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Speaking Thoughts

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What thrilled my imagination to press my ideas in my words here is my own writer inside me, who made me very anxious to share with rest of the world as to what is going on in my world and words of ideas as well as my emotions.

I come across many facts that keep knocking my mind. Myspaces inside get narrower and suffocated. I can’t keep too many ideas from getting rust and dust. Therefore, perhaps, it tantalizes my conscience as well as creativity to sketch the signature and paint the picture of my thoughts by scanning my mind and my heart on screens that offer accesses to many minds and many hearts to understand and to feel the warmth of ideas and cool breeze of passions for playing the game of words with ideas by attuning them well to changing world of humans and their life scenarios.

I will keep everyone and everything, that grows in my mind, posted here. I will try to get the essence of my conscious heart in a voice, accent, tone, and the way of its own, having a complete spell of originality.

J.J. BAloch

2nd August 2016

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Crime and Punishment

J. J. Baloch

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Though the origins of crime and punishment are linked with the origins of the statehood yet the punishment for wrongdoing is tied with human origin on earth. The evolutionary phases of what is wrong and what is right for humans as thinking social animals described by culture, religion and state. From deviance down to sin and crime, wrongdoings have been punished with different sanctions. However, the system of formalised punishment has been birthed by the state.

In primitive societies where the existence of religion as a fear factor behind expected behaviours had been obscure the human common sense and rational thinking can be credited as the sole force behind declaring certain acts as wrong invoking certain punishments. The anthropologists and sociologists are not sure as to when exactly this started at a certain point of time yet they maintain that the human society has never been without fundamental concepts of expected behaviours.

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The state of nature as described by Hobbes, Locke, and Roseau as a pre-social and pre-political condition of human civilisation is said to have followed certain unwritten rules called customs and norms. The customs and norms have always regulated human behaviour and have greatly influenced human thinking on human living. It is interesting to note that some unwritten customs have been more effective than modern legal codes on both the adoption as well as the implementation by their respective communities.

The unwritten codes have been effective because of many reasons. The first and the foremost force behind acceptance of such unwritten rules have been the strong sense of ownership of concerned communities who evolved and adopted those unwritten rules. Secondly, ownership of such customs by the communities was based on the basic premise that such rules were made by those communities adopting and implementing them. Thirdly, the unwritten customs had behind the driver of cultural moralism which was the way of life of the people in the state of nature as discussed in the political theory of social contract.

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It was perhaps the reason why the French Enlightenment philosopher JJ Roseau always idealised the natural societies by painting the state of nature or pre-state societies as ideal conditions of human civilisations. Unlike Hobbes who believed that the human life in the state of nature was miserable and anarchic, a condition which underlined the need of formalised social institution of the state, JJ Roseau maintained that early societies relied on unwritten customs that often were more rigid than the written rules and were followed voluntarily rather than they were enforced by legal sanctions but the state was created for developing a system of progress, development, and advancement in an organised and systematic way.

The unwritten rules are more rigid and uncompromising and people in many cultures voluntarily and willingly follow them as a part and parcel of their very identity, name, fame, survival and success. In some cultures, public behaviour is very determined and disciplined so much so that that strictly follow when to stand, sit, eat, sleep etc. “There is little argument that the earliest laws were derived from folk customs, evolving from loose but unquestionable rule to fixed but more specific practices. Until relatively recently, many anthropologists scoffed at the notion of legal life in primitive cultures but instead saw ‘custom as the king’.” Law has always existed in one form or another. Without rules to maintain order and to make progress, anarchy threatens the very existence of a community.

Therefore, “one of the most intriguing questions facing anthropologists, criminologists, sociologists, and other scholars of governance and justice systems as to how the earliest pre-literate societies managed to not only survive but also maintain peace and order without written law codes.”( Michel P. Roth-2010)

In addition to human culture, the ideas of Godhood as supernatural powers in the forms of different religions have played a leading role in the development of what we understand criminal justice system in modern terminology. The punishment has been the main instrument for religions to inspire fear in people. However, greed for rewards such as paradise has also tempted many for following the line of religious doctrines. Wrongful acts are declared sins which are the individual acts for which the doer is personally responsible to God.

“When the members of a society believe that consequences of a sinful act will spread to the entire group, rather than affecting just the sinner, sins become crimes.” Any breach of custom or injunction would invoke the wrath of their gods against the breaching individual his community. The responsibility and punishment were collective in nature. The highly punishable acts have been profanity, blasphemy, and sacrileges while the punishments of dunking, stoning, and whipping were used to humiliate the sinners. Therefore, it goes without saying that the religious injunctions have been a very impactful influence in controlling human behaviour and disciplining them.

The birth of state paved the way for the dawn of the written laws. The state was believed to be the divine institution -the idea of statehood which was challenged by many Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle but was dumped by Machiavelli, an Italian philosopher who maintained that state was human, not a divine institution. Further JJ Roseau challenged the all kinds of rulerships by advocating for popular sovereignty in his concept of ‘General Will’ which maintained that right to rule rests with the people and social contract between the state and communities was not absolute but rather conditional. People agreed to obey laws and pay taxes in exchange for their protection of life, property, and civil liberties.

The theory of General Will sparked revolutions for civil liberties. The most important following the theory was French Revolution and American war of independence during the second half of the 18th century. The evolution of the state came with the concept of citizenship. In addition, the concept of individual property rights made individuals the distinct social entities with economic powers. Before this, all property in the empire belonged to kings who had sole wish to allow to any subject who had no rights but slaves.

Here laws were made to clear the rights and duties of all the signatories of the social contract including the state and its citizenry. From here was born the concept of constitutions and the modern criminal justice system comprising police, court and prisons came into shape during the revolutionary times of the last quarter of the 18th century.

The Bill of Rights, the American Constitution and many other constitutional documents came into existence describing the nature and functions of the state underlying the rights and duties of the citizenry. However, E. Adamson Hoebel in his study of primitive law maintains that the code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian code of ancient Mesopotamia and oldest deciphered written document with significant length in the world dating back to 1754 BC.

