More than 40% of D.C. Murders Remain Unsolved
The nation’s capital, long one of the worst urban centers for homicides, has made strides in terms of reducing the number of murders each year. Now, police just need to improve their rate of solving the cases.
From 1991 to 2011, the annual number of murders in DC dropped significantly, from 482 to 108. But about 43% of all homicide cases from 2000 to last year remain unsolved (1,006 out of 2,294). And less than a third of cases have led to a conviction for murder or manslaughter, according to an investigation by The Washington Post. In 15% of cases, the case is closed without an arrest.
“This is a good-news, less-good-news story,” Richard Rosenfeld, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, told the newspaper. “The good news is that there’s a drop in homicides in the District of Columbia and the United States. What does that mean? What D.C. and other cities are faced with is a different mix of cases that end in homicide, and those cases are tough to prosecute.”
To Learn More:
As D.C. Homicides Decline, Murder Still a Stubborn Crime to Solve and Prosecute (by Cheryl Thompson, Washington Post)
D.C. Homicides: In 15 Percent of Closed Cases, No Charges and No Arrests (by Cheryl Thompson, Washington Post)
D.C. Cops Themselves Arrested at a Rate of more than 2 a Month (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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