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January 27, 2015

More good crime news for first part of 2014 according to FBI data

As reported in this official press release, the "the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveal overall declines in both the number of violent crimes and the number of property crimes reported for the first six months of 2014 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2013."  Here are some highlights detailing this great news via the FBI: 

All the offenses in the violent crime category — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape (revised definition), aggravated assault, and robbery — showed decreases when data from the first six months of 2014 were compared with data from the first six months of 2013.  The number of murders declined 6.0 percent, the number of rapes (revised definition) declined 10.1 percent, aggravated assaults decreased 1.6 percent, and robbery offenses decreased 10.3 percent.

Violent crime decreased in all city groupings. The largest decrease, 6.7 percent, was noted in cities with fewer than 10,000 in population.

Violent crime declined in each of the nation’s four regions. The largest decrease, 7.6 percent, was noted in the Midwest, followed by 6.6 percent in the Northeast, 3.0 percent in the South, and 2.7 percent in the West.

All three offenses in the property crime category — burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft — showed decreases in the number of offenses for January to June 2014 when compared with data for the same months of 2013. Burglary offenses dropped 14.0 percent. There was a 5.7 percent decrease in the number of motor vehicle thefts, and a 5.6 percent decrease in larceny-theft offenses.

Each of the city population groups had decreases in the overall number of property crimes. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations under 10,000 inhabitants reported the largest decrease, 8.9 percent.

All four of the nation’s regions showed declines in the number of property crime: 12.5 percent in the Midwest, 7.6 percent in the Northeast, 5.9 percent in the South, and 5.8 percent in the West.

As I have said before, this great news on crime rates is also great news for those eager to encourage continued reform of state and federal criminal justice policies and practices. In recent years, the federal system and many state systems have experienced consequential reductions in some sentencing levels and in incarceration rates, and drug-offense reforms have been especially pronounced. That crime rates continue to fall throughout this period suggests — though, importantly, does not conclusively prove — that these sorts of reforms are not have an adverse impact on public safety.

January 27, 2015 at 01:09 PM | Permalink

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Even better news:

"Exonerations Of The Wrongfully Convicted Hit Record High In The U.S. In 2014
Reuters | By Mary Wisniewski
Posted: 01/27/2015 12:01 am EST Updated: 21 minutes ago

CHICAGO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The number of U.S. criminals exonerated in 2014 climbed to a record high of 125, in part because of efforts by prosecutors willing to admit their offices made mistakes, according to a report released on Tuesday.
The states with the most exonerations last year were Texas, New York and Illinois, according to the National Registry of Exonerations, a project of the University of Michigan Law School. This was the first time the Registry, which has tracked exonerations since 1989, found more than 100 in a single year.
Evidence that frees a prisoner may include DNA linking another person to the crime and evidence of perjury. In one case, Ohio native Ricky Jackson spent 39 years in prison for murder - making him the longest-held U.S. prisoner to be exonerated. He was freed last November after the witness admitted he hadn't seen the crime.
Of the total known exonerations in 2014, more than half were obtained at the initiative or with the cooperation of law enforcement - the highest number in a single year, the report found. Most of these were the work of "conviction integrity units" set up by prosecutors to review questionable cases.
In one case, a Chicago judge dismissed charges against Alstory Simon after 15 years in prison for a double murder. Another man, Anthony Porter, had been convicted of the same crime in 1983, and sentenced to death but was released after Simon's confession. Upon reinvestigation, prosecutors found that Simon's confession had been coerced.
Michigan law professor Samuel Gross, author of the report, said he is seeing a change in attitude among prosecutors about wrongful convictions.
"I think prosecutors are much more willing to see identifying errors as a positive part of their job, rather than as a misfortune they have to endure," Gross said.
Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim, whose office covers the northern suburbs of Chicago, started an independent panel made up of retired judges, defense and civil rights attorneys to review cases. He said prosecutors should be leading the charge against wrongful convictions."We're all on the same side - no prosecutor wants to wrongfully convict somebody," said Nerheim. "We all want the truth."Another reason for the large number of 2014 exonerations involves 33 drug cases in the Houston area. Prosecutors found that crime lab analysis came up negative for illegal drugs after defendants had already taken plea deals."

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Jan 27, 2015 2:03:57 PM

"... is also great news for those eager to encourage continued reform of state and federal criminal justice policies and practices."

Absolutely not. What if this trend were from the lower fecundity of criminals because they are behind bars and did not spawn 10 criminals each? You would see the effects of mass release in 15 years, a catastrophic effect. Hopefully, wither the public will have adopted incapacitation as the sole mature goals of the criminal law or technology would have evolved and the end of privacy would make crimes pointless.

Why does the lawyer advocate the release of known vicious predators, including non-violent drug dealers holding their Nines sideways, and who would blast you in the head if you came onto their turf to do anything else than buy some from them. Why not get rid of outdated laws, why not raise the standards before passing regulations and laws that are not evidence based? Why? Because the criminal will generate massive government make work jobs for lawyers. Victims generate nothing and may rot.

I have proposed by statute, to end the doctrine of the duty only to the city of the police. and making them liable to individual victims for deviations from professional standards of due care. The lawyer could then make big money off crime victims, and motivate the police to do more for them. I am always looking out for the real economic interests of the lawyer and its agents, the police.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 27, 2015 3:31:01 PM

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