The writing and codification of law especially constitutional, penal, and criminal defined certain acts as crimes punishable under the penal codes. In Eighteenth-century England the most serious secular crime was treason and the most serious religious offence was sacrilege. But today human rights violations are considered as the serious crimes against the laws and values of postmodern culture is based on civil liberties. In primitive times humans saw threats to their communities more seriously than the threats to the states which came to limelight during the middle ages and which still continues to struggle against the modern human rights discourse of the world without borders.

State functions through its laws and the source of ancient laws were the kings and of modern law the people: for the people, of the people, and by the people. Crime is what the law says it is, to put it very simply. not every violation of the law is the crime nor yet it is a sin or deviance. However, crime is classified in six major categories i.e. violent crime, property crime, public order crime, white collar crime, organised crime and cybercrime. Punishment for these types of crimes varies from restitution, fines, probation, imprisonment, and death sentence.

Therefore, the criminal justice system has existed in human society in one or another form and has undergone different phases of evolution. Criminal justice is the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts.

Today Pakistan stands with criminal justice troika -three parallel justice systems: Jirga -a culture model, Shariah – religious model, and criminal justice -rule of law model. Ultimately, it makes us believe that we are witnessing anarchy and violence in our society because we are left with neither of these three systems intact but function in stark conflict.

We need to transform our conflict model into a consensus model where we should not have any difference on core values of crime and punishment.

The Writer is Policing Educator and Practitioner …

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Politics of Counterterrorism

 

J.J. Baloch 

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The politics of counterterrorism refers to public policy narrative in the backdrop the coming into play of terrorism and extremism worldwide. Very flabbergasting remains the fact that though many politicians and political parties wish to use counterterrorism as a tool to cultivate patriotism, national unity, and social solidarity among pluralistic populations with disparate interests, yet its militarization is leading source of extremism and terrorism in many parts of the world.

Politicians always tend to cash fears where they fail to buy loyalties comfortably. Politics is the science of liberty, many scholars agree. While many go still deeper in defining politics as the science of the power structure of the society and power relations therein. There are still others who take politics nothing more than merely a business. To me, politics seems to be a fear play and a public bargain for security and protection of what they have with those whom public allows spaces to penetrate even in their privacy in the name of ensuring social order.

The politics of counterterrorism is born out of the politics frightening public from unknown fears and presenting political power wielders as the saviours of their nation in democratically produced autocratic regimes like that of Hitler and many others without military uniform in the western world coming from the descent of Eisenhower down to George W. Bush and now Trump. The British leaders like that of Tony Blair, who was heartedly inspired by the Machiavellian realism of power politics and who began with his slogan of being ‘tough on crime’ sowed the seeds of ‘insecurity’ among the public to play with their fear sensitivities for his hunting of popular votes. From politics of crime and politics of law and order as Robert Reiner, a professor of policing at London School of Economics puts it, the British politicians like that of Americans have found a befitting excuse to legitimize their extra-constitutional conduct while dealing with the fundamental rights of their minorities, especially Muslims.

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Politics of counterterrorism allows large powers to politicians and law enforcement agencies like police and paramilitary forces which are the cause of concern for libertarians and human rights activists who think democracies like UK and USA are turning to be authoritarian by gaining more and more powers in the guise of countering terrorism. To them, this is alarming.

Such powers to fix human rights further justify the governments to come up with conservative and strict policies for their minorities as UK and USA are doing very recklessly against their Muslim populations. Muslims populations in both countries have begun to feel that they are taken as a threat to the social order of the societies where they are living. These feelings of being discriminated are causing their disconnectedness with mainstream populations. As a result, Muslim populations of UK in particular while that of USA, in general, are alienated and segregated and face many kinds of discrimination on the basis of religion and race.

Basing on the need to fight terrorism, the counterterrorism policies of UK and USA have been shaped by their preconceived notions that all Muslims are terrorists. So much so that Donald Trump wants to expel every Muslim from his country as Spain had done some centuries back. Mr Trump is very much clear in that those who don’t like his policies should go back to the countries of their origin.

Islam is the fast-growing religion of the world. It is a great source of alarm for many leaders in the West including America that in 2050 world’s 70% population will be Muslim due to the rate of conversions and rate of birth. This worries the West a lot. Now in America and in many European countries governments are adventuring with new birth policies wherein mothers are offered incentives to bear children, failing which they will be reduced to minorities.

The incentives of the government in place but the Western non-Muslim women are not fancied with the idea of bearing children. Governments like that of USA have also created homes for the nurturing of children and have offered mothers to go even for artificial babies. However, owing to decline in the social institution of marriage in the West and legalization of gay and lesbian sex it is really very difficult for the Western civilization to ensure conventional marriages and achieve birth rates.

Americans are the strange mixture of opposites. On the one hand they claim freedoms for all, rule of law, human rights, clean and green universe, peaceful world under one world order headed by USA while on the other they do everything criminal ranging from throwing nukes, attacking with drones, using unidentified flying objects, creating laboratory diseases like AIDs, raising the agents of chaos like Taliban and now ISIS. A lot has been written on this and very recently an insider of US government Mr John Perkins has confessed all this.

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How the new narrative of the politics of counterterrorism benefit few capitalists and industrialists and how it justifies everything under Machiavellian notion of ‘end justifies the means’ are very well answered by John Perkins, a former economic hit-man who worked for American intelligence agency CIA for 10 years to blackmail foreign leaders into serving US foreign policy and awarding lucrative contracts to American businesses. Perkin has written a book titled “Confessions of an Economic Hit-man” in which he has very honestly listed his works but also has unearthed what others in CIA had been doing.

How the defeats in Vietnam and Iraq have benefited big business in America? The role of Israel as Fortress America in the Middle East, tragic repercussions of the IMF’s Asian Economic Collapse, the current Latin American revolution and its lessons for democracy, U.S. blunders in Tibet, Congo, Lebanon, and Venezuela all are recorded in Perkins New York Times bestseller.

“From the U.S. military in Iraq to infrastructure development in Indonesia, from Peace Corps volunteers in Africa to jackals in Venezuela, Perkins exposes a conspiracy of corruption that has fueled instability and anti-Americanism around the globe, with consequences reflected in our daily headlines. Having raised the alarm, Perkins passionately addresses how Americans can work to create a more peaceful and stable world for future generations.”

