war-crimesEarlier this year, President Donald Trump announced that he was considering granting pardons to a handful of individuals accused of war crimes. While he has since stepped back from the plan to pardon, it had many questioning what constitutes a war crime in the United States? Are war crimes punished internationally?

War Crimes and the International Criminal Court

It is true that there is an International Criminal Court that prosecutes war crimes. However, here in the United States, those accused of committing a war crime are prosecuted domestically. That means that defendants are tried and, if convicted, sentenced in the American federal court system.


Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois violent crime statistics,When high school seniors choose which university to attend, the safety of the campus is an important factor to consider. Thanks to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, more commonly called the Clery Act, most American universities are required to report any violent crime that occurs each year on campus. The data, which includes the number of rapes, incidents of stalking, and assaults and other violent crimes that occur on campus, is accessible to students and parents to review when selecting a college to attend. As a recent report shows, however, six Chicago area universities, and potentially many more across the country, may be more dangerous than their reported numbers portray.

Location Matters

The Clery Act, named in honor of a student who was murdered on a Pennsylvania campus in 1986, mandates that any college in America that receives any type of federal aid must provide a yearly report of crime on campus, campus being the key word. In December 2014, a 23-year-old student of Loyola University was fatally shot one block off of the university’s main campus. When Loyola released their 2014 crime report, the number of homicides was listed as zero. This is, as a university spokesperson reported, due to the fact that the Clery Act only requires that schools report on crimes that happen within a certain geographic location. “The crime occurred near Albion and Lakewood, which per the Clery Act, is not within the university’s reportable geographical boundaries.”


crime down in Chicago, Chicago Area Criminal Defense AttorneysPolice departments across the United States faced a large amount of criticism in 2015. America’s trust in our police forces was tested time and time again, thanks to the year’s many viral videos depicting police brutality, high profile cases, and questionable police department secrecy. Fortunately for the Chicago Police Department, things may be looking up in 2016.

A report recently released by the department shows that despite an increase in gun violence and gun related crime, overall crime in the city dropped for the fourth consecutive year. For a city that experienced the most homicides of any city in the United States in 2015, a drop in overall crime is very good news.

According to the department’s report, overall crime in the city dropped 6 percent from 2014. The report notes that robberies, assaults, burglaries, rapes, and thefts dropped significantly. Additionally, the report notes that violent crime fell substantially as well. In fact, the amount of violent crime that took place in Chicago in 2015 is the lowest the city has seen since the 1960’s. Since 2011, overall crime in Chicago has dropped 37 percent.


Chicago pollution and crimeWe have long known that air pollution is not beneficial to humans. Particles in the air are neurological irritants and have effects on human comfort levels and behaviors. Being surrounded by and inhaling pollution can lead to antisocial behavior, lack of productivity, and lower levels of awareness and alertness. Aside from the many health risks, experts have wondered if pollution may have another effect on humans.

In a recent paper published by the National Bureau for Economic Research, two researchers say their findings indicate a link between violent crime and car pollution in Chicago. Could pollution be a factor that drives people to commit violent criminal acts?

Thanks to a large amount of data from the Chicago Police Department, the two researchers were able to examine more than 2 million cases of major crimes committed from 2001 to 2012. The researchers pinpointed the locations of each crime, and noted their proximity to major interstates crossing the city, such as the I-290.


violent Chicago crimesCritics of tighter gun laws in America have frequently referred to the city of Chicago as an example of why gun laws are ineffective. Chicago has some of the strictest gun restrictions in the United States, yet still experiences abnormally high rates of gun related crime when compared to other cities. Gun rights supporters say this proves that tough gun laws do not truly keep guns out of the hands of criminals. A new report, however, shows that a large number of guns used in Chicago crimes crossed into the state from somewhere else.

Chicago has long grappled with high rates of gun violence. The Chicago Tribune reported that in 2014, 2,587 people were victims of gun violence. In comparison, New York City police recorded 1,381 victims over the same time period, and New York City has approximately three times the population of Chicago.

Despite Chicago’s tough gun restrictions, city officials say the problem exists because firearms remain widely available. Purchasing guns within the city is difficult, so how, with such tight regulations, are gun related crimes such a problem?

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