Profile of homicide victims
Data here. The vast majority of homicide victims have criminal records, usually extensive ones, and the trend has been increasing:
"In Baltimore, about 91 percent of murder victims this year had criminal records, up from 74 percent a decade ago, police reported. In many cases, says Frederick Bealefeld III, Baltimore's interim police commissioner, victims' rap sheets provide critical links to potential suspects in botched drug deals or violent territorial disputes... Philadelphia also has seen the number of victims with criminal pasts inch up, to 75 percent this year from 71 percent in 2005, department statistics show.
In Milwaukee, ... 77 percent of murder victims in the past two years had an average of nearly 12 arrests."
Hat tip to Joe Olson, who pointed out that Don Kates has been studying and documenting this fact for about thirty years, with little coverage in the press.
Wow. This guy definitely needs to stay away from Baltimore.
Posted by: Letalis at September 3, 2007 05:24 PM
>>David Kennedy, a professor at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says the rise in criminals killing criminals has escaped the attention of policymakers.
Which strongly suggests that policy makers are being driven by factors other than obtaining results.
Posted by: geekWithA.45 at September 4, 2007 05:56 AM
I saw a cop on TV talking about this the other day, I forget where or who, but I remember the quote.
They were talking about how most homicides are gang-bangers killing each other.
He said, "That's called misdeamenor homicide or public-service homicide."
Posted by: Veeshir at September 5, 2007 08:24 AM
America: the self-cleaning oven?
Posted by: Jonas Salk at September 5, 2007 02:08 PM
Except for the few innocents caught in the crossfire, this seems like natural selection at work.
The problem is that it demonstrates how badly the criminal justice system has failed. Not on the "arresting" end, but on the mission of prosecuting the criminal element and keeping them safely locked away from the rest of us.
In Dundalk (an unincorporated town just east of Baltimore city), a homeowner recently caught a convicted child molester IN HIS CHILDRENS' BEDROOM in the middle of the night. Ignoring the fact that these hapless parents actually kept one exterior door unlocked, even after they'd seen evidence of a prowler, the problem lies with the way the perpetrator had been whisked through the justice system in the past.
He'd done a similar deed back in 1991 and been caught. The "state" allowed him to plea bargain away the sexual assault charge, in exchange for a guilty plea to burglary. He was sentenced to "25 years with no parole" on the burglary. But through some quirk in the penal system, he was released from prison after about fifteen years, under the "good behavior" provisions of the prison system.
Apparently early release for "good behavior" does not equal "parole," and apparently how a sentence is carried out is out of control of the judges and juries who mete it out, and the prosecuting attorneys who decide whom to prosecute and on what charges.
Here in Baltimore, nearly every candidate in the mayoral primary election just past had promised to "put more police officers on the streets." Yet even the most casual examination of the crime statistics reveals that the current police force is arresting far more people than the prosecutors and courts are able/willing to bring to a full trial, much less convict and sentence to any meaningful punishment.
Over in Dundalk, the weekly paper reports what has happened in the District Court nearby. People charged with such crimes as drug possession, weapon possession and child neglect are routinely given "unsupervised probation," even if found guilty. These are some of the very people who would benefit from constant, close, and reliable supervision, before they commit some more serious crime.
Posted by: Stan M at September 14, 2007 07:49 AM