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November 16, 2011

More great crime news: record low modern homicide rates reported by BJS!

Because everyone on all sides of the political spectrum agree "death is different" in important ways, and because there are various reasons to expect homicide data to be among the most accurate crime statistics, I always view homicide rates as the most notable and important of all crime metrics.  Consequently, I am especially excited to report via this new press release from the Bureau of Justice Statistics that the United States' "homicide rate fell to 4.8 homicides per 100,000 U.S. residents in 2010, its lowest level in four decades."  Here are some data details from the press release:

Much of the decline was in the nation’s largest cities, those with a population of one million or more, where the homicide rate dropped dramatically from 35.5 homicides per 100,000 residents in 1991 to a low of 11.9 per 100,000 in 2008.

The sharp increase in homicides from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, and much of the subsequent decline, is attributable to gun violence by teens (age 14 to 17) and young adults (age 18 to 24).  Despite the recent decline, the number of gun homicides committed by teens and young adults in 2008 remained similar to the counts of the mid-1980s.

Most murders were intraracial.  From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks.  During this same period, blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders.  Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.

The number of homicides known to involve adult or juvenile gang violence has quadrupled since 1980, increasing from about 220 homicides in 1980 to 960 homicides in 2008.  From 1980 to 2008, gang violence increased from one percent to six percent of all homicides. During this same period, gun involvement in gang-related homicides increased from 73 percent to 92 percent.

Among the report’s other findings:...

In 2008, two of every five female murder victims were killed by an intimate. Among female murder victims for whom the victim/offender relationships were known, 45.3 percent were killed by an intimate whereas only 4.9 percent of male homicide victims were killed by an intimate....

Most homicide victims under age 5 were killed by a parent. In 2008, 59% of young child homicide victims were killed by a parent, 10% were killed by some other family member and 30% were murdered by a friend or acquaintance....

Most of these findings are based on the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR), which collects yearly supplementary data regarding homicides committed in the United States. From 1980 to 2008, contributing agencies provided supplementary data for 508,568 of the estimated 565,636 murders.  The FBI’s annual report, Crime in the United States, provides additional summary data for 2009 and 2010.

The full report with all this data and lots more is titled Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008, and can be found at this link.

November 16, 2011 at 11:58 AM | Permalink


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Death penalty supporters say capital punishment is imposed on the worst of the worst. However, death penalty opponent often assert that the race of the victim and/or offender comes into play (subconsciously or consciously) when determining what is the "worst." One would expect that the characteristics of death row crimes and offenders would be proportional to murders generally. With that being said...

"84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks."

If true, then an overwhelming majority of death row inmates should have committed intra-racial murders. Does anyone know if reality bears this out?

"During this same period, blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders."

If true, then a disproportionate amount of death row inmates should have murdered black victims. Does anyone know if reality bears this out?

If a disproportionate number of death row murders are inter-racial and/or have a white victim, then it may be empirical evidence of race bias in imposition of the death penalty. However, if death row offenses/offenders look a lot like the proportionality of murders generally, then race bias seems much less unlikely.

Does anyone have such stats?

Posted by: stats? | Nov 16, 2011 2:19:02 PM

The FBI is run by and comprised of a lot of lawyers. They have zero credibility.

Twice as many whites are killed by black criminals as blacks are killed by whites. This is a story of racial injustice that will never be picked up by the media. The lawyer is pro black criminal protecting him from accountability for killing whites and devalued black victims. Why? The black criminal is a source of massive government make work jobs.

The overwhelming cause of this decrease in murder is technology advances in trauma care. It likely has nothing to do with the lawyer. The lawyer will be trying to make crime rates higher to generate more lawyer jobs.

Here is something else disgusting about the lawyer traitor. There are 100,000 unresolved missing persons report a year. The murder rate may not be 17,000 a year. It may be 70,000.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 17, 2011 12:42:37 AM

"Stats?", here's what I know:

At some point a few months ago, 84 of the 158 convicts on NC Death Row (2010) were Black, but 151 of 158 had "Racial Justice Act" claims pending!

According to Kent Scheidegger, the national population on death row was 3,173, of whom 1,317 were black when last checked. (BJS, Capital Punishment in the US, 12/31/09)
<< This is 41.5% >>

For 2009 single-offender, single-victim homicides with race known, there were 6,631 total with 3,106 black perpetrators. (Sourcebook of Criminal Stats, 12/09/09)
<< This is 46.8%. >>

Why isn't a HIGHer percentage of us 'discriminated against people of color' such as myself on death row?

Posted by: adamakis | Nov 17, 2011 2:09:08 PM

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