Just because Census worker Bill Sparkman was found hanging from a tree with the word 'fed' written on his chest doesn't mean he was murdered in an antigovernment act. Sparkman died in an insular county of moonshiners and pot-growers, and police are wary of taking a wrong step.
FBI is investigating worker's death in Kentucky. Is crime-scene reference to 'fed' a clue or a feint?
Attitudes about one of the toughest crime measures from the 1980s may be changing.
Economic hard times also may have played a role in this week's attack on a Tennessee church.
But national one-year averages mask better progress in big cities and a crime rise in the South.
Of the 19,500 drug offenders eligible over the next 30 years to apply for early release, 3,417 have had their sentences reduced as of Monday.
Some cities are seeing a drop in the number of officers on the beat and a shift in police resources to fight terror.