It’s dangerous and inhuman; the politics of counterterrorism is most likely to be very counterproductive. The plant of terrorism grows with the minerals of such politics embodies elements of hatred, intolerance, discrimination and coercion. Perkin is perhaps late and his so-called confessions have nothing to do with global peace except his personal earnings through marathon sale of his book.

The Writer is a policing educator and practitioner

 

 

Why Democratic Counterterrorism?

J. J. Baloch

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Democracy’s security rationale in terms of countering terrorism needs to be explored. The premise of such democratic security is based on the presumption that it encourages all inclusive counterterrorism approach based on popular support and discourages overreliance on coercive methods, though it does not deny proportionate and sensible use of force in fighting terror.

In this context, the Democratic Counterterrorism can be defined as an ‘all-inclusive, broad-based strategy, a process and an environment to counter terrorism. Such strategy can be based on the democratic values of consultation, tolerance for diversity, respect for disagreement, pluralism, universal representation, freedoms, human rights, and rule of law, non-discrimination and the power of public mandate involving disengagement strategies and promoting socio-political and economic inclusion. Democratic counterterrorism relies not on the rule of expediency and necessity but which goes primarily for a socio-political mechanism of de-radicalization as well as for enlisting a popular support against terrorists through national unity and cohesion.

Having said that, democracy’s case against the terrorism here is, therefore, build on some key foundational presumptions. First, terrorists consider democracy something against their worldview based on religious doctrines. Secondly, the terrorist threat is used as a tool to deny people their right to the participatory system further promoting socio-economic and political non-inclusion, the condition of society friendly to violence and unrest in it. Thirdly, democracy redresses public grievances by offering them the opportunity to participate in all kinds of political, economic, and social policy decisions. Fourthly, democracy promotes moderation and tolerance for pluralism which is an antidote to terrorism.

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Last but not the least, terrorism is born out of the political grievances of certain groups based on ethnicity, geography, race, religion etc. and terrorism is defined as politically motivated violence; hence its best solution can only be found in a participatory politics and an inclusive polity.

The theoretical literature on the social contracts which created the state, as presented by political thinkers such as Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, reveals in very clear and categorical terms that in such a speculated social contract both the individual and the state, who are primary parties to it, surrender some of their respective rights and authorities and in return both accept some duties.

For the state, it is imperative to protect fundamental rights i.e. right to freedom, the right to life, the right to property, the right to privacy, right to honour and right to progress/ prosperity etc. On the contrary, for the individual, it is essential to obey the law and pay tax together with being loyal to the country.

The success of contract depends on balance in the equation between individual liberty and state authority. If individual transgresses his liberty, it becomes anarchy and if the state uses excessive authority more than what is allowed by the law, it becomes a tyranny, authoritarianism and dictatorship where the rule of man instead of rule of law prevails.

Leonard Weinberg in his book, “Democracy and Terrorism: Friend or Foe” (2013) Routledge writes: “This struggle has been inspired in part by the belief is that by promoting democracy they will also bring an end to terrorism. Where people enjoy the blessings of liberty, they will naturally find peaceful outlets for the expression of their political views, it has been widely held. Terrorism, on the other hand, is seen largely as a consequence of repression, where citizens cannot choose rulers freely and where dissenting voices are silenced by the authorities, terrorism and other types of violence appear to follow.”[1]

Great historians of International History such as Francis Fukuyama and Michael McFaul also support the idea of democracy as an effective counterterrorism mechanism. They argue: “The transformation of powerful autocracies into democracies has served U.S. national security interests.”

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Larry Diamond, a modern day scientist of democracy, is of the view that most obviously, “the end of dictatorship and the consolidation of democracy in Germany, Italy, and Japan after World War II made the United States safer…and regime change in the Soviet Union ended the Cold War and greatly reduced this once-menacing threat to the United States and its allies .” Dr Maleeha Lodhi in her book ‘Global Terrorism’ also writes: “Winning hearts and minds is an essential part of isolating Al-Qaeda’s (or any other radical) ideology and its proponents”.

Our National Action Plan (NAP) is a good and inclusive counterterrorism plan but it lacks many of the approaches as enshrined in United Nations’ Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Pakistan’s counterterrorism policy must include all aspects of fighting terror as set out in UN CT policy. UN advises fourfold approach to contain extremism and terrorism which include” Root-Cause model (poverty, non-inclusion, Rule of Law, Human Rights), Enforcement Model (Coercive methods), Good Governance Model (Building state capacity), Development model (inclusive Political, social and economic development). Our CT policy must weld together all marginalised segments of society. But to our very setback, NAP has been implemented only in parts, not in toto.

A portion of NAP, which relies on coercive tactics, has been marginally enforced; such as military courts, SIM registrations and death penalty but no other measure, including criminal justice reforms, Madrassa reforms, Balochistan reconciliation, FATA reintegration, no Media glorification of terrorists, weapon nonproliferation, disturbing terrorist communication, NACTA revival and empowerment etc, in twenty points agenda of NAP, has ever received any political attention in Pakistan. Thus, NAP relies mostly on enforcement model.

Benazir Bhutto in her last book, Reconciliation, Islam and the West, 2007, is the view that “autocratic and unstable Pakistan” is in no one’s interests. She argued that democracy is compatible with Islam and Muslim societies can be democratised. She expresses her unshakable belief in democracy as the best “environment and mechanism” to counter terror[2]. On the contrary, she makes a very strong case that extremism and terrorism grow in what she refers to “an authoritarian environment”.

The proof of this fact has been the electoral records of Pakistan. Never in Pakistan’s electoral history has any religious party won more than 14% of total votes cast. Pakistan people’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League (all factions) and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf are three leading parties and all have moderate and secular political philosophies. Similarly, the remarkable majority in Pakistan’s Pakistan’s Judiciary, as well as civil and military bureaucracy, are moderate and progressive. Even most of our religious parties are not against democracy but always stand for the rule of law and fundamental rights including freedom of expression and independent judiciary. Therefore, our socio-political environment has a great potential for democracy.

