Good question

How many death sentences rested on the work of the Houston Police Department’s crime lab?

The Note:We can’t help but wonder if this story in the New York Times — about Houston’s crime lab in crisis — won’t somehow make it into the discourse this fall, especially if questions are raised about death warrants signed by the former governor of Texas.

Right. Those death warrants. All 152 of them. The ones Governor Bush signed without, reportedly, ever giving more than 15 minutes’ consideration to any case.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com