Franklin Zimring

In Chicago, bad policing doesn’t stop crime

Franklin Zimring cited by The Chicago Tribune, March 10, 2017

In his new book, “When Police Kill” … law professor Franklin Zimring notes that Philadelphia drastically reduced the number of civilian deaths at the hands of police — from 15 in 2007 to four in 2014 and two in 2015. Yet the crime rate last year was the lowest the city had seen since 1979. Philadelphia, like Los Angeles, is proof that more restraint does not equal more crime.


Will Trump roll out the big guns on Second Amendment issues?

Franklin Zimring and Jonathan Simon quoted by California Magazine, March 8, 2017

“It’s a matter of personnel more than principle,” Zimring says. “Trump wants to nominate Supreme Court justices who will push for expansion of Second Amendment interests, not limits.  It can be assumed that [recent Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil] Gorsuch would move in that direction.”

“Most gun laws are written at the local level,” says Simon, “and it would take the Supreme Court a very long time to say the states can’t regulate at all. And while it’s possible a more conservative court would move more aggressively on Second Amendment cases, we’re a long way from that point.”

Criminologist Franklin Zimring on reforming police use of force

Franklin Zimring interviewed by KQED-FM, Feb. 28, 2017

“Before the middle of 2014 … it was an important problem that was below any real policy visibility as something distinctive and national and large. And then, all of a sudden: It was important to people, and then the data started. But it was still the case that any discussion of what to do about police use of lethal force was enormously handicapped by the fact that there was very little empirical data.”

Two books argue the case for police reform from within

Franklin Zimring quoted by The New York Times, Feb. 21, 2017

Zimring’s most explosive assertion — which leaps out of a work that is mostly policy-wonk nuance — is that police leaders don’t care. “The circumstantial evidence suggests that police departments do not regard whether the victims of police shootings live or die as a matter of great moment,” he writes. … The default assumption is that a perceived threat is real and a police killing is righteous.

Violent crime up for second straight year in Los Angeles

Malcolm Feeley and Franklin Zimring quoted by KPCC-FM, Jan. 6, 2017

“It’s hard to interpret” what’s happening during upticks like these, said UC Berkeley Law Professor Malcolm Feeley. “A statistician would say they are random noise.”

So why is some crime on the rise in Los Angeles? “I know it’s a fair question,” Zimring said, “And the answer is we don’t know.”

New NYPD boss, James P. O’Neill, tested early in first 100 days

Franklin Zimring quoted by Newsday, Jan. 2, 2017

Prof. Franklin Zimring of University of California, Berkeley School of Law, a noted criminologist, said that criticism of O’Neill and his ties to de Blasio is more in the line of political gossip than an issue of substance. … “No news is good news,” noted Zimring, referring to New York’s low crime levels.

Ohio’s youngest death row inmate never touched the murder weapon. Why was he sentenced to death?

Franklin Zimring quoted by The Washington Post, Dec. 16, 2016

“It’s crystal clear that the difference between life or death is electing a jury trial, not what happened at the crime scene,” said Zimring, who has written about capital punishment. “The thing that makes that forcefully problematic is that the only difference between life and death is the procedural decision that the defendant made.”

California gives lifeline to death penalty, approves reform

Franklin Zimring quoted by The Washington Post, Nov. 23, 2016

“The irony is that Prop. 66 was supposed to simplify and speed things up,” Zimring said. “The smart money would bet that it has made things more complex, increased the set of issues to be litigated and if anything could slow down the path to execution in California from its glacial pace previously, it is this.”