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Very strategic point in counterterrorism in Pakistan to understand is the fact that many anti-social, anti-Pakistan and criminal elements have joined together to advance their own agenda by creating anarchy through terrorism. Among them, drug traffickers, smugglers, enemy country agents, underworld mafias, land grabbers, exporters, and weapon dealers are in the forefront as the weak state authority is always ideal for them to operate with impunity. As a result, they have started investing in terrorism. They can offer cash, vehicles, weapons, suicide bombers, and protection to the terrorists.

Most importantly such elements easily enlist public support where the legitimacy of the government is controversial and where government hardly has any legal or moral stance or roles to play, such as in FATA and GB. Such ungoverned areas should be brought under the umbrella of the constitution without any further delay and the local people of those areas must be taken on board while taking economic and political decisions affecting their lives.

Therefore, in this whole game of terrorism and counterterrorism, this essay argues, the winner will be the one who will have on his/her side what we can summarise as “Public Support”. If people of the country are on the side of the terrorists, they will win; if people side with the government, the terrorists will lose. So let us defeat terrorism with democratic counterterrorism by exploring and exploiting its potentials in Pakistan.

 

The Writer is a Novelist and a Law Enforcement Educator…References

References

[1] Leonard Weinberg, “Democracy and Terrorism: Friend or Foe”, (2013) Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, London & New York.

[2] BHUTTO, BENAZIR. 2008, Reconciliation Islam, Democracy & The West, London, Simon & Schuster

 

 

From the Crime Scene to the Criminal

J. J. Baloch

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The criminal investigation needs sophistication in identifying, collecting, preserving and analysing valuable material evidence. As the ill luck would have it, our investigations still rely on traditional methods of evidence collection and badly lack application of scientific method. Our police investigations still depend on what the complainant and the planted witnesses of the case tell our detectives.

Our First Information Report is big misnomer which is very confusing and misguiding document as it takes investigation process in reverse by going from criminal to crime scene with the help of oral statements of planted witnesses in most of the cases. However, this runs counter to modern methods which go from crime scene to criminal relying on material evidence.

When the incident of crime takes place, a victim can approach police station of the area for registration of his complaint and police register First Information Report and start investigations. The investigation is defined as the process of collection of evidence. Evidence is of two major types: Oral or verbal meaning witness statements and Material, signifying all material such as empties of the bullet or ballistic, any document, blood, hair, tyres marks, foot tracks, fingerprints or anything of the same ilk which can be collected from the crime scene- a place where crime occurs. The oral evidence is very weak because if the statements of the witnesses do not tally one another, the case is lost and the accused get benefited and it often happens. Good and reliable evidence is the forensic or material evidence collected from the crime scene and which does not depend on anyone’s statement but on the expert opinion which is highly dependable, admissible and advisable for all detectives in the interest of carrying out quality investigations which can promise proper prosecution and which can ensure satisfactory convictions in the courts of law.

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Unfortunately in our country, Pakistan, due to lack of forensic facilities and expertise most of our detectives rely heavily on the version of First Information Reports which limits the scope of investigations by nominations of the accused persons. So they start their investigations confirming whether the nominated accused is actual culprits or not. If they are actual criminals, their lawyers make very tricky cross questions with the witnesses of the incident in the trial court and in many cases the chances of accused of going unpunished highly increase. This happens because of faulty investigations based on weak evidence which limits justice and fairly by going from criminal to crime scene approach.

On the contrary, forensic or material evidence based on the scrutiny of the crime scene applying scientific methods and expert opinion on the material evidence so secured from the scene of the crime can be helpful in achieving better conviction rates and hence have a greater likelihood of serving as a stronger deterrence to crime and criminality. The understanding, securing, sketching, filming, photographing and collecting materials from the scene of the crime to be used and analysed as an evidence for re-construing the crime happening by connecting the chain of materials from different angles, making it sensible, logical and acceptable to human mind exclusively through scientific methods. Such criminal investigations do not require nominations in First Information Reports but start detecting and tracing the original culprits through reliable methods and seek accurate implications by going through crime scene to the criminal.

In Pakistan, however, it was a practice not to incorporate evidence in the FIR some decades earlier. Same is true in developed countries where policing and investigations are carried out in a professional and evidence-based ways. If an incident of Robbery takes place. A short FIR contains only the basic information of incident. For example, “The complainant Aslam has reported that at 11; 05 pm two unknown masked and armed with pistols motorcyclists forcibly stopped me near peacock crossing adjacent to the shopping mall and snatched my cell phone and purse.” This shows everything that is required to define crime and criminal incident i.e. nature of crime-robbery, time and place of incident, and who did what with whom and why? On this police can start investigations and trace the case.

However, nowadays FIRs are not that simple but rather contain unnecessary details such as why complainant was there in the place of incident, what else he was carrying, what words the accused spoke to him, whether the street lights were on or off,  did the accused told the reason of snatching, did they introduced themselves as Khalid and Munir and acquainted Aslam about home address and their old problems with him. Very sadly our FIRs contain everything unnecessary one can imagine which can hardly leave any room for Investigator to reach the original story, resulting in the increase in pendency and untraced cases.

Therefore, Sind police must focus on the culture of material evidence and develop crime scene science so that no criminal manages to go scot free. In the wake of this, Sind Police has, very recently, began to adopt in letter and spirit the scientific modalities of managing crime scene. Though a paradigm shift in policing methodologies in Sind, yet this has to go a long way in attaining maturity and sophistication. Let us explain how crime scene management works.

The Crime Scene Management covers almost all main aspects of crime scene management activity of crime scene investigators. I had privilege and credit to draft these Standard Operating Procedures on Crime scene management for Sind Police in 2010 and these procedures have been adopted without any addition or deletion. Let us describe these crime scene procedures.

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These crime scene procedures are divided into four major aspects of crime scene management and are designed to devise different roles and to fix responsibilities of the police officers who are one way or the other related to the crime scene management. The four major aspects include information, preparation, protection of crime scene and search and preservation of evidence.

According to the first procedure of information, as laid down in Standard Operating Procedures, “Station House Officer (SHO) or duty officer, or patrol officer or finally Head Muharir, “will be responsible for informing the forensic division Sind police” for sending its crime scene unit at the crime scene. Duty Officer In-charge at Forensic Division will make the proper entry in his daily register mentioning therein all particulars and details containing the name of informing the officer, time of information, nature of the crime and also departure and arrival of crime scene staff.

