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Articles by Michael Fortino, Ph.D

Reevaluating Capital Punishment and Psychosis: How Sane Must We Be to Qualify for Execution?

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

You have been assigned to be a juror in each of the following cases, and your responsibility is to decide which of these guilty suspects is sane enough to qualify for the death penalty and which may be suffering from a mental health impairment that will ...

Physics Offers New Perspective on Blood Spatter Investigations

Is 743 Years Imprisonment Enough Time to Teach Someone A Lesson?

Law Degree for South Carolina Magistrates Optional

Image of Men Urinating on Grave Protected by First Amendment

Sex Panic: The War on Sex Offenders as Public Enemy Number One

Inadequate and Outdated Training Results in Wild West Policing

But it is possible that much broader and ...

Report: Judicial System Gives Cops a Pass in New Jersey, Elsewhere

Such checks and balances on the judicial front are ...

Police Unions No Longer Welcome by Rank-and-File Labor

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

For nearly 123 years, police have enjoyed the privilege of organizing under various trade unions until recently when they began to be shunned by many of America’s larger labor organizations for violating the laborer’s sacred code of fair and impartial representation of the working class. According ...

COVID-19 Has Profound Effect on Breadth and Scope of Law Enforcement Agencies


by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

With a global pandemic affecting nearly every aspect of traditional government operations, Syracuse University, in late spring of 2020, set out to evaluate the impact COVID-19 has had on the manpower and operations of our most active law enforcement agencies.

Much of this change seemed to follow the Trump administration’s March 15, 2020, decision to adopt a new “work from home” initiative for most federal agencies. Criminal referrals in the first half of March 2020 averaged about 4,500 per week, prior to the onset of the novel coronavirus and the “work from home” mandate. Shortly thereafter, communities experienced a reduction in both crimes and arrests, according to the data. By the end of March 2020, agency arrest referrals landing on U.S. Attorneys’ desks dropped to 1,800 per week, a dramatic decrease by more than half.

Following a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request for Department of Justice (“DOJ”) records, Syracuse University utilized the “Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse” (“TRAC”) to obtain agency production numbers, which produced surprising results. The numbers led law enforcement analysts to grow concerned that the virus may have resulted in a paradigm shift in both the quantity of criminal referrals as ...



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