Putting a Bounty on Osama

The gang over at Crooked Timber are having a good time laughing at James Miller’s suggestion to increase the bounty on Osama bin Laden.

I’m puzzled, don’t the gang know that the United States has been putting bounties on terrorists since 1984? Or that Qusay and Uday Hussein were located due to a reward – as was Al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, as was Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 WTC bombing as were the terrorists responsible for the destruction of Pan Am 103? Could the gang be unaware that in the United States bounty hunters have a better record than the public police both at preventing bail jumping and apprehending fugitives once they have jumped bail?

Regular readers of MR will, of course, be better informed. By the way, my paper on the US system, The Fugitive: Evidence on Public versus Private Law Enforcement from Bail Jumping has just been published in the Journal of Law and Economics or email me if you don’t have access to the JLE.


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