The procedure of ‘preparation’ for managing crime scene places much of responsibility on the Forensic Division. “The crime scene manager” available at Forensic Division “will be responsible” for making all arrangements necessary for search, collection, role assignment on the spot if necessary, legal ramifications, communication with supplementary services such as medical examiner and prosecutor, coordination with the eyewitnesses of the crime scene and packing and transportation of evidence materials.

At present such a bigger role for Forensic Division appears to be idealistic to many police officers who are working in the field and who are not at all willing to share their authority with any specialised unit at whatsoever cost is, indeed, a big stumbling block in the implementation of such procedures of Crime Scene. However, it is expedient to establish the active forensic units with the full-fledged crime scene unit facility at the zonal level both in Karachi as well as interior Sindh so that time and resources could be saved and Standard Operating Procedures of Crime Scene would implement with less resistance.

Regarding the third procedure of the protection of crime scene, the document in point states: “The responsibility of protecting and securing crime scene lies with SHO (Station House Officer) and his concerned police station, which is capable of making arrangements for protecting and securing the crime scene”. It further establishes: “the person responsible should take control aggressively and close access to everything to the crime scene. He/She should deny access to anyone and to anything towards the crime scene”.

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Only authorised persons can enter the crime scene with the permission of Crime Scene manager/ protector. It does not mean any high official can enter the Crime Scene without recording appropriate reasons and justifications and his or her entry and exit will be fully recorded together with the specific purpose of his or her entry.

In addition to this, the SHO who is responsible for the protection of crime scene as per procedures would also gauge the purity of Crime Scene and determine the level of its contamination when he or she arrives and takes the charge of the Crime Scene. If the Crime Scene initially appears to have been spoiled, the SHO will try to obtain the information relating to the original conditions of the Crime Scene by identifying, removing and separating the witnesses from the Crime Scene.

The very significant aspect of Crime Scene Evidence protection as laid down in this procedure is the way Crime Scene is to be recorded or got recorded by Crime Scene Investigators. There are three major methods of recording the crime scene. They include photography, sketch, and notes. Everyone attending the crime scene and has some role there is required to take extensive and detailed notes of everything present at the crime scene and every activity taking places at the moment he or she arrives the crime scene. No one attending crime scene is supposed to rely on memory. Such notes can offer potential evidence.  It is advised apart from procedures that we do not only have to preserve the crime scene but we have also to be able to prove that we did so.

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The fourth and the last procedure reads: “The responsibility of crime scene search lies with the local investigating officer. He/she will be responsible for completing all legal requirements, for ensuring proper packing of evidence from the crime scene, for keeping track of evidence, and for ensuring timely collection of materials and expert reports/opinions. He/she is bound to maintain search and evidence log.”

Moreover, investigating officer has also been rendered responsible under this procedure to prepare the narrative description of the crime scene (include written notes, audio tape and video tape), depict crime scene photographically, and through sketch with a view to documenting the relationship of items, locations and distances at the scene.  At the end he/she should conduct the final survey and release the scene, containing time and date of release together with who released the same scene to whom.

After years of archaic policing, Sindh Police’s adoption of Crime Scene Management procedures for obtaining a reliable material evidence is, beyond any doubt, a timely step in a right direction which can claim a paradigm shift in the ways we have been policing and policed during last sixty years or more. However, the success of this little effort would largely depend on the level of seriousness with which our police implement and adopt it.

The Writer is a law enforcement/Policing Educator and a Novelist…

 

 

 

 

Our Criminal Justice Dilemma

J. J. BALOCH

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The dilemma in Pakistan’s criminal justice system is deep-rooted and widespread in our societal structure, political traditions, statutory ethos, popular apathy, and institutional turf wars. An autopsy of our criminal justice reveals in an unmistakable way the long list of factors that go uninterrupted in haunting everyone including the public, media, academia, politics and governance.

The form and structure of the state, the modes of its governance and the fundamental paradigm of its regulatory regimes always reflect the essence of society’s culture. However, the human culture is the most ancient and the most powerful influence on human thinking about the perspectives of living and of the moving spirit behind the civilisation.

Ours is, indeed, an outlived criminal justice system; it is incapacitated to live up to the changing times. Our criminal justice fails to be at par with challenges triggered by the age of terror, borderless world, human rights, rule of law, due process of law, age of digits and many similar influences.

The elitist power culture is the core issue in addressing the very fundamental irritants in our criminal justice system. The elitist ethos of our societal structure represented by feudal mindsets and nuisance gamers continue to pre-empt all progressive reform efforts of all our enlightened statesmen. All those who matter because of their ascribed status whether they hail from any segment or interest group ranging from politics, statecraft, bureaucracy, media, civil society, landed gentry leave no stone unturned to perpetuate their status quo to the extent of converting all public interests into their personal and private businesses interests. The common man is yet to attain freedom which is mortgaged in the contours of dynastic democratic tradition in our country.

Political Interference in public department’s especially criminal justice institutions is another problem area. In Pakistan, the entire criminal justice system has been adversely affected by politically motivated policies and practice designed to weaken its structure. Those public servants who maintain the integrity and resist tooth and nail to deny dancing to the tunes of politicians and all others who one way or the other matter in the power structure in Pakistan are either transferred or removed from the service through engineered allegations and concocted departmental enquiries.

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As a consequence, the criminal justice system has lost public confidence as a trustworthy and reliable mechanism to redress the public grievances on basis of merit. Many surveys conducted by independent groups and human rights commission of Pakistan time and again testify the fact that 80% of Pakistani Public have no confidence in CJS institutions and believe that they serve regime and protect the powerful lot only. There has reportedly been serious rule of law issues.

We also lack in criminal justice policy principles. It works unsystematically. The idealistic core of the system is dry and hollow within.  The policy for CJS is important and considered as the best practice to enforce the law, ensure justice and maintain public peace and order. Such ideals of the policy are the absolute wasteland in Pakistan where, unfortunately, ad-hoc measures reign supreme, fitting the elitist scheme of things.

Our CJS is yet to adopt the technology. The technology deficit takes our system to nowhere but to the perpetual and utter state of stagnancy and retrogression. The proper use of modern technology of forensics, telemetry, biometrics, digitalism, database formations, and documentation is missing. Its approaches are doubt-driven and not evidence-based.

