Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On the bounty hunter in Pakistan, Foreign Policy Passport blog comments, "still, the episode is a pretty good reminder that fighting terrorism is perhaps best left to the professionals." Quite the opposite, offering rewards in an effort to privatize searches for outlaws is quite effective, both overseas and domestically:
A whopping one-quarter of all felony defendants fail to appear (FTA) at trial. Of these some thirty percent can't be found after a year.

The police are overrun with unserved arrest warrants for failure to appear and typically devote little time to the task.

As a result, FTA appear rates are some 28% lower for those released on commercial bail compared to those released on their own recognizance.

When a defendant does FTA he is about 50% more likely to be caught and is caught much sooner if a bounty hunter is on his trail compared to if only the police are involved. (Both of these effects are after controlling for other relevant factors, of course).

The myth of the "professional" and in particular the expertness of government is a common left-wing trope that usually doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
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