Crime Statistics and Public Expectations

Corey Yung

Corey Rayburn Yung is an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law. His scholarship primarily focuses on sexual violence, substantive criminal law, and judicial decision-making. Yung’s academic writings have been cited by state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Before Yung began his professorial career, he served as an associate for Shearman & Sterling in New York and clerked for the Honorable Michael J. Melloy of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

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2 Responses

  1. Police and politicians are always under pressure to show lower crime numbers. This leads to not only false reporting of crime statistics as you point out here but, also overzealous techniques in the prosecution of persons accused of crime. Prosecutors overcharge offenses, cops lie on the stand and experts are hired to “pad the truth” in order to pile up convictions. It should come as no surprise, then, that these same “powers that be” get “creative” in their classification of criminal activity for the sake of maintaining power and convicting the public that they are “doing a good job” and “getting tough on crime.”

  2. Brett Bellmore says:

    It’s scarcely surprising that the public would think crime was constant, or even rising, even as it falls. The crime rate is low enough in most places that the only guide people have to crime rates is news coverage. And news coverage is nothing like a representative sample. It may even be getting less representative as time passes.