Sadly to say, we are yet to think of CJS innovations that have been taking place worldwide in last three decades. In order to rise equal to the burgeoning challenges of crime and justice, expanding mandate of CJS institutions specially the gatekeepers -the police, and also rising public expectations within promising democracies, the governments of modern day are left with very thin choices to ignore exploring new ways of reviewing the basic missions of police, their core strategies, and the relationship of police with the community they are sworn to serve.

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Despite a number of CJS committees and commissions constituted time and again in 70 years of our country’s age had very insightful and remarkable ideas of renovating CJS but regrettably all withered away in the serious storms of vested interests of bureaucratic and political nature? The most outstanding, to name a few, has been the Police Order 2002 which too saw the light of the day during Musharaf’s autocracy got infected with bureaucratic dengue virus in Punjab and political HIV in Sindh and Balochistan.

Lovely, the democratic ideals and rule of law culture spread in our country in 21st century bring the military-clone democratic order of Musharaf to its logical end in a peaceful manner yet the ill-panned and unregulated advancements resulted out of judicial activism brought the CJS institutions in the crossfire of judicial and executive battles of deadly nature in which the police and prosecution suffered irreparable collateral damages finally creating the environment of serious mistrust between the honourable courts and the police services and other law enforcement agencies related to the investigations of the crime, terrorism, corruption, and elections. This gap still exists and is readable in landmark Panama-gate judgement of the supreme court of Pakistan issued on 20th April 2017.

Not being a part and parcel of sacred CJS process the Media, both electronics and print, in Pakistan have self-assumed the role of justice dispensing agent through a well-thought-out and well-planned phenomenon of media trials of the issues of social as well as national nature allowing the space for many outsiders to get involved in the job that not at all is their business. The involvement of media in everything statutory and governmental is hardly serving anybody’s interest except eroding the basic functions of CJS institutions, influencing police investigations and the courts’ decisions.

Besides all this, our CJS lack counterterrorism capacity. Our police and civilian law enforcement agencies are not considered worth to fight the menace of terrorism in our country. As a consequence, our national action plan is being executed through our military and paramilitary forces and that is why military courts have been established to carry out that daunting job of executing the terrorists. Our superior courts are left with thin choices of trying police officers in ‘forced disappearances’ cases more than they have to execute the terrorists.

The very fundamental issue of our CJS is also unequal access to justice. Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid in one of his articles refer to Michael Anderson, a CJS expert, who writes:

“First, Justice in its current form is part of the problem. Secondly, the poor see the institutions of justice not as a source of protection, but as entities to be avoided. Thirdly, where justice institutions are seen not as the part of the solution but rather a part of the problem, it is hardly surprising that access to them is not especially attractive. Fourthly, improved access to courts will be of little use if it means greater access to delay, harassment, bribe-taking, and unresponsive systems. Fifthly, in this context, the question for judges becomes: how to ensure that justice institutions are not themselves sources of injustice! Lastly, delay in criminal justice negates several fundamental rights including the right to freedom of movement and dignity of man.”

The last but not the least, many experts believe that our criminal justice system is discriminatory to the core. Despite all claims and proclaims biases on the basis of gender and class at all levels of CJS are deeply entrenched. Our CJS treats people of different backgrounds differently and the powerful and influential have long hands and large brains to manoeuvre it to their comforts.

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As a result, we have been co-existing with a criminal justice system which appears to be more criminally-toned than justice-driven:

  • it neither punishes crime nor offers Justice to the victim;
  • many criminals go scot free and many victims await justice;
  • the conviction rate is abysmally low;
  • there is nothing like corrections of criminals;
  • society rely on outside court settlements of their issues even in the serious crimes like felony;
  • the existence of Jirga, Shariah law and military courts speaks volumes of the fragility and infectivity of our CJS;
  • and also our CJS is dead on future crime challenges which intensively connected world with high openness has in store for it.

Pakistan’s CJS is outdated and dysfunctional and needs drastic reforms and Criminal Justice Policy. For CJP criminal justice policy research is sin qua non. We should establish Criminal Justice Policy Institute.

Ultimately and realistically, we are left with no any criminal justice system. The Bottlenecks in the reformation of CJS might be the Political & the Bureaucratic “Vested Interests”. As a consequence, malfunctioning of our CJS continues to impact the core values of governance i.e. Justice, Freedom, writ of the law and Peace in Pakistan.

The Writer is a novelist and a law enforcement educator…

 

Terrorism: A Crime or a War

 

J. J. BALOCH

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The modern discourse on national security finds it hard to reach some definite classification of terrorism as a law enforcement challenge. Whether terrorism falls within the crime frame or is a form of warfare poses a very genuine dilemma to scholars and practitioners as well.

From our National Action Plan, Zarb-e-Azab and now to Rad-al-Fasad Pakistan also struggles to fix its counterterrorism discourse and also to set its tone after placing terrorism in either of the two frameworks or to develop a well-crafted and articulately reasoned mix of the both.

However, with a variety of explanations, the world’s leading nations in counterterrorism such a USA, UK, Canada, and many other allied countries share many common values on counterterrorism, yet their definitions and legislative interpretations appear not in line with what they preach in media and on political forums.

This essay will attempt to scrutinise the content of counterterrorism laws as well as the media and political claims of the leadership of the states which have been actively involved in fighting terrorism. Legal contents of the Acts passed in different parts of the world including Pakistan, USA, UK, and Canada and in many other parts of the world describe terrorism ‘a form of organised crime’. While on the contrary, the media magnification of terrorist threat worldwide both by political leaders as well as the renowned journalists post this threat of terrorism as the “form of a modern warfare”.

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The detailed scrutiny of relevant laws of different countries reveals in very clear terms that “terrorism is a type of a crime”. For example, Canada’s Criminal Code on terrorism reads: “In whole or in part of a political, religious, or ideological purpose, objective, or cause with the intention of intimidating the public…with regard to its security…including economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organisation to do or to refrain from doing any act.”

