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Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Inverse Relationship between the Constitutionality and Effectiveness of New York City 'Stop and Frisk'

Not necessarily evidence related, but for those interested, I just posted the above-titled forthcoming article about NYC Stop and Frisk on SSRN.  It argues, that "whatever [crime-fighting] success [NYC] stop-and-frisk achieves . . . relies to a significant degree on the very factors that render it unconstitutional."  This conclusion implicates the efforts of policy makers in New York City who are, as we speak, attempting to "reform" the practice -- as well as police in other cities striving to duplicate the city's crime fighting success.

Here is the abstract:

New York City sits at the epicenter of an extraordinary criminal justice phenomenon. While employing aggressive policing tactics, such as “stop and frisk,” on an unprecedented scale, the City dramatically reduced both violent crime and incarceration – with the connections between these developments (if any) hotly disputed. Further clouding the picture, in August 2013, a federal district court ruled the City’s heavy reliance on “stop and frisk” unconstitutional. Popular and academic commentary generally highlights isolated pieces of this complex story, constructing an incomplete vision of the lessons to be drawn from the New York experience. This Article brings together all of the strands – falling crime, reduced incarceration and aggressive policing – analyzing the hazy historical and empirical connections between them, and evaluating the legal implications of a crime-fighting policy that might “work” to reduce both crime and incarceration precisely because of the factors that render it unconstitutional.

Here is the link.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/2014/03/the-inverse-relationship-between-the-constitutionality-and-effectiveness-of-new-york-city-stop-and-f.html

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