KENTUCKY: Preserving the Record

Homicides by firearms—not counting shooting in self-defense—have long run at an average rate of around 40 a year in Kentucky's Harlan County (pop. 71,750). But last week, for the first time in 132 years, the circuit court clerk posted a criminal docket (for May) without a single murder case on it.

Harlan's miners and mountaineers were astounded, and Circuit Court Judge Astor Hogg just had time to get his jaws ajar and allow it was "the beginning of a new era" when the Beach boys, who dabble in bootlegging, drove into downtown Harlan, the county seat, and fired six bullets...

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