Similarly, Terrorism Act (2006) of United Kingdom defines terrorism as a form of crime in these words: “a threat or action designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public for advancing a political, religious or ideological cause” would constitute a criminal act. Moreover, violence against people, damage to property, endangerment of life, risks to the health and public safety are key criminal areas outlined by the UK Terrorism Act.

The Patriot Act (PA) in the United States defining terrorism as a criminal act reads: “Terrorism is a violent criminal act which is dangerous to human life…that is a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States.” Patriot Act further explains that if the act intends to: intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or, affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping” would fall into the category of terrorism.

Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 refers terrorism as an “action” involving death, grievous violence, grievous body injury, grievous damage to property, threat to person’s life, kidnapping for ransom, hostage-taking, hijacking, hatred or violence on the basis of religion, sect, ethnicity, caste, race, colour, stoning, brick-batting or any other form of mischief to spread panic, attacking or firing on religious congregations, mosques, imambargahs, churches, temples and all other places of worship, or random firing to spread panic, any forcible takeover on mosques or other places of worship, a serious risk to public safety, any public disturbance in carrying out their lawful trade and daily business, and normal civil life,  the burning of vehicles or another serious form of arson, extortion of money, disruption in a communications system or public utility service, serious coercion or intimidation of a public servant in order to force him to discharge or to refrain from discharging his lawful duties, and a serious violence against a member of the police force, armed forces, civil armed forces, or a public servant. (Section 6, sub-section 2)

In order to try the criminal cases falling under these categories, special courts were established on district level in Pakistan but their dismal performance made governments realise the need of some ad hoc measures and hence military courts under NAP were established.

On the contrary, the review of media claims of political leaders brings out that” terrorism is a form of a war”. The political culture, media traditions and popular rhetoric make us believe that terrorism is something more than merely a criminal act. The scale and magnitude of terrorist attacks and the fear of the fear of terrorism invoke the ghost of war in general public. As a result, the players, as well as sellers of public sensitivities, consider war as an equivalent and appropriate response to terrorism. Many experts of terrorism believe that the phrase ‘act of war’ is a political phrase; it is not legal. “Historically, ‘act of war’ usually referenced the rationale for nations to engage in international armed conflict”, remarks Colonel Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. of American Air Force, “but now it has become a general public tendency to use the phrase loosely to fight crime” as law enforcement has been using it lavishly for ‘war on drugs’, ‘war on crime’, war on poverty’. After 9/11 attack George W. Bush got fancied with the idea of ‘war on terror’ as it fitted well in their political scheme of point scoring.

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Another military expert Christopher G. Essie sheds light on why we use this phrase. According to him calling counterterrorism a war instead of a crime fighting brings many benefits to the state which raises the flag of patriotism to fight the deadly enemy as they portray it. First, such interpretation works like a magic to offer justification for the use of unusual force against suspects and their country or nation. Secondly, it is a beautiful excuse to intervene into the internal affairs of the sovereign states which allegedly host terrorists, so to say.

Lastly, this definition of calling terrorist attack an act of war allows us under exceptional and extraordinary circumstances, as they are referred in 21st constitutional amendment into the 1973 constitution of Pakistan authorizing the military courts, to violate the fundamental human rights of the people in the name of establishing peace and fighting the war on terrorism. Unfortunately, such approach further legitimises terrorism cause and depletes the law enforcement paradigm.

The counterterrorism experience of Pakistan is not much different from the rest of the world. Pakistan also faces great confusion in its focus on understanding the undercurrents of terrorism threat as well as its implications on its societal and statutory responses to terrorism. Political indecision in cases of very important security issues like NAP implementation as well as the revival of National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) is the very fit examples to explain our point. Extensive militarization of counterterrorism and criminal justice is heavily hammering our already fragile social order.

The dispensation of political confusions in defining the threat of terrorism has expanded to diplomatic levels when it comes the to state to state claims and anti claims of their involvements in international and regional proxies. Political differences and indecision on developing a uniform definition of terrorism make scholarly challenge more laborious and energy consuming exercise. Politics and diplomacy have failed to find out the internationally accepted definition of terrorism. The only law defines terrorist threat well. “The issue behind definitional solidarity at the international level is encapsulated by the phrase, ‘one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’…Without a uniform globally accepted definition of terrorism, it is impossible to criminally prosecute individuals for the crime of terrorism at the international level. All terrorism-related matters must be dealt with on a domestic level. This, in turn, complicates legal proceedings when dealing with transnational terrorism spanning a multitude of legal jurisdictions.”

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The Very recent stark example of Indian RAW spy Kulbhushan Jadhav (Codename: Hussain Mubarak Patel) whom our newly established military courts under NAP had announced deaths sentence for killing so many innocent people in Karachi and Balochistan. India has challenged this death sentence in International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the grounds of human rights as enshrined in Geneva Convention and UN Charter. Had this case been a part of normal criminal justice and local courts as they try criminals India would not have been able to take this case the on the international forum like ICJ.

In its essence terrorism is closer the to the crime but in its form, it matches to warfare. Still the anecdotes of fighting the menace are revealing and telling that it is better to deal with terrorism as a crime than a war because when it comes to war terrorism turns to be a politically explosive and revolutionary inviting popular support and sympathy of the public with terrorists than with drone throwers on innocent populations in the name of collateral damage. War model promotes, publicise, and universalize terrorism than it curbs because citizens stay away from killings of fellow citizens so indiscriminately by the military while criminal justice model takes care of human rights and the rule of law legitimising state action by neutralising public sympathies for terrorists.

Pakistan, therefore, should work out its criminal justice solutions instead of heavily relying on its military muscle for dealing with the threat of terrorism. For this end in view, our government must pay urgent attention to building the capacity of law enforcement agencies and criminal justice institutions ranging from police, prosecution, and jails to the courts of law. Criminal Justice responses to terrorism have earned better results than the military interventions have done anywhere in the world.

The Writer is a Novelist and a Law Enforcement Educator

On the Genetic Criminality

J. J. Baloch

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This article, using genetics, tries to explain criminal behaviour in terms of genes and facial features of human beings. Modern crime science very aggressively claims that genes and facial features can be instrumental in understanding and in predicting as to who will commit which crime! Though this connotation might have flabbergasted few but have saddened many to fall victim to this so called infallible machine crime readings.

