Wednesday, September 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Study: Violent crimes could be prevented if felony charges were reduced less often

By
From page A11 | June 20, 2014 |

A UC Davis study comparing violent misdemeanor convictions with their original criminal charges has found that subsequent violent crimes could be prevented if criminal charges were reduced less often during plea bargaining.

The small, preliminary study, posted online June 9 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, re-analyzed data on 787 individuals under age 35 who had violent misdemeanor convictions and purchased handguns in California in 1989 or 1990. The goal was to assess the impact of reduced criminal charges on gun purchases and subsequent crime.

“Federal law prohibits felons from legally purchasing firearms, but individuals with violent misdemeanor convictions face no such restrictions in most of the country,” said Garen Wintemute, professor of emergency medicine and director of the UCD Violence Prevention Research Program. “Our study found that people with convictions for violent misdemeanor crimes who subsequently purchased handguns have very high rates of arrest for firearm-related or violent crimes later on.

“We need to consider the merits of prohibiting people convicted of violent misdemeanors from purchasing handguns and consider whether felony charges should be reduced less often.”

For the study, Wintemute and colleague Mona Wright reviewed criminal records, linking violent misdemeanor convictions with their original criminal charges. Nearly 40 percent of the 787 individuals in the study had misdemeanor convictions resulting from felony charges. The overwhelming majority of records were for men (96.2 percent), with most (47.8 percent) having only one prior conviction of any type. Twenty-five percent had two prior convictions and 27 percent had three or more.

Within this group, Wintemute then identified those who purchased handguns and had California arrests within three years of the handgun purchase. Of the 699 records available for follow up, 34.5 percent of individuals were arrested — 23.8 percent for violent or firearm-related crimes, such as homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, among others.

Age, number of prior convictions and time since the most recent conviction were associated with risk of subsequent arrest. Risk for those originally charged with felonies was similar to that for those originally charged with misdemeanors.

“Nearly 25 percent of subjects who had purchased a handgun were charged with a new firearm-related or violent crime within three years of purchasing a handgun,” Wintemute said.

“In urban counties, the majority (95 percent) of convictions for crimes charged as violent felonies are arrived at through plea bargaining, which commonly involves a reduction from felony to misdemeanor charges. We may be missing an opportunity to prevent those most at risk for committing violent crimes from legally purchasing firearms.”

Previous research by the Violence Prevention Research Program has shown that handgun purchasers with violent misdemeanor convictions are nine to 15 times as likely as those with no criminal history to be arrested subsequently for violent crimes. It also has shown that firearm prohibitions reduce the risk of committing violent crimes by at least 25 percent.

— UC Davis News

Comments

comments

.

News

New water rates take effect in November

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
A pot o’ gold for Rainbow City revival

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marsh trial guilt phase enters home stretch

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Weakened Odile heads toward U.S.; tourists evacuated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Three women stuck in Putah Creek while paddleboarding

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: News about our modest college town

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Crews battle wildfire’s explosive growth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
AAUW hosts conversation with Gilardi

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Master Gardeners will answer questions Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Storyteller will draw on music, dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Show off your electric vehicles on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Learn about youth leadership program on Sept. 28

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up now for free Community Yard Sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Saylor meets constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Free introductory yoga, chanting workshop offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotary seeks project requests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sign up soon for a new year of Writing Buddies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Senior Center to host jewelry sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
.

Forum

Time to go get help

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Bicycle bells needed for safety

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Are we going to wait until someone here dies?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
Firefighters went above, beyond

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Grocery bags are biohazards

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Can’t we work collaboratively?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Please vaccinate your children

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Mental-health treatment lacking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Braly’s column lightens the heart

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

UCD women take third at elite golf event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggie men stay in 10th to finish St. Mary’s Invite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Formidable UCD defense melts Hornets

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils go the distance to triumph at Chico

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Diamondbacks slam Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Baseball roundup: Peavy, Posey lead Giants past Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sounders win U.S. Open Cup in overtime

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B2

 
AYSO roundup: Ultra Violet illuminates a victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Alliance roundup: Soccer success comes on the road and at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Legacy roundup: Gunners get a win over Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name Droppers: Bamforth leads international brewing institute

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Name Droppers: UC Davis announces eight new fellows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Just desserts? A sweet treat is worth the effort

By Julie Cross | From Page: A10

 
.

Arts

Apply now for Davis Community Idol

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Classic ‘Hello, Dolly!’ wows at Woodland Opera House

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Davis students prepare dishes for Empty Bowls fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Nine Davis artists chosen to show in KVIE Art Auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Sacred Harp singers will gather

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A8