank Zimring … said Alaysha’s slaying was a case of “extreme victimization” of an innocent girl caught in an enormous violence. There wasn’t a fight between equals; the gunfire blasted through the door, he said. Even an office that wouldn’t touch the death penalty with a 10-foot pole would feel an obligation to do so “in an extraordinary case of unprovoked and meaningless violence,” he said.


The White House has some unexpected ideas about reducing crime

Franklin Zimring quoted in The Washington Post, May 4, 2016

“If you and I are selling drugs on the street, we’re both going to want the best corner, and if we have a conflict about who got there first, we’re not going to put it into arbitration,” Zimring said. “They put a tremendous number of cops in to destroy the public drug markets.”


Virginia wants to hide the names of lethal injection drug suppliers. Here’s how that is going in other states.

Franklin Zimring quoted in The Washington Post, April 12, 2016

“The shield law is an attempt to create circumstances in which continuity of supply is going to be possible,” Zimring said. “Once the idea of a shield law takes hold, then anybody who is suffering from these issues will go after it.”


OJ Simpson case: how knife discovery puts burden of proof on LAPD again

Franklin Zimring quoted in The Guardian, March 7, 2016

“In the annals of homicide investigation, [the Simpson case] was problematic in the extreme,” Zimring said. “But in terms of police-community relations, this was a minor disaster given some of the major disasters that preceded it.”


The tricky legal questions about the knife purportedly found on O.J. Simpson’s former property

Franklin Zimring quoted in The Washington Post, March 4, 2016

Zimring, the Berkeley law professor, said the only criminal option left for prosecutors would be federal charges, which can be brought against someone who was acquitted in a state trial. So this knife isn’t wholly “legally irrelevant,” he said.


California backs off easing standard for inmate firefighters

Franklin Zimring cited in The Washington Post, Feb. 20, 2016

Expanding inmates’ eligibility would have been a calculated risk, said University of California, Berkeley, law professor Frank Zimring, who has studied California prisons for more than 30 years. He warned that recruiting in jails may be tougher because many prisoners there have shorter sentences and may have active drug or mental health problems.


Killings down 45% in January in NYC, NYPD Commissioner Bratton says

Franklin Zimring quoted by Newsday, Feb. 2, 2016

“What is important about January is what is not happening,” said Professor Franklin Zimring of the University of California Berkeley School of Law, referring to the low crime numbers. “To the extent there is any news, it is good.”


Feds launching ‘comprehensive review’ of S.F. Police Department

Franklin Zimring interviewed by KQED.org, Feb. 1, 2016

“COPS is going to be helping out the Police Department in two ways: It takes them off the hook from doing something — a lot better than either firing the chief or putting out bold new guidelines,” Zimring said.