Being a cop it startles me like anything to believe that there could be some crime or war genes in human body or mind but many crime scientists are struggling to establish this through their modern research on criminal behaviour that such genes do exist. Having the amateurish understanding of the biological make-up of human brain and body, we as the policemen can hardly think that criminals are born but our anecdotes tell us that they are created. However, whether genetic tendencies of crime should be factored into criminal profiling and sentencing or not would constitute to be the leading question of criminal justice research and policy in future.

Our blame or reliance on the environment and social conditions as responsible for criminal behaviour are also owned by the sociological as well as a psychological school of criminal behaviour but the modern research on criminality appears to have tilted more towards verifying and further exploring the claims of the biological school to explain the causes of crime.

“Due to perceived racial bias in previous studies, genetics have been left out of the theoretical equation for analysing and interpreting crime for the past 20 years by most involved in criminological studies… Scientists are quick to warn that social or environmental factors play a meaningful role in whether or not genetic crime-contributors will ever be triggered; however, studies have revealed compelling information.” Poor diet, mental illness, bad brain chemistry, and even evolutionary rewards for aggressive criminal conduct have been proposed by the proponents of the biological constructions of human criminal behaviour.

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Criminologists are now interested in understanding as to how genes can increase the risk of committing the crime. Recent studies of criminal behaviour in the US have confirmed that samples of twins and other children were exposed to eight or more environmental risk factors and those samples in which genetic formations of crime were dominated showed 80% tendency towards violence. “In a long-term study of 1,000 babies, children who demonstrated less self-control at three were more likely to commit crimes 30 years later. Despite this, criminologists reassure that there is no such thing as a ‘crime gene’; rather, traits that are linked to aggressive or antisocial behaviour that could lead to crime in certain environments are the subject of research.”

On 28 October 2014 Melissa Hogenboom, a science reporter for BBC referring to the British Journal of Molecular Psychiatry reported that criminologists carried out a study in Finland which had found that  “the association between genes and violence was strongest for repeat violent offenders”. The study explained at least 10% of all violent crime in Finland could be attributed to individuals with these genotypes. According to the finding, two genes in the human body were linked to the violent behaviour.

“The two genes associated with violent repeat offenders were the MAOA gene and a variant of cadherin 13 (CDH13). The MAOA gene codes for the enzyme Monoamine Oxidase A, which is important for controlling the amount of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. CDH13 has previously been associated with substance abuse and ADHD. Those classified as non-violent offenders did not have this genetic profile. A deficiency of the enzyme this controls could result in “dopamine hyperactivity” especially when an individual drinks alcohol or takes drugs such as amphetamines, said Prof Tiihonen. The majority of all individuals who commit a severe violent crime in Finland do so under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

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Media reports on recently disclosed findings of Chinese criminological research awaken many who deals with crime or are the part of criminal justice for their attention to genetic and facial formations of the criminals. Rob Jongschaap an analyst of crime and criminality  writes referring to this study: “In a paper titled ‘Automated Inference on Criminality using Face Images,’ two Shanghai Jiao Tong University researchers say they fed ‘facial images of 1,856 real persons’ into computers and found ‘some discriminating structural features for predicting criminality, such as lip curvature, eye inner corner distance, and the so-called nose-mouth angle.’ They conclude that all four classifiers perform consistently well and produce evidence for the validity of automated face-induced inference on criminality, despite the historical controversy surrounding the topic.”

Automated inference on criminality using face images by Chinese criminologists reads: “We study, for the first time, automated inference on criminality based solely on still face images. Via supervised machine learning, we build four classifiers (logistic regression, KNN, SVM, CNN) using facial images of 1856 real persons controlled for race, gender, age and facial expressions, nearly half of whom were convicted criminals, for discriminating between criminals and non-criminals. All four classifiers perform consistently well and produce evidence for the validity of automated face-induced inference on criminality, despite the historical controversy surrounding the topic. Also, we find some discriminating structural features for predicting criminality, such as lip curvature, eye inner corner distance, and the so-called nose-mouth angle.”

“Above all, the most important discovery of this research is that criminal and non-criminal face images populate two quite distinctive manifolds. The variation among criminal faces is significantly greater than that of the non-criminal faces. The two manifolds consisting of criminal and non-criminal faces appear to be concentric, with the non-criminal manifold lying in the kernel with a smaller span, exhibiting a law of normality for faces of non-criminals. In other words, the faces of the general law-abiding public have a greater degree of resemblance compared with the faces of criminals, or criminals have a higher degree of dissimilarity in facial appearance than normal people…”

Many fear that such crime face readers and half cooked genetic basis for criminality could be very problematic, discriminatory and in many cases very biased on the basis of ethnicity, race, colour, and religion.  “The fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning are moving so quickly that any notion of ethics is lagging decades behind, or left to works of science fiction.” This is what a new study at Shanghai Jiao Tong University tries to establish and explain. How strange it looks to us that now onwards computers can tell whether one will be a criminal based on nothing more than your facial features and genetic makeup. This attempt is closer to the similar bankrupt moral basis of popular psychological theories of last millennia which tried to justify the supremacy of one racial group over another.

“But phrenology, which involved studying the cranium to determine someone’s character and intelligence, was debunked around the time of the Industrial Revolution, and few outside of the pseudo-scientific fringe would still claim that the shape of your mouth or size of your eyelids might predict whether you’ll become a rapist or thief”, Rob J. further argues.

Determining who will commit what type of crime in what circumstances with what genetic composition is a complex analysis. Various academic fields contribute relevant theories that must be understood by the criminologists to advance their understanding of why certain types of people commit certain types of crimes. But could this be possible for anyone to have some certain and definite deductions without ever knowing the ‘motive’ which is cardinal part of any type of crime?

“We’re all products of genetics and the environment but I don’t think that robs us of free will or understanding right and wrong”, says Dr Christopher Ferguson, Stetson University, Florida

Though these new aspects of understanding and explaining crime require more scientific inquiry and scrutiny, yet are very appealing and interesting themes for cops as well as other criminal justice agents. These new ideas of explaining criminality are yet to go a long way in developing a strong theoretical framework based on testable and reliable findings.

The Writer is a policing educator and a novelist…