New York’s Highest Court Strikes Down Rochester Juvenile Curfew Ordinance:

There have been a bunch of cases on this over the past couple of decades, and I don’t have a big picture opinion about them. But it does seem to me that this particular opinion is quite unpersuasive.

The curfew barred under-17-year-olds who aren’t accompanied by parents from being out in public from 11 pm to 5 am (or between midnight and 5 am Fridays and Saturdays); it had some exceptions, for employment, emergencies, various events, and exercise of “fundamental rights such as freedom of speech or religion or the right of assembly … as opposed to general social association.” Rochester’s chief argument was that the curfew would reduce crime by and against under-17-year-olds. But the court didn’t buy it:

Although the statistics show that minors are suspects and victims in roughly 10% of violent crimes committed between curfew hours (11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.), what they really highlight is that minors are far more likely to commit or be victims of crime outside curfew hours [footnote: Looking at the hourly breakdown of minors as crime suspects and victims, more than three-quarters (75% to 86%) of all crimes that minors commit and are victims of take place during non-curfew hours.] and that it is the adults, rather than the minors, who commit and are victims of the vast majority of violent crime (83.6% and 87.8% respectively) during curfew hours. The crime statistics are also organized by days of the week and despite that minors are 64% to 160% more likely to be a victim and up to 375% more likely to be a suspect of violent crimes on Saturdays and Sundays as compared to a given weekday, surprisingly, the curfew is less prohibitive on weekends. We also note that the methodology and scope of the statistics are plainly over-inclusive for purposes of studying the effectiveness of the curfew.

To be sure, minors are affected by crime during curfew hours but from the obvious disconnect between the crime statistics and the nighttime curfew, it seems that

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