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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Report: More young black males are victims, shooters in homicides

UPDATED: Steven Levitt, who cowrote "Freakonomics," says there are big problems with this study.

He said Fox is choosing not to emphasize the bigger picture -- that since the early 1990s, homicides have fallen sharply in every age group, including black teens.

... According to Fox's own statistics, there were twice as many black teenage killers in 1990 as in 2007. In an interview, Fox agreed. "Yes, it's not nearly as bad as it was in 1990, but it is worse than it was in 2000, so why don't we act now?"

Levitt argues that if we really want to change the criminal-justice picture, and save money, we should end the war on drugs.

PREVIOUSLY: The report is from Northeastern University, which notes that U.S. homicide rates really haven't changed that much over the past few years. But there HAS been a big jump in the number of young black men who've either killed or been killed.

The authors suggest that cuts in crime prevention, delinquency programs and other resources have a played part. (A lot of that money has gone to homeland security instead.)

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