Prosecutors drop gun charges over and over. Some suspects go on to kill.

From 2014 through 2018 the Charlotte Observer found that Mecklenburg County prosecutors dismissed 68 percent of weapons charges, a higher rate than any other urban county in North Carolina. Mecklenburg’s high dismissal rate means that defendants who commit crimes there have a greater chance of avoiding punishment than in other North Carolina counties. Suspects who…

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Behind the Story: How Chicago Magazine exposed the truth about the city’s crime rates

Chicago Magazine | June 2014 A story that helped change the way Chicagoans digest crime stats started with suspicion. Immersed in a different crime-related piece, Chicago Magazine Features Editor David Bernstein and Contributing Writer Noah Isackson noticed something amiss with the statistics. When their trusted police sources voiced skepticism, the early trappings of an idea…

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Investigating income inequality with the Gini coefficient and other data

Paul Overberg, of USA TODAY, points to a graph of the Gini Index, which is a measure of income inequality. The diagonal line is perfect distribution of income and the curved line is a representation of actual distribution income. Overberg is interested in the space between them and what it describes. Photo by Travis Hartman.…

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