Study on Chicago homicide spike by Cassell and Fowles cited in speech by U.S. Attorney General

Research by University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Professor Paul Cassell  was cited in a recent speech by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which has led to renewed national media attention about the study in recent days.

Cassell and University of Utah economics professor Richard Fowles used an econometric analysis to conclude that the 2016 spike in homicides in Chicago was caused by a reduction in the practice of stop-and-frisks by law enforcement in the wake of a settlement agreement obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) designed to limit stop-and-frisks.

Paul G. Cassell, a Ronald N. Boyce Presidential Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. Photo by Benjamin Hager.

Cassell and Fowles’ study, “What Caused the 2016 Chicago Homicide Spike? An Empirical Examination of the “ACLU Effect” and the Role of Stop-and-Frisks in Preventing Gun Violence,” concludes that fewer people would have died in Chicago if law enforcement were allowed to continue stop-and-frisk practices in policing.

Sessions highlighted the findings in a speech delivered to the Gatlinburg Law Enforcement Training Conference on May 8 in Tennessee.  (Read the speech in its entirety here). 

The speech and research findings were subsequently covered by Slate, The Washington Post, Chicago CityWireThe Chicago Tribune and Politifact. 

The study was previously covered by the Chicago TribuneMother Jones magazine , KSL and Fox News. 

Cassell also blogged about his research for