Wagging the dog, again?

Were the Baghdad market bombers really developmentally disabled?

Don’t look now, but … is it really possible to make a reliable diagnosis of chromosome-21 trisomy based on post-mortem photographs after violent deaths? Or did the world press just get psy-oped?

Not that it’s really any worse to murder scores of innocent civilians using developmentally disabled people to carry the bombs, but it’s way more disgusting, and gets tons more press. Even if the charge turns out to be true, it seems to me that the headline-writers in particular showed inadequate skepticism.

Footnote It wouldn’t have been hard to answer the question definitively using DNA analysis.

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