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by Peter Moskos

January 1, 2013

Bang Bang, He Shot Me Down

Eleven people were shot in Chicago early New Year's Day.

Nine were shot New Year's morning in New York City.

Happy New Year.

Meanwhile, best I can tell, nobody was shot in Baltimore! The Baltimore Sun gives a crude but useful breakdown of basic homicide demographics for the 217 killings in Charm City in 2012. Of note:

A low Baltimore clearance rate of 47%. Yes, this does mean that more than half of murderers get away with murder (at least for a while). The real clearance rate for the year -- if you remove the cases from prior years closed this year -- is even lower, 35 percent. The actually odds of getting convicted for homicide in Baltimore? I don't know. But it's low.

As for the victims and killers, the numbers are typical. More than 4 in 5 killed with a handgun. 90% are men. 94% are black and 5% white (Baltimore is about 65% African American). A promising sign is that Baltimore is now about 5% hispanic, and yet only 1 homicide victim was hispanic.

One-third of victims (more than I would have suspected) were over 35 years old.

83% of victims had criminal records. 24% were on parole or probation at time of death (this is why some people actually do live longer in prison). 38% of victims had been previously arrested for a gun crime. Of known suspects, 45% had gun-related priors for gun crimes.


Jay Livingston said...

Boston also had a clearance rate of less than half (43%), with 58 murders for the year.

PCM said...

A low clearance rate is even worse when you have 1/4 the murders to investigate.

I know it's nothing new, but I still have a tough time believing that the homicide rate in Boston in almost twice as high as NYC.