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This bug almost looks like a feature to me. The actual bug is the criminal justice politics that has resulted in an incarceration rate of 256 in such a wealthy and homogeneous society as Washington state.

The incarceration rate in Washington state, while actually being the tenth lowest in the US, is 2-4 times higher than that of European states of comparable size, wealth and diversity, such as Sweden, Belgium or Austria.

http://nicic.gov/statestats/?st=wa

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarcera...




The murder rate per capita in Washington state is 2.4x higher than Sweden. High crime rates in the U.S. predate the modern high incarceration rate, the drug war, or even alcohol prohibition: http://ourworldindata.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/homicid...


Sure, but a homicide rate of 2.5 per 100,000 only explains a fraction of the incarceration rate of 256 per 100,000 (although much more than the 1 percent since homicide is in average punished with longer sentences).

The rest is due to incarceration for other crimes.

The problem is that 1) so much is considered a crime 2) more of the crimes are prosecuted, and 3) crimes are punished with longer sentences.


Homicide is a good proxy for the overall level of violent crime, because it is well-tracked and its definition is consistent between countries.


Maybe, maybe not. See also: "Juking the Stats".

https://medium.com/@peaceandchoi/the-downside-of-data-juking...


Source? I would think things like strict gun control in other countries could lead to a different ratio of murder to other violent crimes.


> I would think things like strict gun control in other countries could lead to a different ratio of murder to other violent crimes.

You'd probably be wrong. Must gun related fatalities are either self-inflicted or accidental. Murder usually occurs in a fit of rage between people who know each other, i.e. found a cheating spouse, road rage, drunk and stress, etc. You don't need a gun to kill someone, and I would wager most murder occurs through some sort of beating/strangulation.

Further, the United States is 121 on the list of intentional homicides on wikipedia[1], where as Greenland (Denmark), which arguably has tougher laws is 26 on the list. However, if you compare the list to those of the poorest nations, you'll find a much stronger correlation. violent crime is far more correlated to the wealth per person in an area than gun regulation.

Gun control is more-or-less just a politically charged topic that is used to garner votes from the public based on emotional pleas.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intention...


> where as Greenland (Denmark), which arguably has tougher laws is 26 on the list.

...which resulted from 11 - eleven! - homicides. It's an anomalous stat because Greenland is so sparsely populated. I can't help but feel you're making an incredibly dishonest argument.

The Denmark mainland is on the list too, which is worth mentioning. It's ranked #202, with 47 homicides. Sure, the population is that of a smallish US state - it'd be somewhere around the 20th most-populous state - but the US had twelve thousand murders in the year listed. The rate is more than four times higher. Not a single US state, as of 2010, had a lower murder rate than Denmark's 0.8/100k.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_Sta...

> You don't need a gun to kill someone, and I would wager most murder occurs through some sort of beating/strangulation.

Oh come on, google it. The stats are hardly tentative.

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/...

> Information collected regarding types of weapons used in violent crime showed that firearms were used in 67.9 percent of the nation’s murders

The back years are posted here:

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s

2014 wasn't a fluke. Two thirds of murders in the US are committed with guns.

> Gun control is more-or-less just a politically charged topic that is used to garner votes from the public based on emotional pleas.

At least we can agree on this. For some reason people react emotionally to violent crime, go figure. What's unfortunate is that it doesn't (and realistically never will) garner nearly enough votes to enact policies that could put a dent in the murders.


1 & 2 have almost nothing to do with it.

Most prisoners are in jail for violent offenses that have been crimes for most of human history.


The U.S. are working hard to stay the most developed third world country.




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