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Articles by Bill Barton

Black Drivers in Missouri 91 Percent More Likely to Be Stopped Than White Drivers

by Bill Barton

A report by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt reveals that black motorists in that state are 91 percent more likely to be pulled over than whites. The 2018 report illuminating this statistic was released in May.

Scott Decker, an Arizona State University professor of criminology and criminal ...

Genetic Testing Raises Privacy Concerns

by Bill Barton

DNA testing, once an expensive technology, is now so inexpensive that approximately 26 million people have taken advantage of it,” according to “With sites like and 23andMe, you can easily submit samples of your DNA and receive information about your family history and personal health. ...

Tracking Phones: Google as a Dragnet for the Police

by Bill Barton

The Google Sensorvault database has been used by law enforcement agencies on multiple occasions to obtain what are being called “geofence” warrants, which specify an area and period of time and require Google to provide information regarding the devices that were there.

According to, the warrant ...

Chicago Fingerprint Unit Flawed, Under Scrutiny

by Bill Barton

In 2016, Cook County prosecutors relied on a fingerprint lifted from a laptop as pivotal evidence against a juvenile charged with robbery.

According to Chicago Reporter coverage of the case, Judge Stuart Katz “ripped into the competence of Chicago police Sergeant Thurston Daniels III, the forensics expert ...

Groundbreaking Empirical Study of Expungement Released

by Bill Barton

An empirical study of a state law limiting public access to criminal records has been released by professors Sonja B. Starr and J.J. Prescott of Michigan Law School.

Starr and Prescott said, “Despite the considerable legislative ferment and the excitement that surrounds ‘clean slate’ initiatives in the ...

Another Study Shows There’s No ‘War on Police’

by Bill Barton

"Currently, the ‘war on cops’ thesis is not supported by any evidence, and we apply the 50-year lens in this study to provide important context for understanding recent trends in officer deaths.” That’s the conclusion of an in-depth study, some 25 pages long, “Assessing dangerousness in policing: ...

Law Enforcement Access To Consumer Genetics Needs to Be Closed

by Bill Barton

The United States. is well on the way to establishing a de facto national database, according to an article presented by Future Tense — a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University — and written by Natalie Ram, published on Slate March 19. Future Tense ...

New York City’s Bail Success Story

by Bill Barton

A new study that analyzed more than 5 million criminal cases in New York City — beginning in 1987 — intimates that the city has “already done a better job of slashing its use of bail and jail than nearly any other urban area in the United ...

California Governor Announces Moratorium on Capital Punishment

by Bill Barton 

Governor Gavin Newsom granted a temporary reprieve for the 737 prisoners on California death row as of March 13, 2019. 

“I think this would be a bold step,” said Michael D. Rushford, president of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, “and I think he’s got to ...



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