Firearms and Violence A Critical Review
Authors: Charles F. Wellford, John V. Pepper, and Carol V. Petrie, Editors, Committee on Law and Justice, National Research Council
Publishers: National Research Council
Publication Date: 2004
For years proposals for gun control and the ownership of firearms have been among the most contentious issues in American politics. For public authorities to make reasonable decisions on these matters, they must take into account facts about the relationship between guns and violence as well as conflicting constitutional claims and divided public opinion. In performing these tasks, legislators need adequate data and research to judge both the effects of firearms on violence and the effects of different violence control policies.
Readers of the research literature on firearms may sometimes find themselves unable to distinguish scholarship from advocacy. Given the importance of this issue, there is a pressing need for a clear and unbiased assessment of the existing portfolio of data and research. Firearms and Violence uses conventional standards of science to examine three major themes - firearms and violence, the quality of research, and the quality of data available. The book assesses the strengths and limitations of current databases, examining current research studies on firearm use and the efforts to reduce unjustified firearm use and suggests ways in which they can be improved.
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Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing - The Evidence
Author: Wesley Skoan & Kathleen Frydl Editors
Publishers: The National Academies Press (USA)
Price £35.95 hardback
Publication Date: May 2004
Because police are the most visible face of government power for most people, they are expected to deal effectively with crime and disorder and to be impartial, producing justice through the fair, and restrained use of their authority. The standards by which the public judges police success have become more exacting and challenging.
Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing explores police work in the new century. It replaces myths with research findings and provides recommendations for updated policy and practices to guide it. It explores the most basic questions and reviews how police work is organised, explores the expanding responsibilities of police, the increasing diversity among police employees, and discusses the complex interactions between officers and the public.
This book also addresses community policing, use of force, racial profiling, and evaluates the success of common police techniques, such as focusing on crime "hot spots." It goes on to look at the issue of legitimacy-how the public gets information about police work, and how police are viewed by different groups, and how police can gain community trust.
FULL Review to follow on this other book, below
Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence
Since the 1960s, testimony by representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in thousands of criminal cases has relied on evidence from Compositional Analysis of Bullet Lead (CABL), a forensic technique that compares the elemental composition of bullets found at a crime scene to the elemental composition of bullets found in a suspect s possession. Different from ballistics techniques that compare striations on the barrel of a gun to those on a recovered bullet, CABL is used when no gun is recovered or when bullets are too small or mangled to observe striations. Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence assesses the scientific validity of CABL, finding that the FBI should use a different statistical analysis for the technique and that, given variations in bullet manufacturing processes, expert witnesses should make clear the very limited conclusions that CABL results can support. The report also recommends that the FBI take additional measures to ensure the validity of CABL results, which include improving documentation, publishing details, and improving on training and oversight.