Gangs and Organized Crime in Mexico: An Interview with Professor Scott Decker

Scott Decker is a foundation professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University at the Downtown Campus. He is also affiliated faculty with the Center on the Future of War. He earned the Ph.D. in Criminology from Florida State University. His research interests include gangs, criminal justice policy, violence and the organizational structure of crime groups such as drug smugglers, human traffickers and terror groups. His most recent book, Confronting Gangs: Crime and Community, was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. He is co-author of Drug Smugglers on Drug Smuggling (Temple University Press, 2008) a study of the highest level drug smugglers in US prisons. Continue reading

The Rule of Law and Human Rights in Iran

Author: Regina Paulose

“Study the past if you would define the future.”[1]

This year Iran submitted its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council. In its report it detailed legal principles which are supposedly given to Iranians. Among the principles presented were the “prohibition of torture,” the “right to legal counsel,” and the “presumption of innocence.” The remainder of the report makes no mention of any necessity or potential reform of its legal system. Continue reading

The Death of Duvalier and Justice for Haiti

Author: Regina Paulose

On October 4, 2014, Jean Claude Duvalier died of a heart attack. Widely known as “Baby Doc” he was given control over Haiti – at the age of 19- after his father passed away in 1971.[1]  His father, Francois Duvalier, was an educated physician. He was known as “Papa Doc.” Papa Doc instituted the “Duvalierist Revolution” where he declared himself president for life, destroyed any institution outside his reach or which criticized him, neutralized the army and had them replaced with the infamous secret police, the tonton makout.[2]  Continue reading

Counter-Terrorism and Torture

Author: Regina Paulose

Given the significant rise of recent terrorist activities many countries are updating their “anti-terrorism” legislation. Unfortunately, these updates continue to neglect a critically important balance with the Convention against Torture. This imbalance is caused because of the vagueness surrounding the terms “terrorist” and “terrorism” and because an enormous amount of discretionary and unchecked power is given to law enforcement whereby the governments essentially condone the use of torture. Continue reading

Saving the Rohingya

Author: Regina Paulose

Burma has been involved in the lengthy process of democratization since 2011. Some argue that Burmese reforms are not genuine while others argue that the process is genuine but democratization remains complicated by a myriad of political and cultural issues.[1] Although Burmese President Thein Sein is a remnant  of the former dictatorship, there has been progress in freedom of expression and freedom of the press.[2] Yet, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar recently stated that there were “worrying signs of backtracking” and that the patterns witnessed “impose a climate of fear intimidation to the society at large.”[3] Continue reading